If you’re wondering what’s on the collective mind of Milwaukee good-time alt-country band Ladybird, look no further than the songs on the group’s new self-titled EP: “Lounge Car Love Song.” “Honky Tonk Mama.” “Console.” “Frederick County Redneck Raceway.” Okay, “Console” may need some explanation, so bear with us.

Formed in 2021 by singer-songwriter Pete McDermott/Freeman (he of “wrote a song about Front Row Amy” fame), Ladybird has been a reliable presence in the city’s music scene ever since. (We were honored to have the group play our stage at the 2022 Bay View Bash.) The four-song Introducing… arrived in September 2021, with the latest four-song EP arriving last week.

The latter is the group’s best work yet. “Lounge Car Love Song” is a breezy little ditty about two down-on-their-luck train passengers finding a connection while riding the rails. “Honky Tonk Mama” is a rip-roaring barn burner with a standout half-tempo chorus. “Console” is a lovely five-minute love song that moves like a time-lapse star field. (Shout-out to the line about “meeting down at Klinger’s for the fish fry.”) “Frederick County Redneck Raceway,” meanwhile, is a delightfully menacing story song concerning the fateful meeting of “Mustang Mike” and “Toyota Tom.” Everyone—McDermott, Josh Rardin, Sam Szymborski, Aidan Gouran—are terrific here.

And yes, the album art features a young Rardin posing with none other than Wisconsin racing legend Dick Trickle. R.I.P. DICK TRICKLE.

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