Over the last couple of years, Petal’s Kiley Lotz has become one of my favorite songwriters. Petal’s 2015 LP, Shame, snuck up on me and became one of my most played albums of 2016. Last week, Petal released a short, three-track EP, Comfort. While Shame was loud at times, a full band affair with distortion, Comfort is mostly Lotz by herself on guitar or piano. Comfort spotlights the strength of Lotz’s songwriting and her ability to create a feeling with mostly just her voice.

The first of the three tracks is the absolutely heart-wrenching title track “Comfort”. It’s just Lotz singing over lightly strummed guitar:

Won’t you please stay with me?
Won’t you please live with me?
I can’t survive without your touch.

Up next is a gorgeous cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Silver Springs”. Hearing Lotz sing these lyrics over just piano makes “Silver Springs” sound so much more intimate than the Fleetwood Mac original, and it feels like a heartbreaker.

The short EP comes to a close with another track of just vocals and piano, “15”.  Lotz’s voice starts out delicately, featuring a conversation between two lovers, starting with an innocuous conversation of “Hi honey, how was your day?/It was alright, I’m Okay, had a long day at the office.” It builds with a little bit of guitar and harmonic “oooh”s before exclaiming “Is there someone else!?”.

Comfort is a stunning and intimate EP. It deals with straining relationships, mental health, and heartbreak. From the introspective and reflective nature of the originals to the cover of a song that surely means a ton to her, you can tell this record came from close to the heart. Part of what drew me in originally to Petal was songs like “Sooner” or “Heaven”, but once you took a good listen you heard how raw and emotional the lyrics were. Here there is nothing to hide behind, no distortion and no other musicians, and that will make Comfort always stand out in Petal’s discography.

Comfort is out now on Run for Cover Records as a 7” and digital download. Purchase the EP at: Physical (Run for Cover) // Digital (Bandcamp)

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