On first listen, the title track from Eric Wilson’s debut EP, Quarterfuse (out Oct 7,) is a civil-war story. Rather, Wilson uses the setting to portray how chaos and fear in life can push us forward. “More smoke I see/ the less bullets I see fly back at me. Cannon fire, over me/oh the sound is loud, but it’s sweet.” The deliberate and building force of guitars underscore the song’s dramatic story. “The character in the song is on the brink of destruction on all fronts really, yet he finds hope from the strength of the cannon fire behind him,” explains Wilson. “The point of ‘Quarterfuse’ is to take the idea of cannon fire that obviously is a very dreadful sound, and seeing it as a sign of strength and hope.” The song kicks off an introduction to Wilson, a vivid storyteller of the civil war, coal, cannons and his home – and of longing and love. With his band “Empty Hearts,” songs shift from acoustic to rock in a Petty-esque fashion, seasoned with a bit of twang from the steel guitar. Wilson and band had been drawing crowds in the southeast for a couple of years before The Carnival Music Group heard the buzz. In addition to signing him as a writer with the publishing company, Carnival is releasing the EP from previously recorded material. Wilson grew up in rural environs compared to his new Nashville home, and conveys the age-old instinct that a different future is possible with “The Coal Runs Through my Veins.” Perhaps an instinct that began to gel when his grandfather gave him a guitar at age 13. Wilson says, “I started writing and playing at the same time. I never played unless I was writing.” The love songs are equally insightful. “The One I’ll Always Love,” is not as simple as the title conveys. Instead, it’s a sad lament on a blown chance – “You’re the one I thought I’d always love/ The one I thought I knew/ You’re the one I’ll never quite give up/ You’re the one I’ll never get to love.” The most important love song on the album is “Kentucky, You’re My Lover.” “It’s disguised as a period piece but it is somewhat autobiographical. It is more or less juxtaposes where I grew up verses where I am now, and being caught in between that,” says Wilson. “It personifies Kentucky and Tennessee as lovers sort of competing over the affection of the character. As we grow we move on to pursue the passions of our heart, which is not a common thing where I am from. It’s seems like everyone just sticks around and tries to survive.” Wilson and Empty Hearts will be touring the remainder of the year.