New indie EPs stand on their own 

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Characterizing this fall’s EP offerings as mere castoffs from longer works would be a mistake. Austin newcomers Nobody’s Girl, for instance, stand out as a major act in the making, while the short subjects from Waxahatchee, Iron & Wine and Ought are worthy palate cleansers in the wake of recent major albums.

The three folk-country women in Nobody’s Girl — BettySoo, Grace Pettis, and Rebecca Loebe — have dabbled as a harmonic trio at Kerrville and other venues, but the seven tracks on Waterline (Lucky Hound) meld their vocal harmonies — which sometimes bring to mind country trio I’m With Her — with harder guitar licks suggestive of all-woman band The Aces. This debut EP also includes a cover of Blondie’s “Call Me,” as well as two versions of the original “What’ll I Do.”

Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee’s Great Thunder EP (Merge), meanwhile, reaches back to her more youthful work with new versions of six originals. The tracks are simple, unadorned voice-and-piano works that complement her full-band efforts.

Then there’s Sam Beam’s latest effort Weed Garden (Sub Pop), which features tracks he left off last year’s Iron & Wine album. Okay, they’re technically remainders, but they still deserve to see the light of day. All six songs, particularly “Last of Your Rock ‘n’ Roll Heroes,” are beautiful compositions in their own right.

Finally, the Canadian oddball ensemble Ought’s Four Desires (Merge) give us four remixes of the track “Desire” from the early 2018 album Room Inside the World. While not essential, the new EP’s availability solely on cassette and streaming formats adds that much more to its eclectic fun.


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