Three from Given EP
Initially available only at performances, this 3 song EP was the prelude to the full length released in 2004. Here is a review from Now on Tour: Review by: Morley Seaver While the sophomore release from Texas singer/songwriter Chris McFarland is only a three-track sampler, all indications are that this is a winner. The music is hard to classify. The artist calls it angry folk music. There is just guitar, (acoustic and/or electric) bass and drums with Chris McFarland's impassioned, often weary, vocals. Think Elliott Smith as a starting point. The first cut, 'Broken Laughter' wheels along before breaking down into a grittier guitar piece complete with urgent vocals. 'Headstones and Names' is a dramatic neo-country/folk mid-tempo twanger with great vocals. He sings with such emotion, you feel he has to exorcise these feelings or risk imploding on the spot. 'What Was Never Said' has McFarland wailing over an atmospheric melody with some restrained guitar. This is an impressive sampler that showcases some above-average songwriting. There is a real sense of intimacy here, as if McFarland is in your living room with you. If this is any indication of the rest of the upcoming record, Given, there's an opus in the making. If you're going on a long drive and need some road music, look no further.