There’s a lot to unpack in this new Dave Hause EP, released in conjunction with the Patty EP. While there’s a lot in these five songs, it’s also somewhat on the surface: Hause has released two new covers EP paying tribute to songwriters he admires. Paddy contains five songs written by Patrick Costello aka Paddy of Dillinger Four. To paraphrase, Hause’s goal with this EP was to draw attention to the depth of Costello’s lyricism that’s sometimes lost in the fire, fury and fun of D4.
He certainly accomplishes that with this EP. On first listen it’s admittedly just weird to hear these previously fast and singalong pop-punk gems turned into contemplative ballads. But, ultimately, it works. The melodies remain the same and the words speak for themselves, delivered by Hause with honesty and integrity. It sounds authentic, which (I hope) is the goal of any record. Besides the tempo, the most striking change is the tone. D4 songs tend to feel inclusive and cathartic, whereas these renditions are reflective and more outward-looking. Instead of looking out at the world, it feels as though Hause is looking in the mirror instead. The record simultaneously has me appreciating newly revealed details in the songs, going back and listening to the originals, and getting the new versions stuck in my head on repeat.
To get all personal, when the shutdowns started this year my secret hope was a new D4 record. (I mean, what else are they gonna do, right?) That hasn’t come to fruition, but this record delivers something for the D4 fan while successfully crossing musical boundaries. With soulful delivery and songs about the harsh realities of working-class life in America, Paddy will also appeal to people who are listening to these songs for the first time, unaware of the original versions. It’s not a novelty covers record; it’s a painful and timeless cry about injustices facing the working class.
Stay tuned for a Patty review.