Carney's songs are soundly structured and affectingly melodic. But for me, their most striking attribute is their perfect balance. He infuses his works with the exactly correct measure of airiness, weight, space and layers of sound. The record's opening track, "Only Son" is one of my favorites. Carney sets the stage with a droning but brightly colored riff, with his vocals low in the mix. I can't really explain why, but the song strikes me as euphoric, and I never fail to hit the replay button a few times. The following "Lion Tamer" begins with darker tones and a more experimental pop arrangement. The delicate vocals and harmonic backing vocals float over the skittering beats, suggesting an inexpressible darkness and anxiety. "Think On" has rightly been compared to the work of Elliott Smith and Nick Drake. On an EP of well constructed songs, this one may be the centerpiece of the songwriter's art. The closing "Death from the Stars" is an instrumental dream pop song that deserves to find a cinematic scene worthy of its contribution to the soundtrack.
Four Songs EP is available now as a digital download from Lo Recordings and various digital retailers.