Standard EP recipe: Add album rejects, studio scraps, perhaps one or two über-experimental tracks, stir for 15-30 minutes, and serve quickly to fans impatient for the next full-length. Whether the members of Austin's White Denim are unaware of this standard or simply don't care is unclear, but Takes Place in Your Work Space seems specially constructed to break all of these rules. Its four tracks are more inventive, purposeful, and melodically interesting than any EP material has the right to be. The delicate falsetto pop of closer "Company," the Nashville twang of "Handwriting": this is a radical turn for White Denim, and it makes the band's ease of execution here all the more remarkable. For a topper, "No Real Reason" builds slowly from singer James Petralli's carefully restrained falsetto, only to ride wave after wave of layered guitar lines to a stunning climax. It's White Denim's first bona fide torch song, and without question their finest work to date. Atypical though it is, hopefully Work Space will perform the traditional EP function of pointing the way forward for the band. Stay optimistic, because they're seriously on to something.
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)