It is rare for a band to produce two albums in less than two years, but Lydia hates to disappoint. So, to keep their fans at bay before the release of their fifth full-length album in February 2013, they released Acoustics ’12, a small EP that packs a soft but reassuring punch. Originally released only to fans who showed up at the “Up Close and Personal Tour,” which only covered four states, Acoustics ’12 was meant to be an up-close-and-personal thing. But with such a large amount of complaining/crying on their Facebook and Twitter pages, the band decided to release it on Spotify and then as a hard copy via their website.
The EP encompasses five tracks from the last two records that, without a doubt, seem to be made for such a winter ambiance. The intro track, “I’ve Never Seen A Witch,” plays in with odd percussion and xylophone, placing the listener in a lens-whacked dream. The song is without exception seductively haunting and just like in any Lydia album the listener is pulled into the words of front man Leighton Antelman and his desolate obsession with a girl by the name of Hailey. The intro sets the stage for the other four tracks and certainly surprises. The majority of acoustic albums seem to be based around a guitar and some light percussion. Yet it seems with Acoustics ’12, Lydia has gleaned the idea of almost rewriting each one of these songs into a coffee-shop setting. Every song now sounds as casual as Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes” but captures the same emotions the tracks originally conveyed.
These are songs for your personal library, the types of songs you don’t want to share with anyone unless you have a really hot date in your bedroom at one in the morning. The 20-minute length of the EP is perfect timing. No one can deny the unique cries of Antelman as he practically murmurs his lyrics into your heart and thus into the deepest darkest cracks of your past relationships.
Songs like “Best Nights” and “Skin + Bones” are a redemption to the clouded skies that subconsciously sit throughout the majority of Lydia’s music. As the coldest months of the year settle in and you find yourself either needing to snuggle up with someone or just need some soft tracks to validate drunk-dialing your ex, Lydia is right there for you. This album isn’t ground-breaking nor earth-shattering, but it does its job in keeping the fans pastoral until the full-length release in February.