Time and time again, from one year to the next, we see the same old narrative put out and withdrawn about rock music – it’s struggling, it’s dying, and yet somehow the genre manages to produce a couple of genuine hit-makers seemingly out of thin air. It’s probably a little too early to declare him a legit sensation, but the man behind Rough Minds – Josema Ganz – asserts himself as a potential savior for his style’s latest dance with the apocalypse in “Songs Out Loud,” a single and music video currently out and available everywhere quality indie tunes are sold and streamed.
Official Website: https://www.roughminds.com/
From a cosmetic perspective, the video for “Songs Out Loud” is more of a throwback to the old school than the actual song is, with its visuals feeling like something out of an early-90s mixtape in the most endearing of ways possible. This actually provides some unsuspecting juxtaposition between the imagery and its source material, particularly as the chorus enters a very modern brand of harmonizing that could never have been marketed in this setting back in 1993. It’s a concept piece through and through, but one that doesn’t leave a critic like myself cringing – the polar opposite, in all honesty.
The dual guitar component of this mix is very experimental, even for an admittedly alternative project like Rough Minds, but it works well because of the strength of Ganz’s vocal. He’s got a really commanding melodic lash to his every verse in “Songs Out Loud,” and if given the opportunity to play something acoustic I think he would probably sound just as rousing as a singer as he does in this electrified recording. Time will help his confidence develop further, but even in this department he seems like a well-rounded player (especially given his lack of experience on the stage).
Alternative rockers who are looking for some purity amid the cloudy dribble frequently peddled as ‘indie’ these days really should check out Rough Minds and “Songs Out Loud” a.s.a.p., as the latter is definitely one of the best new singles I’ve listened to in 2021. Solo projects face many of the same issues bands do when trying to construct an original identity, but this is an act that I don’t think we have to worry too much about personality-wise. Ganz wears his aesthetical heart on his sleeve here and, to me, puts a very convincingly personal stamp on a new era for the industry.
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