Is the term 'Chi-town' lame yet? I'm suspecting it is. B-town is uber lame already, so surely Chi-town was worn out quite a while back. Either way, it's a little irrelevant as the Chicagoan rapper Tree is not the particular tree in question here, rather a tree grown all the way over the other side of the states; Oliver Tree Nickell, if you will.

A multi branched entity for sure, Nickell has already flirted with various genres spanning ska and psychedelia, all the while having a relatively successful stab at that whole dubstep thing. Now, having expelled all of that from his system whilst only in his teens, Nickell has arrived at some sort of point of musical maturity - very early on, it has to be said. At these crossroads, he could choose to delve back into something he's touched upon in the past, maybe even try out a whole new genre altogether. Another option would be to throw all of his former musical experience into one almighty fucking cauldron, mix it all up into a shimmery, light emanating liquid, smooth it out into record sized ovals and release it to the world. In actuality, he's sort of done all three, and the results are sublime.

The three-track EP opens with 'Demons', a slightly melancholic bass sprawler with intricate percussion bars thread throughout. Rising ever so slightly above Tree's vocals sit those of Lena Kuhn, providing a beautifully sinister contrast of pitch within the chorus. This builds up to a miniature breakdown towards the end, in which the higher wails are twisted inside out to create an almost back-tongued hit of chopped language. It lasts mere seconds, yet it is these little details that hint at the potential of these tracks.

Next, everything gets pretty ambitious - Thom Yorke ambitious, to be precise. The second track is a massively audacious attempt to cover the wonder that is 'Karma Police'. On paper, this is just about everything I should hate summed up in three minutes, a muted shriek of "Sacrilege!" escaping my lips as I realise just what he is doing. The craziest part of this, though, is the fact that it is absolutely brilliant. Soft, xylophonic taps introduce the track as those lyrics pop in, a rather brilliant case of distinctive pronunciation giving them a whole new personality. Choirboy howls back up the vocal bridges, as much heavier drums surround the all too famous hooks of the song. It most definitely should not be my thing, yet it most definitely has become my thing. Covering Radiohead and not entirely fucking up is one thing, but actually making it become a whole different monster whilst doing so is quite the achievement.

The final track, whilst good, is not as strong as the other two. It's intentionally softer, beginning with female vocals once more, and another (less impressive) bout of those warped words. Titled 'Rabbit Hole', it actually depends on these two features as a foundation throughout, making it much more blissed-out and glitter sprinkled to everything else. The lyrics and overall production do suggest a thin mist of darkness, yet it lacks the impact that the other two numbers put forward.

Tree has a serious ability to switch and change the feel that each release gives off, which probably stems back to the various roles experienced in his career. It'll be interesting to watch where this journey takes him next, yet it seems that he has really found a niche in which his talent comes through stronger than ever.