While two years between releases might seem like an eternity for some bands, fans of Wood Ear might be surprised to hear the new EP, Electric Alone, following so quickly after its predecessor. Though he began writing Wood Ear songs in 2001, it wasn’t until 2006 that Nate Tarr self-released Wood Ear’s debut EP The Hard Way, thanks to a gift of some analog tapes that had been found in the trash. Six years and numerous personal challenges later, the band followed up with Steeple Vultures on Churchkey Records, more frequent live shows, and a growing profile throughout the Southeast.
Having begun as a solo act most easily comparable to Jay Farrar, Wood Ear’s growth into a full rock band has allowed Tarr to put forth songs that channel the likes of J. Masics and Paul Westerberg as well. The full-framed rock sound that surprised some on Steeple Vultures has become a staple of Wood Ear’s live show, and Electric Alone pushes the Durham, NC band even further in that direction.
The songs on Electric Alone reveal that the struggles haven’t stopped, continuing to tackle pain and loneliness, but also opening the door to fresh starts and forgiveness. Sometimes that glimmer of hope is what it takes to keep you going—here’s hoping it will lead to a continued stream of output from Wood Ear.
1. Pack of Cards
2. Shake It Off
3. A Kind Tongue
4. New Energy
Stream or download “Pack of Cards,” the opening track from Electric Alone, via Bandcamp: