It's been a very prolific year for Joseph Arthur. Vagabond Skies is the third in a series of four EPs designed as lead-ups to the release of his full-length album due out this fall.
This six-song collection is like a musical breather: subtle, understated and considered a return to form of sorts with its mostly folk elements. But Arthur gets a little experimental by interjecting a heavy, howling electronic chorus into "Second Sight."
"She Paints Me Gold," easily the best song on the EP, is an ethereal, delicately fluttering trip that morphs into an epic guitar solo underpinned by a crooning, wordless choir-like refrain.
For the most part, Vagabond Skiespasses pleasantly, but not that remarkably.
As part of a series, the record seems to make sense, but wouldn't be strong enough to succeed as a stand-alone effort.