Roots rock is a thing. It’s not as big of a thing as it was fifteen years ago; genres aren’t what they used to be with everything kind of blending together. Roots soul? That’s never been a thing, maybe with X Ambassadors new EP, Strong it will become one. On the three songs included on this short EP from X Ambassadors we’re teased with a new direction from the trio.
These three songs bleed soul with mellow elements of alternative rock, in fact, there’s so much soul here, Otis Redding would be proud. That’s from Sam Harris’ vocal to the keys work by his brother Casey all the way to the horn and string accents that tie the music together. “Everything Sounds Like a Love Song” is the most beautiful song that I’ve heard in a decade – it’s got an Otis Redding vibe to it. “Happy Home” has a Stevie Wonder vibe to it. The lyrics are a bit darker, but the melody and the piano by Casey Harris with the backing vocals make it a cheerful sounding, albeit slightly depressing song. “Belong “still has those soulful elements to it, but the music sounds more like that crossed with how X Ambassadors was during their Litost days.
This new music from X Ambassadors is hopefully an all new direction for the band after their last record. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with their last outing, it’s just that this music is so damn good. There’s something here that literally nobody else is doing right now in mainstream music. Plus, it takes advantage of the band’s skillset in a way that they weren’t really doing before. Sam Harris has one of the purest voices in music, they haven’t always done a good job of presenting that in their music. The same thing can be said for Casey Harris – his piano style isn’t one you hear every day – so bringing that more to the forefront with this type of music makes infinitely more sense than trying to make another entry into the HOT-AC format. Listen to this, you won’t regret it.