By the time Short in the Sleeve released their EP, A Broken Heart and Some Chords, in August 2014, the band had already begun to venture beyond that disc’s subdued arrangements in their live performances, with the rhythm section of Kevin Jenkins (drums) and Kyle Reed (bass) fully in tow, and Candace Plaisance bringing on board a new, dynamic vocal dexterity. Bolstered by their increasing cohesion as a band and the favorable reception of the EP (Bob Mehr of the Commercial Appeal described it as “pitched somewhere between rural roots and spare singer-songwriter sophistication . . . a strong brace of material”), Short in the Sleeve set their sights on recording their first full-length album. A Message Lost Down the Wire, the resulting 11-song LP recorded and mixed by Pete Matthews and Toby Vest at High/Low Recording, deftly captures the band’s diverse musical tastes. From the buoyant, full-bodied folk rock of songs like “Till You Came Along” and “Some Things Never Change,” to the quirky, time signature-changing rock of “Sherry Island,” to the quiet rumination of tracks like “One and the Same” and “One If by Land,” the album offers listeners the sonic and emotional swells of the band’s live show.
- Dustin Meyer
- Mitch Rossow