Bridging the gap between country and EDM
Zac Brown, famed for his band of the same name, branches out as Sir Rosevelt. The self-titled debut features Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti. The trio, influenced by acts such as Jack Ü and Avicii, try their hand at countrified EDM.
In an interview with Billboard, Brown stated he was “sick of being in a bucket” musically, prompting this side project. Sir Rosevelt certainly delivers on that front. The tug of war between country-pop and EDM may be jaunting to listeners expecting a sound closer to Zac Brown Band. The biggest difference is the vibe. Zac Brown Band is the background for a casual get-together, whereas Sir Rosevelt kicks off a party.
One song that comes to mind is the bizarre “Robert Baker.” The track is the most left field and unexpected, sounding like a mix of Axel F’s “Crazy Frog” and Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand.” Sir Rosevelt hopes for late-night slots at music festivals, and songs such as “Infinite and Endless,” “Slow Motion” and the explicit, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” certainly fit the bill. Spanish guitar work and simple electronic loops tie “Slow Motion” together as the definition of chill country-pop. “Infinite and Endless” is rooted by repetitive synth chords, but follows a stereotypical EDM route. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” corporates mariachi trumpets, a Johnny Cash outlaw vibe, and mirrors Avicii style electronics.
“Something ‘Bout You” is one of the more straightforward pop songs. Another highlight is “Hurricane.” The instrumentals are subtle, with a focus on acoustic guitar. Brown sings with a backing choir, “I can feel the storm rise up / Might kill me but I can’t get enough /Pull me down and drown me in your love / I can’t keep on running, can’t keep this pain from coming / Baby, you’re a hurricane.” Sir Rosevelt steer down an alternative route with “The Bravest,” which could easily be mistaken for Imagine Dragons. “For My Own” shreds the EDM image completely for a modern folk sound.
Sir Rosevelt throws a lot at listeners across 11 tracks. The trio truly shines when the electronics are subtle. “Robert Baker” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” might be too much for Zac Brown Band lovers. For those worried about ZBB’s future, Brown assures: “They’re not losing Zac Brown Band, they’re gaining Sir Rosevelt.” The separation from genre rules might take a bit of getting used to, but this trio is here to stay.