Published Jul 23, 2020It's always a careful balancing act as a songwriter to not only express yourself in a way you can remain extremely personal, but that still appeals to the universal themes we all can relate to. As a former member of Brandon, Manitoba, trio the Middle Coast, Dylan MacDonald is no stranger to the road or the studio. Far removed from his old band's yacht-rock sound, MacDonald has a knack for simple, sticky melodies that stay with you long after You Were's five songs finish.
The type of immersive prairie songwriting of which MacDonald seems fond gives the songs a comfortable, familiar feel, even if it's the first time you are hearing them. It may be the unmistakable themes of love, heartbreak and the yearning for something that isn't there anymore that gives the EP its warmth.
Using simple, enduring melodies, subtle pedal steel, a compendious guitar sound, sure-handed, utilitarian drumming, restrained Wurlitzer keys and understated bass lines, MacDonald employs the less is more approach, without sounding like something is missing in the arrangement. If this EP is any indication, he is definitely on the right path with Field Guide. (Birthday Cake)