Across the EP, Fusilier hypothesizes that the only road to true freedom of the spirit is through radicalization and reimagining. He questions the complexities of the self and the realities of race & sexuality alongside the expectations of the artist, asking: “How can I exist given that the size of my imagination of me doesn’t yet fit into the ways I am seen?”
Themes of violence, youth, alienation, and belonging undergird the collection, while its songs serve as individual love letters to the artists he’s most inspired by, like Nine Inch Nails, Bill Withers, and Fela Kuti. It fits in today somewhere between TV On The Radio, Mitski, and Radiohead with its precise yet opaque lyrics, indie-rock guitar riffs, classical motifs and sometimes-soaring, sometimes-crooning melodies.
Treason aims to pull you into its gravitation with “Peace,” an orchestra of droning synths punctuated by lyrics that embody the Fusilier ethos: “My gift to the world is to die in a whirlwind.”
Lead single “No Words” builds on mantras over percussive clicks and clacks, towards a cathartic end. The song, which twists and shifts like a snake slowly shedding its skin, is a perfect introduction to Fusilier’s sound and to - in his own words - “letting go of the thought that I’m not the main character in my own story.”
Later, EP standout “Lost” builds its merits on a gentle groove, dissonant guitars, and a powerful whisper, then reaches an explosion of self-assurance. “I’m in love with the whole of life,” he sings, presiding over an anxious cacophony. The moments are many when Fusilier accepts the irrational and addresses the psychological divisions that exist in a society that impresses self-doubt. Blake says, “Treason is a sort of purgatory that I wander through, wondering if I belong to the ideal or to the monstrous. It’s a search for a home.”
For Fusilier, the destruction of the theoretical self - or the imagined self - yields profound opportunities for scientific exploration and self-actualization. Yet, by the time Treason comes to its close, Blake begins to accept his interior dialogue’s harsh words. On EP closer “KTA,” against the backdrop of a mind folding in on itself, Blake asks himself quite simply: “Do you really want a new enemy?”
These final moments succumb to a minimalist and melodic frenzy, all to introduce us to its own cycle of self-discovery. Throughout, Treason revolves and revolts, constantly questioning in hopes that an answer appears in the whirlwind.
2. No Words
5. 1000 Words