Closer - EP
On their 2008 EP Closer, Jars of Clay both reconsider familiar tunes and explore some new directions. Released independently, the five-track project finds the group sketching out their sonic ideas under a minimum of commercial pressure. “Closer” and “Safe to Land” (both subsequently included on 2009’s The Long Fall Back to Earth) are atmospheric tracks combining spiritual reflection with rippling synthesizers and murmuring guitars. A newly recorded version of “Love Song for a Savior” has the loose ambiance of a campfire-side concert, while “Flood (New Rain)” punches up the band’s breakthrough hit with a more aggressive rock approach. The most intriguing tune here is “Prisoner of Hope,” taken from the soundtrack to Sons of Lwala, a 2008 documentary about two African medical students returning to their native Kenya. Those who appreciate the band’s more mystical explorations will enjoy this stately, exalted tune. Though short in length, Closer commends itself to any Jars of Clay fan.