The Long Winters: Ultimatum

The Long Winters
Ultimatum
(Barsuk)

This six-song EP from the Seattle-based group is a collection of reflective, searching songs from the leader John Roderick (Harvey Danger).

The EP is the follow-up to the Long Winters’ breakthrough album When I Pretend to Fall, released four years ago. The new effort opens with the melancholic “The Commander Thinks Aloud” and flows nicely playing out three more new tracks. It ends with two live cuts, “Bride and Bridles” and “Ultimatum.”

Although most EPs either introduce a new band or bridge the gap between releases, Ultimatum clearly stands on its own. The vocals from Roderick come across strong and tall, backed with smitten drum loops and lightly placed guitar parts. The key element here is clever piano playing and orchestrated samples.

The tracks do come off as progressive since the last time we heard The Long Winters and their sweet Americana sound, but if this is any indication of where John Roderick is taking this band, fans will welcome the lovely new sounds.