Demons EP out now on Apollo Records
WATCH: Tree – “Karma Police” (Dir. by Oliver Tree Nickell & Steve Dabal) –
Tree’s Thom Yorke approved cover of “Karma Police” is from his debut EP, Demons, which was released by Apollo Records earlier this week. The song was a year in the making and Tree even traveled from Santa Cruz to London to record some of the parts in the studio. He created the cover with a huge group of talented musicians including a string quartet.
The video for “Karma Police” can now be seen over at Paste. It was filmed in San Francisco and co-directed by Oliver Tree Nickell and Steve Dabal. Only 19 years old at the time, they filmed it as just a two man crew.
Apollo Records is very proud to welcome the explosive young talent that is Oliver Tree Nickell to the label with this utterly extraordinary release. The Santa Cruz resident, not to be confused with the Chicago rapper of the same moniker, has been perfecting his craft for years, including time in various teenage bands plus success on the west coast DJ scene in his teens, but now – at an age when most artists are only starting their explorations – he emerges as a fully mature artist, beyond scene and style, able to stand among the fellow visionaries of modern music.
“Demons,” with its rapped-sung-spoken vocals, is an amazing, creepy-crawling, yet sensuous track. Bringing to mind Maxinquaye-era Tricky, yet with a 21st century electronic clarity to the microscopic detail of its off-kilter percussion, it’s reminiscent of Tree’s production idol, Flying Lotus.
“Rabbit Hole” is even more intense, a cinematic track with its epic narrative unfolding through monumental bass tones, synth arpeggios evocative of Rustie, sweet orchestral melodies emerging through storms of sound, and again those soft vocals bringing humanity into the spiraling trip.
The audacious take on “Karma Police,” meanwhile, has Tree taking center stage. His own distinctive singing and rap verses make Radiohead’s original completely his own. The blurring of the lines between acoustic and electronic, intimate and monumental, and fear and defiance on this cover simply staggers the senses.
And each track on this release is so rich, so meticulously crafted beneath its striking immediacy, that you will discover more with every listen. It’s a trip you will want to revisit.
Tree’s debut EP, Demons, will be released on August 13, 2013 through Apollo Records.
2. Karma Police
3. Rabbit Hole