Kym Hawkins Stars on Plainclothes Tracy's Self-Titled EP

Plainclothes Tracy

Plainclothes Tracy

This winning five-song EP presents Knoxville's best-dressed indie-pop quartet as understated cool kids, with catchy tunes backing up Kym Hawkins' sly, slurry purr. The band is fine—Brian Kelly's guitars shimmer in all the right places, and the rhythm section of Eric Grass and Trey Trowbridge gives it all plenty of lope—but Hawkins is the key. Her off-kilter lyrics are full of fleeting glimpses of places and people and relationships. "You left your sexy metal shirt on the floor," she observes in "These Ideas," and then half-shoots the boy down by adding, "I never really heard the band before." She sings with an almost jazzy cadence that can imbue a line like "I'm so impressed by this new system, it's so effective" with some of the quiet sarcasm of the young Elvis Costello. There's nothing plain about Hawkins, and this is an impressive calling card.