Punch Brothers

Ahoy!

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Recorded during the sessions for 2012's excellent Who's Feeling Young Now?, this five-song EP does little to tarnish the Punch Brothers' reputation for impeccable picking and arranging. The five previously unreleased cuts, which include three covers, one original, and a wistful rendition of the oft-recorded traditional folk tune "The Moonshiner," are presented in the same austere fashion as their predecessors, eschewing excessive multi-tracking for more of an intimate, live feel. The centerpiece, a gorgeous, appropriately melancholy take on Josh Ritter's soul-searching tale of polar exploration "Another New World," leads things off, followed by a sprightly, straight-up bluegrass version of Gillian Welch's "Down Along the Dixie Line." The lone original, the Celtic-infused instrumental "Squirrel of Possibility," is fun, light, and familiar, three words that are rarely uttered in the same sentence when describing the progressive folk outfit's more cerebral offerings, and the EP closer, a gnarly, propulsive version of Welsh punk rockers Mclusky's "Icarus Smicarus," wraps things up with a defiant exclamation point, proving once again that what the Punch Brothers occasionally lack in accessibility, they more than make up for with tenacity.

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