The Fiery Furnaces

EP (Rough Trade)

The Fiery Furnaces, the Brooklyn sibling duo that could, are restless. With their second full-length Blueberry Boat only six months the elder, they now send EP toddling out into the world. Its girth wide enough for LP clout, EP is a neat assembly of B-sides and new material. Tracks are strung together in the same charmingly breathless mode featured in their live performances. Opener "Single Again" narrates a series of unfortunate marriages experienced in quasi out-of-body fashion by singer Eleanor Friedberg. It's a mesmerizing track, exemplary of the band at its musical and lyrical best, reinforced with painfully comic lines like "My husband he died/and I laughed and I cried /to think I was single again." Elsewhere, the alt-version of "Tropical Ice-Land" barrels forth with the gusto of a pile driver, and "Cousin Chris" features the two dazzling us with their tongue-twisting talents.

Clearly, the Furnaces are a pair of lonely and astute Midwestern transplants all grown up, their childhood reveries evolved into musical form. EP is equally complex and fantastical, destined to rein in indie ignoramuses who couldn't handle the sprawling landscapes of the longer stuff. Look out for a double-disc of duets with Grandma Furnace and new material rumored for late spring.

 
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