Jun 22, 2021
By Dom Gourlay
Photography by Ash Scott
Just four weeks after the release of his first track “Burnt and Cold”, musician and recording engineer Rob Slater (The Spills, Crake, Mi Mye, Thank) delivers his second offering under the Carpet pseudonym, with new single “Terror Tear”.
Although equally restless, where “Burnt and Cold” drew its breath from a landscape of tension and unease, “Terror Tear” exhibits more of an anxious energy, with a sense of the uncanny that keeps leading us back to its probing hook “what if I can only follow?”; a worry repeatedly picked at that can’t be left alone. Deviating slightly from the sound of his debut single (which offered a brief glimpse into Slater’s penchant for pop melody), “Terror Tear” displays, in its soft, fizzing, nervous excitement, the full force of his melodic sensibility, its tension gloriously released in the chorus with a sad-pop sigh of relief – and a remorseful acceptance in the realisation “all that’s left is all that’s left me hollow”.
“Terror Tear” mirrors the experience of turning every light off to watch a horror film. A carefully curated shot of adrenaline made of skin crawling metaphors set against a bleak, almost apocalyptic landscape. It is addictive. So much so that you find yourself listening over and over. Its final two lines spur on this compulsive listening as they suddenly unsettle the prior mood, adding sweet to the bitter and a faint element of hope – “I promise I’ll find what I buried between us, I’m sorry that you have to dig out the pieces”. You have no choice but to go back to the beginning to find out if it has any chance of surviving.
Crafted in his own Greenmount Studios, largely in solitude bar some appearances from a few close friends, Carpet is the product of Slater returning to the freedom, mystery and magic that first attracted him to recording on a 4-track cassette recorder as a teen – bringing the spirit of lo-fi bedroom recording into the studio along with that initial excitement and exploration of the home demo.
One third of the team at Greenmount, Slater has worked with countless artists over the last decade, recent names including Yard Act and Jake Whiskin as well as his own band Crake. In-between these sessions Slater spends his time alone, running between rooms, wiping tapes and tracking takes, working up songs from his home-demos onto a beloved 16-track 3M 2” tape machine – a process that Slater has become quite familiar with as well as fond of.