In or Out
Look Me in the Eye
Miles & Miles
Follow You Down
Fire Escape (Catherine Marks Remix) [feat. John Paul White]
Miles & Miles (Acoustic + Strings)
Fire Escape (Remastered)
Since the release of his first solo EP in 2008, singer/songwriter Matthew Mayfield has combined a folkie’s brooding introspection with a rocker’s volatile passion. The Birmingham, Ala., native’s secret weapon has been his sense of craftsmanship—whether he’s lamenting lost love or praying for a new start, he’s always backed up his rough-hewn charisma with a gift for cogent lyrics and killer chorus hooks. Irons in the Fire—an 8-track EP combining new songs with revamped versions of older tunes—reaffirms his artistic virtues in a variety of settings. The lead track, “In or Out,” is a boldly confrontational love song delivered by Mayfield with his trademark anguished growl. A pervasive melancholy tempered by stubborn defiance echoes through the new material, whether the sonic approach is upbeat and electric (“Look Me in the Eye”) or moody and acoustic (“Miles & Miles,” “Follow You Down”). A remastered version of “Tonight” and a nuanced remix of “Fire Escape” (featuring vocals by The Civil Wars’ John Paul White) stand out among the remaining tracks. Musically diverse and emotionally cathartic.