It seems like the latest trend happening in music is the 3-track release. More than just a single and a b-side, but not quite an EP, the 3-track offers up a sampling of what artists have to offer. Here are a few new additions to our 3-track collection…
Out of Portland, The Lonesome Billies establish a fun and feisty honky tonk sound that blends seamlessly with their vintage-styled, darkly-tinged lyrics. This is definitely a band that us desert-dwellers can get behind. The 3-track opens with “Oh My Friend”, a tune that will have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet, preferably on a sawdust-covered barroom floor. The Day I Lost My Life then moves into the title track, a personal favorite from the EP. Closing the album, and completing our theme, is “Die Lonesome” which is a bit more brooding than the previous two tracks, something I can definitely get behind. Give The Day I Lost My Life a listen here and consider purchasing your very own copy.
Phoenix emo-rockers known as Merit released The Sun Will Rise early in March before heading out on a whirlwind tour of 15 shows in 15 days. The EP opens with “Drago”, a terse but impactful expression of heartbreak. That pretty much is the feeling in the tracks to follow as well. “Pops” carries a stronger sense of the loss of a parent than romantic discord. “Elizabeth” closes the 3-track, a song that, by comparison to the ones preceding it, is almost-hopeful. Sorry to say you missed your chance to score The Sun Will Rise on record. It was, alas, limited edition with only 25 (in white vinyl) available online and 25 (in purple) available from the band during their tour. Rumor has it, there are a few cassette copies still available, but you can still get the EP digitally here.
This 3-track album from Siena Riley was a favorite find of mine this week. Her 2015 EP contains three ruminating tracks delivered in a Riley’s smokey monotone reminiscent of those 90s grrl rockers that stole my teenage heart. Opening with “I am a Stone”, we find a perfect combination of stripped down musicality and a lyricism that expresses dark, complex emotions through the lens of calm reflection. The second track, “Cotton”, continues this association. It is perhaps the most angst-ridden track on 2015 EP which is saying something given the album’s brooding nature. “The High Song” picks up the pulse before the ending the release. I definitely recommend giving Siena Riley out of L.A. a listen. You can preview and purchase her 2015 EP right here.
The indie electro-pop trio known as Japanese Large is gearing up to release Miles Away, but you have an early chance to hear (and purchase) this 3-track. The EP will “officially” be available later this month. Miles Away begins with “Western Mile”, a dreamy and ambling number that clocks in at over seven minutes. Seven minutes you will probably not even notice slipping away from you. “Correct, Incorrect” follows, turning up the energy level ever so slightly. “Until the Day” closes the EP on a chill note. Give Miles Away a listen here.
In order to write this review, I have to admit two harsh truths I’d prefer to keep to myself. First, sometimes a band only has 10 seconds to impress me before I move on to the next album. Sorry. The second harsh truth is this: I was moving my cursor to access a new link when The Rain Delay saved it at the very last second and managed to secure my interest. “Albuquerque (On My Mind)” starts a little rough, but don’t hit the skip button. They’ll come through for you. Emo, acoustic, and rocking, the track has enough aggression to not make you feel like a pansy while you’re emoting. The title song comes in second, mellowing the energy but not the angst before “This Isn’t My Grave” closes the EP on a similarly heartbreaking note. Released on Valentine’s Day, no less, you can hear/purchase Carnivals & Funerals here. The Rain Delay will also be performing live on April 11th at the Nile Theater – and it’s all ages!