November 1991 must have been a special moment for the lovelorn duo of ‘The Pucketts’ in their debut EP ‘Blood Oath.’ The date titles the closing track of the song, a nearly a capella piece of whimsical beauty. It displays the songstress at a peaking vulnerability mixed with utmost confidence, a balance very few singers can properly maintain. On one hand, the sullen effort is debased and slightly affluent; the other it is seductively impactful and quite gorgeous. With no melody outside the vocals, the song is even more recurrent.
The Pucketts is a wife and husband duo, who recalls instant puppy-like groans from my own wife who thinks I should pick up a guitar and back her own upbeat voice. But this isn’t some silly idea. The Pucketts manage to inspire, and not only by their construct, but by the melodies and the music. See, tracks like ‘Berlin’ seem so simple in their design. A single rotating melody drives the song, as layered banjos and other such sounds compliment gracefully, adding a slight thickness to give it more substance without ever drowning out the voice or the main instrument. What we have are songs that seem so brilliantly simple, a smooth and intelligible calmness throughout the whole EP. The closing a capella takes this to the extreme, but the remaining tracks are transparently composed and elegantly lucid.
So when one hears that the married duo composed these songs in what seems like a cottage on the lake, you feel entranced and you relate to it. You impose their craft in yourself. I can pick up a guitar! I can sing a ditty with my wife and paint a lyrical landscape! ‘Polaris’ angelic and plain, but never boring. It’s folk, it’s indie, but it never faults into boring folk-indie rock mainstream hooks that seem to be far more poppy than they ever ought to be. The EP, though short as it is, is an unvarnished attempt at honest indie music, channeled through the obvious love of music and the obvious love in the lyrics. The fact that the duo is married (and we can only hope happily) is only the icing on the cake- the affirmation of a loyal listener.
‘Blood Oath’ is one long song to me, a shortened EP of five tracks that flow softly and blissfully. The album crescendos, however slight, with the strings in the title track. But this is a singular idea, a conceptual flash in the pan that recalls love and the wilderness.
The Pucketts and are fresh babies to the musical scene; having ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund this debut. What a way to begin. Their music remains an enchanting example of what emotions can procure when fame and fortune are not the final step.