Saturday, March 05, 2022

Brian Ross ‘Sidewalks’ is the “manic pixie dream boy” soundtrack

New indie-pop singer, Brian Ross is just a “guy making songs in his basement”…pretty good songs too. Releasing his first single only a year ago, Ross just unveiled his first EP ‘Sidewalks’ which tells too short of a story all about love. This six-track EP has a tune that a listener could relate to whether they’re in love, out of love, crushing, or heartbroken. 

The New York artist displays an incredible range with his voice and songwriting style throughout this EP, starting with ‘Weather With You’, an “in the moment” love song. The track builds in intensity as the lyrics progress with faster pacing, harder drumming and even his voice range even grows within the song that feels happy and intense. 

Jumping right into that heartbreak feeling with ‘Easier Said Than Done’ that energy transitions from a heartbeat like a drum to a soft guitar and sad piano. The lyrics here are crushing and delivered so beautifully. As Ross seems to move on in his stage of heartbreak, that piano tone switches to a little more “happy-go-lucky” for the sarcastic ‘thanks’. With a chorus that goes from “I’m so sorry for your heartbreak / thanks for letting me know” to “You don’t love me you’re not sorry / thanks for letting me know” with a growing beat and almost screaming vocals demonstrate a pain that is undeniable but ends with an acceptance of this fate.

His story takes the listener to ‘XYZs’, a manic stream of consciousness about moving on. This song is much busier than the ones before it - with plenty of guitars, pounding drums, and a  backup vocal that gives it a lot of texture. Going into the leading single of the EP, ‘Unfinished business', which has an almost pop-punk, Dashboard Confessional vibe. It is almost nothing but drums and bass in something that feels almost angry and confused, but it matches the pain in the lyrics and his voice. The EP closes with ‘goodbye’, a just over two minute, bittersweet farewell, strummed softly on a ukulele. 

Brian Ross tells a short story here of falling, getting hurt, and moving out. It is something that fits perfectly as a soundtrack to a “manic pixie dream boy” film -  but not in an annoying way. It’s in fact in a very good way with strong melodies, hooky choruses to go around, and changes in instrumentation that support the sentiment behind every track. Ross has made it known through his Instagram bio that he is already working on a new EP, ‘detour’, and I can’t wait to hear it and everything else he has to offer.

Hope Orr


Image: ‘Sidetracks’ Official EP Cover

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