It’s been a long road for Nashville singer-songwriter Paul McDonald since his American Idol run, and the emotion on cue in his all-acoustic EP You & I displays that emotion-bound fact in spades. Released as a stripped teaser for his impending crowdfunded full-length album, You & I offers four sincere tracks dealing with themes of love, loss, and the aftermath of each.
Hauntingly sparse piano chords tinge the opening moments of “Slow Rise”, setting the tone for the remainder of the EP with McDonald’s yearning, grit-laden vocals with a brooding sentimentality never really uncovered in his previous work with the Grand Magnolias or Hightide Blues. The emotion set on display by McDonald even outmatches the tangible elatedness in his work with former sweetheart Nikki Reed. Whatever has afflicted McDonald in recent years has improved his songwriting tenfold. You & I is an EP worthy of your ear.