“Save me / I think I’m drowning / And, yeah, I think that you want me to drown / In my own fears / and in my own tears,” New Haven-based musician Myles Tripp sings in the first section of “Save Me,” off his first EP, Recovery. The harmony beneath him is dense, the beat bouncy and glitchy. Tripp has just finished singing his way through a series of twisting lines dense with internal rhymes, phrases that turn on a dime.
Then the beat runs off. The chords beneath Tripp get calmer, a little more lush. But Tripp’s voice loses no urgency. “I put your name on the altar / I told the father I quit / I gave your stuff to your mother / I sat for three hours at a CVS / All ‘cause you played the game / while I stayed the same / Why’d you have to go and do this?”
Recovery is only two songs long, but emotionally it feels like an entire album, thanks to a series of canny musical shifts across “Save Me” and the second song, “1,000 Ways.” The songs together clock in at just under six minutes, but together they move from head-bobbing beats to a cappella to a slow jam that ends with a chorus of sustained electric guitar, a piercing organ, and layers of Tripp’s overdubbed voice.
And where “Save Me” tells the story of the narrator losing someone, “1,000 Ways” casts Tripp as full-on jilted lover, angry, betrayed, and unrepentant in letting his emotions get the better of him. The rawness in the lyrics works. It suggests that singing the song is catharsis, a way to get rid of feelings that might otherwise be put to more destructive ends. If he doesn’t sing about the bad things he wants to do, he might actually do them — and he doesn’t actually want to.
The production, by Zach Bassage, matches the material. It’s lo-fi in just the right way, lending the songs immediacy and intimacy. It gives Tripp an edge to his voice that heightens the emotion. If the songs weren’t written quickly, with a rush of emotion, they come across that way.
The intensity of feeling makes Recovery a bracing listen, six minutes that feel, in a good way, like a much longer emotional journey. But perhaps the best detail (of many) is the organ keeping time at the end of “1,000 Ways,” as Tripp turns his croon into something more anguished and the electric guitar winds down. The chords the organ is playing first feel definitive. Then they begin to head off in another direction before they’re abruptly cut off. It suggests that there’s more to come, maybe soon. Let’s hope so.