SQÜRL, fronted by American avant-garde film director, actor and composer Jim Jarmusch, released their first EP (appropriately called EP #1) in May of 2013 and it proved to be an impressive, if oft-inaccessible, debut for the trio (rounded out by Carter Logan and Shane Stoneback). In November of 2013, the band’s second EP, named (wait for it) EP #2, was released, and follows its predecessor’s path of “no path at all”.
That said, EP #2 is a slight improvement over the admittedly quality tracks on the first extended play. In response to the first release’s song “Pink Dust”, EP #2 starts with the song “Purple Dust”, a mostly instrumental (save for voice sampling), driving experimental rock track that would perfectly fit with a long driving scene in one of Jarmusch’s films. “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry” is a psychedelic blues track with almost indecipherable, multi-layered vocals that feel like something out of a weird dream. “Tangier ‘57” is as close to the feedback-heavy experimentation of EP #1 and reminds one of the ambient sounds of any given film in the David Lynch canon, but its distorted guitars and almost anti-rhythmic drums keep this firmly in the psychedelic rock subgenre of ultra-indie music. “The Boat of Love” is the final track of this mere 20 minute release and begins as a pleasant, 1950s-style ballad that builds into a fuzzy, indie-rock wall of sound that Sonic Youth would be proud of.
Jarmusch’s music continues to be as “independent” as his films and judging from Squrl’s damn good second release, the music had better stay that way.