On opening track "The Things We'll Never Do," the ukelele-toting singer-songwriter spits out a lovelorn tune with the same bitter snarl of The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, lamenting, "You and I will never raise a bunch of chickens/You and I will never argue all night long/You and I will not have makeup sex/Or at least not for a very, very long time/You and I may never know what we did wrong." But where Darnielle's vocals are adenoidal and cloying, dominating The Goats' arrangements, on this self-produced, five-track EP, Shay's pipes--though they could use some tuning--soften the impression with a jaunty ukelele and sweet back up harmonies. As with "Your Savior Isn't Coming," Shay's songs have a bit on sting to them, but that uke keeps things uptempo and bright.
Aaron J. Shay will release his EP this Friday at the Fremont Abbey with Ian McFeron. Tickets available here.