Wise Blood‘s These Wings is short, only 17 minutes long. But that’s fortunate, in a way, so that when the key to unlocking the EP’s secret optimism comes in its second-to-last track “The Lion,” it’s not too late. It’s like a surprise sweet kiss goodbye or perfect breeze through the car window as you pull out the driveway—you were on your way out, but actually, you know what, there’s always more time to hang out, so you turn back and go another round. The beat on “The Lion” is the EP’s simplest: before the angelic chorus and tuba plomps come in, only a bass guitar backs Chris Laufman, providing simple clarity when he boasts one of the record’s most lingering lyrics, Baby, I ain’t no man, I’ve got to confess/ I’ll probably kill ya just to try on your dress. Laufman has a way of sampling—which forms the backbone to all Wise Blood songs—where in order to sever a clip from its original context and rework it into his own deal, sounds can get canned a little junky. But the instrumental on “The Lion” is so crisp and so pretty it sets your mind to revisit other tracks for their own crisp and pretty parts, like the dripping guitar line on “I’m Losing My Mind” or the cadre of mmhmms and never-nevers throughout “Loud Mouths.” These Wings is available from Dovecote digitally on August 13th and on vinyl September 13th.
Stream: Wise Blood’s These Wings EP