REVIEW: "Plebeian" by Treasure is a relaxing, contemplative experience
Treasure is both soulful and spacy, toeing a fine line between R&B, bedroom pop, and indie rock. Originally pitched to me as “Blood Orange meets HOMESHAKE,” I can hear the comparisons, though this thought is much more provable when listening to 2020 project Nostalgia: The Prelude than Treasure’s newest EP Plebeian (Demo).
That’s okay though, because, for an EP made up of demos and unfinished thoughts, it’s still a joy to listen to. Once the opening track “Self-restraint” really kicks in, it whisks you away into Treasure’s self-made fantasy world of pulsing synths and gently plucked guitar strings. Ending on a psychedelic note with an undercurrent of pitched-up vocal melodies, “Self-restraint” is less of a song than it is a study of the energy that Treasure can bring to the table, and it acts as an unabashed welcome to the project.
There are a few traditionally structured songs on here among the experiments. “Conversations with Friends,” “Enjoy the Ride (Free),” and “What We Do in the Dark” are the centerpieces of the EP and they’re all completely different. “Conversations” is almost a straightforward coffee shop ballad, if not for the sparkling synths that close it out. “Enjoy the Ride” and “Dark” both have more of a hip-hop influence, featuring chill beats that carry Treasure’s warm vocals on top. “Enjoy the Ride” is the more unique of the two, slowing down when it needs to slow down and adding vocal effects where effects are of dramatic use. “What We Do in the Dark” is explicitly a demo, but I do enjoy the flow to this one; it reminds me of the best of Brockhampton, especially with the pitched-up vocals toward the end of the song.
The other tracks on the project are the glue that holds it all together. They aren’t the focus, but that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. “Heal Me” uses a sample of a seagull call so that it almost sounds like a synth (very cool) and “THE HEIST V2” is a gorgeous 55 second treat to end the EP on.
If you’ve never listened to Treasure before, I’d recommend starting with Nostalgia and Suffocation & Air before coming to this EP. They serve as more effective encapsulations of his euphoric sound than Plebeian does. However, if you find that you love what those projects contain, Plebeian is still a fun project to spin, especially if you’re trying to relax or focus.
McKinzie Smith is a former film student from Portland, OR. In her adolescence, she followed Fall Out Boy up and down the West Coast. She now considers herself very cool and normal and only a little bit emo. She now spends most of her time listening to Charli XCX in her kitchen and writing articles about things she likes.