The emotional opening of the Needles EP will immediately catch the minds and hearts of anyone listening in. This is not only due to Zweng’s vocals but the arrangements that are present here. There are a multitude of different layers that work to highlight the vocals, and give listeners simultaneously a high replay value for the disc’s three tracks. Zweng moves through alternative, pop-rock, and alt-country all in the space of four minutes. With a little bit of piano and choral vocals added into the mix, what results here is an epic track conceived, executed, and finished all in the course of four minutes.
“Morning After” is the middle track on the EP, and it allows Zweng to switch into a more funky, trippy type of headspace. While Zweng’s vocals are still the defining presence on this part of the Needles EP, I feel that each piece present here unites into a fulfilling and impressive composition. With a set of vocals that approaches that of a Sean Lennon or Conor Oberst, the styles and influences that are touched upon during each of the EP’s cuts speak to a decidedly different type of fan base. This EP ends with “City Something”, a track that I feel gives listeners the most honest and touching side to Zweng’s psyche.
“City Something” has a slower and more introspective feel that resounds loudly long after the disc closes up. Taken together, the three tracks on the Needles EP provide listeners with a solid appreciation of who Zweng is, where he has been, and it will only be a matter of time until they are provided with where he will go in the next few years. The only thing that I know is that the Needles EP is solid, and will be a title that stays in the player until new music is released from his side of things.
Top Tracks: Needle, Morning After
Ryan Zweng – Needles (CD EP) / 2011 Self / http://www.myspace.com/zweng