Willodean is a Los Angeles-based trio that combines indie-rock, power-pop, and American roots music with beautiful arrangements and crystalline studio sound. Their music echoes the melodic smarts of Sufjan Stevens and packs the instrumental punch of a band like Wilco. The band artfully weaves synths into their recordings alongside traditional instrumentation while their songs explore classic themes. Songwriter Randy Wooten is fertile composer, writing for this band and an array of others as well.

The unique sound of this left coast band is due to the diverse musical backgrounds of its three members: the southern roots of front man Abbie Huxley, the smart, McCartney-esque songwriting of Randy Wooten, and the indie rock edge of producer/bass player Eric Holden. Due to the band’s remarkably prolific output, Willodean has a string of four new EPs slated for release in 2017.

First up is Awesome Life Decisions, Side One, a six-song EP that doubles down on the band’s appreciation for pop melodies and guitar muscle. Self-produced and recorded in-house, the EP will be released by Holden’s own label, Bigger Better More Records on February 20th. In many ways, it’s a continuation of the partnership Holden and Wooten kicked off a decade ago, when the two formed Cheap Lullaby Records. Starting with their previous band, The Bloody Lovelies, they went on to sign more than a dozen acts and release over thirty records for artists such as The BellRays, Joan As Police Woman, Ivan & Alyosha, Teitur, and David Mead. The guys turn a new corner with Willodean, blending their modern DIY production aesthetic and sharp, lyric-based songwriting with singer Abbie Huxley’s Tennessee grit.

Willodean’s Awesome Life Decisions: Side One is this year’s breakup album for the modern introvert. The EP kicks off with “Oh Well” –

She’s a bottle of blond who’s breaking my heart
I’m a bottle shy of falling apart
I can see her or not, either way it ruins my day

She’s a mess of hair, religion and sex
I’m a mess of a man who likes to think he’s complex
But I’m not so I pose while I drink like I got something to say

Wooten’s songwriting paints characters in detail, bringing to light the interior stories of people who are somehow already familiar to us. There’s always an intimacy with the narrator of a Willodean song – he lets us in on his private thoughts, even the ones that aren’t so pretty. His musings on the complexities of life get wrapped up in a pretty power-pop package that you could happily listen to on repeat for months – at which point, of course, the next Willodean EP will be hitting the shelves.