Tucsonan Tracy Shedd switches from guitar to piano for a new EP that explores a somber and more delicate sound, reveling in the lightly swaying melodies.
EP88 is five songs that go well with a relaxed twilight, hushed and moody, but satisfying, like a slow stretch. Building the album around the piano also pares down the reverb and feedback, which pushes Shedd's smooth and dreamy vocals to the forefront.
"City at Night" begins with a lyrical image that could reflect a familiar Tucson—"the dust in the background, the cascading lights"—but suggests her Jacksonville, Fla., hometown as it continues, "the docking boats, with nowhere to go." That sense of reaching back is a recurring theme; the EP's cover features shoreline and fishermen (her father's livelihood).
While built mostly on a lush bed of piano and strings, the EP doesn't abandon the guitar (played by Shedd's husband James Tritten), which can suddenly drop its complementary role to flare up in a storm of buzzing feedback.
"How Your Eyes Affect Me" is a slow-burner that starts with an intertwining piano and guitar before adding a steady drumbeat and clear, bright vocals that draw out lyrics of yearning and passion.
The intensity peaks on album closer "Husbands and Wives," which stretches to nearly seven minutes as Tritten's wild, droning guitar keeps circling, frantic and feverish.