Peasant Moon: Fading in the Light EP

Peasant Moon

There is something stereotypical about a duet. Everyone assumes it has to involve a guy and a girl professing endless phrases of love to each other. This assumption comes from famous duets such as “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “I Got You, Babe.” Because songs like these involved happy romantic relationships, every other duet should do the same, right?

Wrong. 

This past year, a new EP called “Fading in the Light” was released by Peasant Moon, the Sydney-based duo of Harvey Russell and Josie Rothwell. The two came together in 2013 and mainly perform acoustic songs in the folk, country, and Americana genres. Using a mix of guitar, violin, piano, and other instruments, the sound these two have is so beautiful and harmonious. Russell’s smooth, husky vocals work remarkably well with Rothwell’s sweet, melodious tones. You can feel a strange chemistry between their voices, but what makes their music so incredible is how their songs’ subject matters twist people’s assumptions concerning duets. 

The EP includes five songs. All of them deal with the subject of relationships, but they are much different than the traditional duet. My personal favorites are “Fading in the Light,” “Homecoming,” and “Lift the Curtains.” “Fading in the Light” is about a loss of understanding between the narrator and another. Listeners hear both similes and metaphors such as, “I could be your blue bird/But I’m not going to fly” and “I’m like the shoes you bought/But you never wear.” It seems the two could be together, but there is something preventing perfect harmony. The narrator refuses to explain why because he claims she is “fading in the light.” I love this song because it can work for all relationships, not just the romantic ones. The truth revealed within this song is that relationships may sometimes drift apart if they’re not strong enough. You either have to make it work or go on your own path. 

“Homecoming” has a steadier rhythm, with its catchy and consistent background guitar and percussion. One interesting thing about this song is when the narrator asks questions such as “When is my homecoming?” and “When is my day going to come?” Throughout the song, he continues to ask questions that seem like they will remain unanswered. Towards the end, however, listeners hear Josie sing “I am the one/Who will come back for you/I will not run/I had no time to choose.” She seems to be answering the narrator’s questions simultaneously, which means that not every question will be answered, but he has an answer. I find this really cool because it maintains the narrator’s pursuit of questions and avoids a completely happy ending, still changing the duet stereotype. 

Finally, “Lift the Curtains” is the closest to a traditional duet and it is my favorite track on the EP. At the same time, it has the most significant shift from the stereotype. The song opens with a guy and girl meeting and they appear to fall in love at first sight. Russell sings “I see you there with those big doe-eyes” and Rothwell sings “I see you in that old denim shirt.” The lyrics are quite poetic, though they seem to add onto the duet cliché. This changes when they get together one night and both wonder if the other person will still be there in the morning. This is an amazing turnabout that really deepens the meaning behind the song and duets altogether, especially when looking at the entire EP.

In the past, duets were happy and romantic, but as relationships change, so does the duet. These days, the duet needs to be darker and ask questions because happy endings for couples are scarce. Divorce rates are rising and people break up all the time. There is no way to confirm that lovers will never fall apart. This EP shows us that everyone must strengthen their resolve and show active commitment in their relationships. It’s a powerful truth everyone needs to hear, so go ahead and check out Peasant Moon and “Fading in the Light.”  Don’t let this opportunity disappear.

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