No Cigarettes is a delightfully whimsical opener to this EP, the vocals are winsome and fragile, while the music is gentle piano and guitar. It’s something you imagine cropping up on recent releases by Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, it’s that lovely. Over an opening beat from an old Pong machine, the lyrics of Oldsmobile Car arrive, recorded in a cupboard while the guitar tries to keep up. Rumbly drums and percussion pop in to round things out a bit, before the game machine is unleashed again for the bridge. When the song comes back in, its like a backwater pub singalong, you only wish the vocals were a bit clearer. Big Ten Four (Paul’s Song) is back to the feel of the opener, but more maudlin, the cracked vocal and piano leaving you heartbroken. Imagine Wayne Coyne singing alt country. R U Courageous is even more brittle, the melodies on the chorus making you think of a family fighting back the tears at a wake. That doesn’t sound like a compliment, but it’s that emotional it’s certainly meant as one. It’s a great end to a lovely downbeat EP.
You’re Not Alone EP is out now on SL Records
Withered Hand myspace is here