We’ve all heard it before, a singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer, a bestselling author/screenwriter/drummer, and a guitarist/photographer/”all-around nice guy” flourish in a dark carnival atmosphere of their own creation. We all win.

OK, maybe it isn’t all too common of a team. The trio of JD McKean, RC Matheson, and JC Hagopian, under the name ’63 Circus have released a three-track, self-titled EP. The shadowy calliope aura of ’63 Circus is most prevalent in opener “The Psycho Rise” where the narrative lingers at the edge of light on a twisted metal carousel floating on dripping, faded paint as the trio plays out a song of sinking into the collapse of the social contract. The darkness beckons for reflection while slightly unnerving us with its poetic honesty. “Can You Hear Me?” surfs above the dark veil with an upbeat awareness of relationships passing the point of no return. Coming in at just over two minutes, the track rips the Band-Aid off from the perspective of the only half of the relationship that’s realized it has run its course. “Tale of the Harlot” waxes poetic on the sentiment of “a beautiful and deadly temptress” in the vein of 70s psychedelic jazz. The track slips into an innocent surrender balanced on a thin razor’s edge of distorted, echoing darkness. In just three songs it becomes quite apparent ’63 Circus isn’t like the usual run-of-the-mill sounds.

While ’63 Circus exists in an atmosphere akin to a dark carnival, there is a spectrum of light which dances over the EP in the form of meticulous lyrical prowess and expansive instrumental. The trio of the same name have created a brief escape that is captivating, but maybe over too quickly.