The idea of fan fiction is unfortunately muddied by the sheer amount of smut that makes its way onto the internet, but the more pure version of it is still something that should be admired. The way that those authors are swept up into a universe that was created, and feel as if they can build upon that foundation shows that the intimate level of connection the original author hoped for was attained. I’m excited to share the new Vern Matz EP, which isn’t technically fan fiction, but totally could be, ahead of its release this Friday. The self-titled effort is expansive and impressive– often feeling like they’ve shot themselves into the universe created by David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and decided to run with it.

For instance, the album comes to a start with “Earth Boy,” a track that feels like an immediate (albeit indirect) sequel to “Space Oddity.” The track plays out like somebody found a recording of ground control as they tried so desperately to get ahold of Major Tom and decided that it was time for them to send something back to them. Starting with the lyric “Hello Earth boy…” it’s clear that the band wants to be able to talk about the experiences that come with growing up without feeling a sense of personal attachment. The guys in Vern Matz strive to create something that you relate to by intentionally painting with broad strokes.

When discussing the EP, the band says: “Vern Matz’s eponymous debut EP was born out of several road trips between New Haven and Philadelphia. In a lot of ways, the EP is about Vern Matz coming of age—as individuals and as a band. Faced with finding a place in the world, the band shies away from those looming decisions and instead embraces a wistful indifference. Vern Matz says of the record, “Much of the EP expresses a feeling of displacement and an attempt to restore a sense of wholeness. There’s confusion and nervousness in the fact that you don’t know what needs to be restored. But there is a lot of excitement and emotion in that uneasiness. We were swept up in the idea of nostalgia as style, and the EP very intentionally looks toward past generations of alternative music for inspiration.” The Vern Matz EP was recorded at Miner Street Recordings, produced and mixed by Matt Poirier, and mastered by Greg Calbi and Ryan Schwabe.

You can stream Vern Matz below.