The title track kicks things off. Powerful political lyricism meets alt-country nostalgia. Tiller’s gritty vocal sits perfectly amongst the acoustic guitars and dobro. Think Steve Earle meets The Lumineers. Working on multiple levels, the uplifting choruses belie the heartbreaking subject matter.
The following track 'In the Dead of the Night' builds on the same textures as Battle Ready, although more dreamy in atmosphere. Similar themes of the struggles with the notion of truth and suspicion are present. As with each track on the EP this song bears repeated listens. In a similar way to Leonard Cohen or Bruce Sprinsteen’s very best story-style songs, more subtleties and layers are revealed in the narrative with each mash of the repeat button.
The Tinman follows as the third track on the EP. More country sounding and upbeat than the previous two tracks. Tiller deftly touches on fairy tales and classic cinema to get his point across.
The final track Broken Now is the standout track on the EP. Sounding like Death Cab For Cutie at their peak. You feel chills as the ghostly vocal tells a story of past mistakes and regret. Haunting and beautiful, confessional songwriting really doesn’t get much better than this.
This is a highly recommended EP. Battle Ready is out November 2019 on Harp Records.