With origins in Los Angeles and Stockholm and a sound that infuses European electro-pop and rock with western country and folk influences, Grizfolk’s debut EP From The Spark has a heavy focus, both sonically and lyrically, on nomadism and soul-searching. Each of the four tracks included in the set deals with issues of uncertainty and adversity, particularly regarding personal identity (“The Struggle”) and lifestyle (“Vagabonds,” “Waiting For You”). In many of these cases, the subject feels lost yet soldiers on toward a new chapter of life — “The Struggle” notes how personal struggles from dramatic change shape them, while “Vagabonds” tells of the uneasiness that comes with such change and “not knowing where we’re going.” Lyrics about searching for someone and finding love could even be interpreted religiously, a connotation made more apparent in “Hymnals,” the EP’s opening track.

Musically, Grizfolk presents a diverse array of instruments and influences. As “Hymnals” opens, the buzzing production atop a light layer of vocalized harmonies and guitar recalls British mainstream rock acts like Coldplay and Morning Parade, while lead radio single “The Struggle” combines acoustic verses with electronically-fueled choruses more akin to recent tourmates Bastille. At times, lead singer Adam Roth’s vocals are reminiscent of poppier acts like Switchfoot and The Fray as well. In addition, country/western elements pervade the EP’s four tracks, adding bluesy guitar riffs into the mix. With cymbal hits, synthesizer hums, and echoing keyboard lines and vocal harmonies, the band presents a fresh, modern fusion of elements from multiple musical genres. As a result, From The Spark should be a successful introduction to Grizfolk for fans of a wide swath of musical styles.

Atlanta artist Sye Elaine Spence’s latest solo release is a warm, folk-inflected EP entitled Bloom, following previous releases under the names We Are The Arrow, Sye Spence, and Elaine. The four-track set begins with its title track, featuring a softly-plucked banjo as the sole accompaniment to Spence’s sweet vocal. This instrumental arrangement is constant throughout the EP, continuing into Spence’s cover of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love,” which recalls the similar GRAMMY-winning 2011 version released on Corinne Bailey Rae’s The Love EP. With a delivery that regularly hangs behind the beat, Spence’s take on the classic comes across as relaxed and romantic. In contrast, third track “You” feels more urgent, with the repeated line “I just wanna love you” growing in volume along with the eighth-note banjo countermelody as the song climaxes.

In addition to the lovestruck feel that the EP embodies, Bloom evokes the sound of summertime, with light instrumentation and twee arrangements. While earlier tracks include references to fireflies and shorelines, closing track “Long Live The Summertime” is the most obvious contributor to the idea. Its lyrics are full to the brim with summery references, including barbecue, sweet tea, and ice cream; as the song closes, a flock of birds tweet as they fly into the distance. In the midst of an endlessly cold and snowy winter, Spence’s Bloom EP is a warm ray of sunshine that makes the wind chill just a little more bearable.