This summer She Returns From War released their first EP of 2014, a hazy four song listen with a surf-rock vibe at times thanks to the simultaneous bending of six strings complimenting Hunter Park’s laid back vocal approach. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon EP with an acoustic gem in “Little Pharaoh” at the finish line. In comparison, their new self titled EP makes a statement that the Coyote Soda EP did not. Park’s vocals and lyrics take center stage, both powerful when the song calls for it and dialed back with hushed melodies like in “Dancin’ on your Grave” and “Taylor Made” when it needs to be. On this EP her lyrics have nowhere to hide. They’re clear and crisp at the forefront of every track commanding your listen and interpretation. There’s an underlying darkness lyrically solidified often by haunting steel guitar, minor chords, and Jesse Ledford’s voice which cuts through clearly, serving as a companion voice with personality, whether she’s emphasizing lyrics by repeating them or adding layered depth with oohhs and aahhs.
There are no let down songs on this EP. Each song commands attention with sharp lines like “my mother thinks my skin is made of mirrors/so fragile is never what she means”. Park’s lyrics stay vulnerable throughout, making the connection between listener and author a natural emotion as your guard comes down. When the EP dips down with the beautifully fragile “Taylor Made” it picks right back up with the cutting and unforgiving “Ain’t Your Town”. “Taylor Made” is carefully crafted with haunting drums and a soft organ which plays as an essential under coating, before dropping out adding emphasis to the repeat of the opening line. With the longest track lasting only 3:27 the EP is a quick listen. Some of the songs seem to end too soon, but it’s more that the band makes their statement and moves on to the next gothic landscape.
If your self titled album is saved for your truest sound of your band, then She Returns from War have found a good place. Recorded at the Jam Room in Columbia, SC to two-inch tape, Zac Thomas did a great job of not over complicating these four songs with unneeded effects. Most of the slight manipulations stay hidden in the background with instruments and layers of background vocals that never detract from the song itself. In addition to engineering the album, Thomas also had a hand in releasing the EP both digitally and on 7 inch vinyl format on his new record label 10 Foot Woody Records started with fellow Jam Room employee and Stereofly creator Greg Slattery.
She Returns the War celebrate the Columbia release of their new EP 11.20.14 at Conundrum Music Hall with Post Timey String Band and Fall off a Building.