I’m ashamed to write that Seven Long Years by Aussie expat Musketeer has sat in my inbox since late January. I’ve listened to it from time to time but I couldn’t quite get the words together to articulate my thoughts on it. So I left it there, knowing I wanted to write about it but waiting for the right time. As March approaches, I’ve decided there may not be a right time and it’s best just to push that writer’s block out of my mind and write.

Seven Long Years is such an interesting EP. It’s the short form of a concept album really. I’d thought that in four songs that might not work, that you’d need more material to really present a story without glossing over it, but Musketeer handles it beautifully. The EP tells the story of a 19th century British convict sent to Australia’s prison camp. It’s a tale anyone familiar with Australian history is well acquainted with, but one that should resonate with modern listeners in light of the ongoing asylum seeker debate.

The opening song and title track is the most upbeat number on the EP. It has a Mumford & Sons vibe that I really dig, plaintive but rollicking good fun. “Hollow” brings a more sombre and reflective tone to the EP. The following track “Johnny Red” is a stirring epic, a real highlight. “Ticket of Leave” rounds the EP out, leaving us on just the right note.

Musketeer’s raw, rich vocals and the lush orchestral arrangements bring the historic tale to life. The music has an interesting blend of nostalgia and new-folk vibes that instantly drew me in.

Seven Long Years is available for streaming and download on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp. You can also get a physical copy from Musketeer’s online store.

Tour dates are yet to be announced, but Musketeer promises to take the EP to audiences in Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia.

Image used with permission from Musketeer