Call it an EP, call it a single, whatever. The alternative/electronic project Jars of Clay‘s Dan Haseltine and his producer friends have put out a satisfying trio of songs sure to wet the whistle of many music fans. While some may be disappointed at the lack of a full length, they can rest assured that Haseltine is one of the hardest working guys in faith-based music. Given that he and his Jars comrades are hard at work recording their next record, it’s impressive he found the time he did for this well-done side project.
Freaks continues the theme of the His and Hers project by discussing the ups and downs of relationships in a unique way. Opener “Freaks” has a bit of an alt-country vibe with its wobbling riffs fading in and out. The tension of the “boys and the girls and the freaks in the middle” is palpable. This palpable tension is precisely what makes the track fun. More often than not people can relate to being a freak, and this song provides a fun atmosphere to channel that relating ability.
“Birds On a Wire” eases some of the tension with a track that’s just as fun as the one before. The first verse has a melody that I find difficult to get out of my head when pondering this song – usually it is the opposite! The verses are forgettable and the chorus is huge. “Wake Me Up” wraps up the EP with a distinctly 80s vibe. The beat alone is very familiar sounding – it took me awhile to realize I’ve heard it before in many places, such as New Order’s “True Faith” (not the melody, only the drumming!). While the desperate lyrics and fun melody and rhythm are winners here, the track could have done well with a less-is-more approach (it clocks in at nearly six minutes long). While just three new songs might be an underwhelming length, Freaks is a satisfactory answer to the request to keep followers of The Hawk in Paris engaged.