Published Mar 23, 2020You wanted country? Well, you're gonna get it. Simone Schmidt's latest incarnation as Fiver is that of dust-blown country crooner, a distilled vessel of the Southwest's sudden pop culture takeover.
Along with the Atlantic School of Spontaneous Composition — Bianca Palmer on drums, Jeremy Costello on voice and bass and Nick Dourado on lap steel and piano — Schmidt offers two stellar originals and three country classics recast in Fiver's warped, languorous and vaguely psychedelic haze. The EP oscillates subtly between humour and heartbreak — Schmidt is a master of both taking the piss and taking things seriously, of songs sung with a wink in one eye and a tear in the other.
You Wanted Country? Vol. 1 feels decidedly low-stakes; the EP is six songs long, one of which is a bonus track and another an alternate edit of original opener "It Is What It Is." However, it benefits from its off-the-cuff candour, luxuriating in the relaxed energy of four friends playing with and for each other.
The band's background in folk psychedelia reveals itself in the shambolic prog-lite outro of "It Is What It Is (Regular Life Edit)" and the pounding energy of the Jeremy Costello-led rendition of Johnny Paycheck's "It Won't Be Long (And I'll Be Hating You)."
It's a breezy little EP, another chance to bask in Fiver's strange gravitational pull — an old soul in a new body making new songs from old stories. You Wanted Country? Vol. 1 will be a welcome companion to those who need a brief reprieve from all this life; songs to sit on the porch with and watch the world burn. (You've Changed)