While his past music had been called “angry folk” by some, this Brooklyn musician doesn’t sound so angry in his new 5-song EP. Chris McFarland’s Beauty And Undertow (End Up) simply sounds like someone with a lot of hopes, dreams, and desires, and when things aren’t going the way he wants (as he describes in the first verse of “Wild Abandon”), he just goes the other way and pushes himself in song, which indirectly will drive his listeners to perhaps do the same. The songs on the EP go from intimate pieces where it’s just him and a guitar to a full on band who rock out as if Lenny Kravitz were backed by Soul Asylum. Check out the closing track, “Simple Selfish Plan”, which is a song one might hear while contemplating stepping off a mountain into the ocean show below, but it’ll make you step back as you realize how much you’re going to miss. Yes, your simple selfish plan is not a good one, so take it to someone and find a better way.
One can imagine McFarland being this generation’s Bruce Springsteen if he wanted to go down that route, but perhaps all McFarland wants to do is be able to tell his stories through his own songs, and if longevity comes along with his music exchange between himself and an audience, even better.
(Beauty And Undertow will be released on August 21st.)