EP Review: Minor Characters – Heal Me, Healing Times

If I had to sum up Minor Characters in an idiom it would be “short and sweet.” They’re a band that understands the concept of leave them wanting more, and clocking in at 17 minutes and ten seconds, the band’s new EP sticks to that theme.

The hardworking Chicago foursome dropped their first EP in November of 2011, and their sophomore effort, Heal Me, Healing Times, seems like a natural extension of their debut. Maintaining the same ebb and flow of the last EP, “Heal Me” starts off the album with slow, halting strains that burst into a strong but simple drum backbone. Draped over that backbone are the staples of Minor Characters’ sound: catchy guitar riffs and lead singer Pelletier’s hovering falsetto. Aurora Borealis,the second track of the EP, maintains the catchy riffs with a bouncy and undeniable guitar line overlaid by a story that, when you listen a little closer, might be darker than it first appears.

While still sticking to their strengths, this new EP, especially the second half, is a little more introspective and melancholy than the first. “Sun Trials,” a flowing and soulful track heavy with a sense of ending, explores a relationship cycling through the seasons, “Don’t take me for granted/I don’t know when winter’s coming.” “Expatriates” closes out the album, the band branching out into new territory with a winding and mournful piano ballad about displacement, “Watch out, we left home to be left out.”

While there’s a clear divide in the tempo and tone of the first two songs versus the second, the EP doesn’t feel disjointed – it has a story to tell. The band performs March 1st at Lincoln Hall – if you’re in Chicago I’d suggest you watch them tell it live.

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Posted on by Celeste in Albums

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