Originally planned as the beginning, The Raleigh Sessions EP turned into a farewell for the band Amely. The seven-song EP was intended for a full-length album, the band’s first, however, this Florida quartet is moving on with other projects. Whatever the reasons, the self-recorded and produced tracks remain this perfect piece of American pop music that was almost never heard.

The first few notes and easy vocals of “Back To Love” are a fine introduction to the EP and when the tempo picks up for the chorus, it takes you along for an upbeat and catchy ride. Beneath the surface, there’s a bittersweet theme that comes up in the lyrics with a yearning and desire for something more, making it more intelligent than your average radio pop rock. There are elements of surf and Southern rock on this EP that make the album a standout and fun to listen to. The eerily direct vocals of Petie Pizarro, which on songs like “Sell Your Alibi,” feel like he is speaking right to you. Matched with effortless and easy musicianship, it feels like the perfect recipe for capturing their audience and never letting go.

The majority of the songs veer a bit too far into the territory of sweet and by-the-book pop music at times. All I could think about is how perfect this or that song would be as background for a commercial or a teenage television drama’s soundtrack. But with catchy hooks as in “Wasted Love,” it’s hard to get these songs out of your head.

In A Word: Wholesome

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