Twin Falls, Idaho, is not a place that typically sparks nostalgia about anything, but Ron Pope’s soft crooning about it works as a way into his latest EP, Worktapes. The spartan track, with only piano and accordion backing up Pope’s orotund vocals, sets the mood for the rest of the album. The tracks that follow are a warm, quiet, listen-at-night-while-driving-in-the-rain creation that showcases the best of the independent artist.
The seven-track release is a bite-sized sequel to his 2017 album Work — an upbeat, more energetic collection of songs. In contrast, Worktapes is mellow and raw; straight narrative songwriting that provides a more lyrical meditation. It is a collection of aural Polaroids.
The only embellishment on the EP comes from a host of collaborations with other musicians. While the ultimate feel is that of Ron Pope, alone in a studio, playing by himself, the appearances by Ray Charles (trumpet), Mike Riddleberger (drums, Bleachers), and co-producer Ted Young (percussion, The Rolling Stones), to name a few, add that extra hint of depth that pulls the album together.
Ron Pope plays the Top Hat Mon., Feb. 12, at 8 PM. with the National Parks and the Heart Of. $20/$17 advance.