By the same science of a weighted blanket, Give In, Bryan Away’s five-track EP, is somehow both comforting and heavy.
The EP envelops listeners in a mood, and is perhaps best heard as a whole. With each song, you feel yourself more steadily wrapped up in the delicate-but-hefty emotions. The guitar trickles while the vocals — almost always soft — weave a tight melody. They’re catchy, but not in an ear-worm way. Melodies resolve and lushness builds.
If “Give In” carries a minimalist, ominous sense, “Birthday Song” completes it with a similar bittersweetness, but a build-up that reminds of Radiohead. Jangly guitars run as rich as a forest, but the haunted sense pulls the imagination to nighttime.
Bryan Away has been creating music since he was a child, but he took a break to pursue acting — even playing Ted Danson’s son in Damages — and he returned with his 2016 album, The Educated Youth.
Now, he experiments with Give In, waiting to pull the percussion to the forefront on the low-tide anxiety of “Pour One Out” and the lift of “An Ode to the Dog Days.” But even Away’s more lifted songs carry the evocative sense of mystery. This is what keeps us coming back.