James Higgs and his Ghost Pavilion project may be homespun, but it is not the work of a bedroom novice. Higgs worked as an engineer at Brooklyn’s Seaside Lounge Recording Studios, offering him the chance to learn the studio and use it to carefully craft a healthy repertoire of tracks. And here we arrive at Ghost Pavilion’s latest EP, Oblivion.

Mastered by John Baldwin, who has worked with Neil Young, The White Stripes and The Rolling Stones, Oblivion is a quick four-track collection that works through a series of off-the-wall sounds and dark themes with confidence and even a little swagger. A song like ‘Crucified’ (which premiered through The 405) pulses with sinister energy, Higgs’ voice cutting through like a knife. In the verse, his vocals can sound a little thin, but when the melodies come together in the chorus, it’s a thing of beauty.

‘Fooling Myself’ shows off Higgs’ versatility, as his jingly, watery guitar line mixes around synthesized horns and a top-tier melody. Touching on mortality and nostalgia, Higgs never lets Oblivion get too sunny. But the bedroom pop of ‘Fooling Myself’ might be as upbeat as it gets on this record.

Oblivion’s toughest sell may honestly be the album opener, ‘No Reason Why’. At nearly four minutes, the track features very few vocals and is easily the EP’s most avant-garde composition. It makes for a tricky entrance. Those looking to break into Oblivion may actually wish to go in reverse order, starting with EP closer ‘Vacant Stories’. The track’s foot-tapping drums, grooving bass and delicious synth parts make natural accompaniments to Higgs’ voice. ‘Vacant Stories’ also features Higgs’ strongest and clearest vocal performance on the record. ‘Crucified’ and ‘Fooling Myself’ are great little songs, but ‘Vacant Stories’ is truly a standout. It is the kind of track that makes you want to gaze out at dusk and glaze over.

Oblivion is an imperfect package that primarily suffers from a lack of cohesion among the song styles. It would be quite difficult for me to succinctly describe Ghost Pavilion’s sound. But what I can say is that Higgs knows his stuff about recording and composing music, and he certainly has an ear for a good melody. EPs are often little morsels of experimentation and Oblivion is no different. But there is no denying Ghost Pavilion is onto something, and it is probably worth keeping your eye on.