It’s been three years since Eric Paslay released his self-titled debut LP on EMI Nashville, and its follow-up has been a long time in the making. Paslay released two singles more than a year ago that are slated to appear on that album, “High Class” and “Angels in This Town,” but put a new spin on things with his new EP The Work Tapes, a collection of works in progress that are a marked change from his usual pop-country polish.
Opening track “Less Than Whole,” which you can hear above, originally appeared on Eric Paslay and is an example of the contrast in style. Mostly just Paslay and his acoustic guitar, these are stripped-down demos, some of them recorded on an iPhone, done in the spirit of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. Some of the five songs, like “Amarillo Rain,” even share the melancholy spirit of Springsteen’s celebrated album, but others, like “Back Home to You,” have a much more uptempo feel.
Last year, Paslay told Rolling Stone Country that he wanted to explore more sides of himself on his sophomore album, a trend that the EP would seem to follow. “I’m guilty of being introspective,” he said at the time. “But I am also guilty of being a goofball, and having fun.”
The Work Tapes are available digitally today. Paslay performs tonight at the Watershed Festival in Quincy, Washington.
The Work Tapes EP track listing:
1. “Less Than Whole” (Eric Paslay and Big Kenny)
2. “Amarillo Rain” (Eric Paslay and Amy Stroup)
3. “Back Home to You” (Eric Paslay and Carey Ott)
4. “Come Back to This Town” (Eric Paslay and Dean Alexander)
5. “Let Go” (Eric Paslay, Dylan Altman and Rose Falcon)