Photo by Rook Barber

Alt-country artist Tom Mackell brings stripped down acoustic versions of previous releases on his new EP, Unplugged, which starts off with the unreleased recording, “Restless Heart.”

“I really loved just having the space in the songs,” Mackell told City Paper. “It was nice to go back to square one for these songs and give everyone a little taste of how they sounded when I wrote them.”

Unplugged captures the vulnerability that can be heard during his solo sets, Mackell said. The simplistic tracks feature backing vocals and keys by Steven Mullan and string instrumentation by Tim Galloway to bring balanced intricacy to the easy listening Americana experience. 

The unreleased acoustic song, “Restless Heart,” was one of the first songs Mackell wrote with his longtime co-writer and fellow touring musician, Tony Lucca. The lyrics reflect that you can figure yourself out through relationships that don’t necessarily work out, Mackell said. 

“‘Restless Heart’ is a glimpse at the changing of seasons in love — the window on bachelorhood coming to a close,” he said. “You either resist it or you ignore it. Either way, you’ll get called out at some point.”