Home Hear Short Subjects | Three EPs That Won’t Waste Your Time

Short Subjects | Three EPs That Won’t Waste Your Time

Alex Southey, Rainy Day Apparel & Guest Directors know how to do more with less.

In the words of the philosopher Ferris Bueller: Life moves pretty fast. So fast that sometimes, you just don’t have time to sit down and listen to a whole album. Well, good news: There are plenty of EPs ready to take up the slack. Here are three recent releases that know how to do more with less:


Alex Southey
Common Fantasies

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “There were a lot of iterations of this EP in my mind at different times. There’s a version where it’s a full album; another where it’s a double album! There’s a version where it’s just three songs. There’s also an option where — why put it out at all? (A classic part of the process, I realise over and over and over). This is the version I went with. I felt like by placing together two delicate acoustic songs along with four bigger, grander songs there’d be this push and pull of inertia.

I wrote the two acoustic tracks at very different times (and over vastly different lengths of time). Twist It, which comes along first, came about days before I was meant to go in to a studio called Raventape. One of those songs where the first voice memo I have of it sounds a lot like the finished version. It’s kind of a mini-cliffhanger song in a way. At the end you feel an instinct to lean forward and there is nothing to catch you.

I wrote the majority of You Want It Brighter (which is a for-no-good-reason play on You Want It Darker, a late Leonard Cohen thing) maybe two-three years ago at an ex-partner’s place. I wrote the bridge like a day or two before I was set to go into the studio to record it.

And for the bigger stuff: All my big ideas would have remained totally abstract if it wasn’t for Alex Gamble, Christina Dare, Gab Lavoie and Craig McCann, who were able to come in and help shape these blue prints into songs with real personality. This happened all the way from practices to live shows to rehearsals for the studio, to the studio, to the mix after the studio.

Just like my last EP (My Nights On the Island) this was a kind of experiment, but unlike my last EP this was more of a collaboration.”


Rainy Day Apparel

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Rainy Day Apparel is the passion project of prairie-born singer-songwriter Nathan Strange. A longtime storyteller and songwriter, Nathan utilizes rich vocals, and warm instrumentation to convey his uniquely wholesome perspectives on the human experience. The music of The Rainy Day Apparel is highly impactful, but does not sacrifice the smooth, gratifying feel of it’s Americana, folk, and heartland rock influences to achieve such brevity. After decades of songwriting experience, Nathan is ready and eager to share his music with a larger audience as he steps into the Manitoban and Canadian music scene.”


Guest Directors
Oh, To Be Weightless in the Sky

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Guest Directors return to dynamic, full-band form after a couple of experimental, home-recorded releases during the lockdown era. For Oh, To Be Weightless in the Sky, the quartet selected five songs that would best benefit from producer Jack Endino’s extensive experience with loud rock bands. The result is a heavier sound still characterized by a strong sense of melody and a dreamy, shoegaze undercurrent throughout. Dual vocals are amped-up on this release, alongside ample layers of guitar candy that are sure to keep your headphones happy.

Opener Another Round (An Echo) is a full-band reimagining of Another Round, which was first home-recorded for the Connected Heavens EP. Inspired by a recent Seattle musician’s autobiography, the song maintains the vocal vulnerability of the original recording while detonating the power of four people recording live and loud.

Spooky and heavy in turns, In the Cellar dips into the darkness of the human psyche, while the music juxtaposes a haunting groove against angular noise, matched by the alternating vocals of the band’s singer-guitarists, Julie D. and Gary Thorstensen.

The propulsive Shipwreck again showcases the dual vocalist approach amidst the tense fury of sonic momentum. Hidden Silos explodes like a Roman candle thick in a pool of brooding psych where wah pedals abound. The EP closes with the quirky rocker Words Disappear — one of the band’s oldest songs that had never seemed to fit with previous recording sets. Given Endino’s rock bonafides, the decision to finally record the banger was a no-brainer.

Oh, To Be Weightless in the Sky reveals the assertively intricate branches Guest Directors have added to the trunk that began growing with their debut, These Beautiful Things, in 2016. A trunk that, like so many others in recent years, twisted in cleverly resourceful ways to weather the times — emerging in full bloom after a summer of sun and anticipation of the rain that awaits.”


Photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn.