Premiere: Ned and the Dirt, ‘Wild Pack’ EP

Ned Durrett, aka Ned and the Dirt (Photo by Ray Neutron)
Ned Durrett, aka Ned and the Dirt (Photo by Ray Neutron)

Singer-songwriter Ned Durrett imbues his roots rock with a deep sense of loss, regret and yearning, as if his emotional bloodletting could simultaneously heal past wounds and provide a clean slate for an ostensibly sunnier future. The South Carolina-bred, L.A.-based artist’s forthcoming release as Ned and the Dirt, “Wild Pack: Haunt These Woods,” is a concept EP fitting of what Durrett calls their “graveyard indie-rock” — i.e., Southern Gothic without the twang. A collision of calamities inspired “Wild Pack’s” five songs: the breakup of the first incarnation of Ned and the Dirt; his drummer friend’s soured marriage and addiction problems; and the death of his brother. His present-day California life, though, is never far away. “Oh, Los Angeles / give me something real / to satisfy my need for these thrills,” Durrett sings in “We Scream Party.” Durrett calls the EP “a hike through the spectrum of emotions, through pre-party jitters, to path shifting grief, to the warmth of unexpected companionship,” all informed by an ever-present nostalgia for life back home. From the whoa-ohs of the crunchy “Stay Trashed, Stay Raring” to the touching elegy “Edgemont,” it’s a wild ride.

||| Stream: “Wild Pack: Haunt These Woods”

||| Live: Ned and the Dirt celebrate their EP release with a show Friday at the Mint.