Four Winds

This EP from the prolific, megatalented Conor Oberst is the kind of thing you suspect he could turn out every month or so: one hot single and five relatively good B sides, all from the same sessions that birthed Bright Eyes' forthcoming LP. Soundwise, it's no great departure from his earlier work. Oberst lays his typically solid melodies and heartfelt croak over both lovely acoustic stuff and rocking backup, including the Crazy Horse guitar attack of "Stray Dog Freedom" and the mishmash of upbeat country and strings on "Tourist Trap." The standout is the title track, a fiddle-laden romp where Oberst drops agitated spew and abundant catchiness (plus a W.B. Yeats reference). Though ninety-five percent of American songwriters might wish they'd written any of the other five songs, they're Oberst's B sides for a reason — hopefully because he's saved the killer stuff for the full-length.