When Dan Carney was laid up in hospital last year, he didn’t lie around feeling sorry for himself, preferring to write the songs that would be released under the name Astronauts as the terrific Hollow Ponds album in July 2014.

Having made the happy mistake of writing slightly too many brilliant songs to fit on one album, Carney has taken four (count ‘em) more compositions and turned them into the Four Songs EP.

Of the four tracks on the EP, Only Son is the only one to deal directly with Carney’s injury, and it picks up where Hollow Ponds left off, with an insistent, urgent melody and a sweet combination of vocal vulnerability and instrumental solidity.

Through the whole EP, Carney creates a world of mystery and intrigue with the subtle patterns that decorate his music. On Lion Tamer, delicate plinking (technical term) adds playful lightness to what seems like a straightforward song driven by a repetitive bass and guitar refrain, that starts off reminiscent of early R.E.M. track 9-9 before opening up dramatically and beautifully with stunning harmonies. Think On (2003) is tender and reminiscent of Elliott Smith at his fragile best, while the EP finishes with the short atmospheric instrumental track Death From the Stars.

Listen to Only Son:


Watch the video for Lion Tamer:

Buy Four Songs here: http://www.lorecordings.com/release/four-songs/