[PREMIERE] Burly – Branches Of Blood

Hailing from upstate New York, Burly consist of five members who’ve been making music together in various projects for the best part of a decade; some of the songs that make up their debut EP, out this week on Five Kill Records, were written back in 2013. In many ways, that EP, Self Titled Demon, is a tribute to non-urgency, a celebration of taking your time. Ahead of the EP’s release, today we’re premiering the latest track from the record, Branches Of Blood.

Photo by Irene O’Leary

Branches Of Blood is a delightfully unusual introduction to Burly’s music. The whole track is underpinned by the complex flow of the rhythms; from the flutter of a military snare drum, to moments of percussion jazzy improv, used sparingly as thrilling flourishes of intrigue. Atop the drums, instruments enter and depart with ease, from emotive plucked guitars, to vibraphone and swells of smoky bar-room saxophone. The track’s one constant is vocalist, Ryan Stewart, his cracked baritone, a vocal doppelganger for Dan Mangan, walking a line between stoicism and sadness.

Lyrically, Branches Of Blood, seems to be a reflection on the scars we all pick along the way, and how they continue to shape us years later. “The girl I love is paper, her heart a cascade of origami swans”, Ryan sings at the songs dawning, later recalling, “she showed the ink that strangers put on her once, screams into bark, cruel calligraphy”. Ultimately the song seems to conclude with a moment of realisation, as Ryan repeats, “run into my darkness every night”, as if declaring, we all have a history, a darkness, and that doesn’t need to hold us back from finding happiness in the here and now. Poetic and intriguing, Self Titled Demon may have taken a decade to come to fruition, thankfully it was well worth the wait.

Self Titled Demon is out January 25th via Five Kill Records. Click HERE for more information on Burly.

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