“Awol” by Rob Roth is one of the catchiest pieces of pop music you’ll hear. Its rhythmic integrity and elegant, intuitive writing style create their own gravitational pull. Riding along with the beat of this song is simply intoxicating. If you ever find yourself longing for something Ed-Sheeran-esque but also sort of edgy, you’re in luck. Rob Roth nails the cool acoustic pop atmosphere.

It begins with this organic, white-noise-laden set of finger-picked chords. The beat sets in very suddenly—characterized by a simple ‘boom-clap’ groove. The acoustic guitar remains steady as Rob’s voice soars over the backdrop: “Dry / Horizontal / Empty bottles / Smoke and mirrors / Sweat and tears.” Each image adds to the emotional effect, enhanced even further by the crisp clarity of Rob’s voice. Other subtle percussive aspects trickle in just before the track melts into a pre-chorus. A covered, more reverb-y background sets us on a dynamic course for an upbeat chorus.

“I don’t want to do it no more,” a wave of infectious motifs overtakes the song. The vocal melody takes center stage as a syncopated countermelody kicks in behind it. It’ll quite plainly take your breath away. The musicality of this chorus (if not the entire song) pours from every decision, whether it’s part of the production, writing, or performance.

Give “Awol” a listen on your choice of streaming service! Rob Roth is an artist worth looking out for, especially if you appreciate brilliant pop songwriting and meticulous production value.

Written by Alyce Lindberg




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