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“Where’s My Mind” EP by Robert Eberle

Robert Eberle is an unusual songwriter and performer. Older and veteran acts would be proud and happy to claim the five song collection Where’s My Mind? as their own, but it is the product of a prodigiously talented sixteen year old who has only began tasting the full gamut of its disappointments. There are common themes running through these tracks. Alienation, longing, and heartache are among the most prominent and, while there’s no question Eberle invokes them with the hushed drama befitting his age, there’s plenty of evidence as well for his overall maturity examining these moments.

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“Novocaine” is an excellent introduction to his methods and sound. The latter is intensely personal and an invitation to hear Eberle’s internal life. Beneath the often placid textures of Eberle’s music, however, is a wistful sadness. “Novocaine” is about, among other subjects, the difficulty of making and sustaining connections. The beguiling feel and delicate melodies smooth over its sometimes thorny emotions and draw listeners in from the outset. It’s an ideal way to start off this release.

The title song “Where’s My Mind?” is more performance and/or composition than song. The vocal arrangement Eberle attaches to this song is worth the price of admission alone as he and his collaborators manipulate the human voice in myriad inventive ways. There are other elements but, in the end, it’s the vocals that you remember best. The electronic instrumentation, particularly the percussion, play pivotal roles as well. The percussion serves a dual purpose – it provides more urgency to the performance during its second half and grounds its near fleeting sound into something much more physical and tangible.   

The EP’s second to last track “Shadow” begins with an even starker presentation than previous tracks. The bell-clear clarity of Eberle’s voice will captivate many listeners from the start and the writing ranks among his best for this release, but it’s the delivery that sticks with you. Much like the other four songs, Eberle tailors “Shadow” to an ideal length rather than succumbing to self-indulgence. It’s another trait separating him from the pack. His songwriting instincts are unnaturally sharp for someone so young.

Based on the existing evidence and, in particular, the finale, it’s safe to assume those instincts will only become greater over time. “I Just Needed Somebody to Be Someone” has a wordy title, perhaps, (“Someone” might have been better), but there’s nothing unduly extravagant about the track. It is another example of the orchestral sound Eberle prefers for the songs and his vocal performance will be, to the ears of many, his finest on this EP.

Robert Eberle’s Where’s My Mind? isn’t a lengthy release but the young songwriter manages to pack more into five tracks than many equal in ten. The songs on this release are full of emotion, imagination, and guided by an intelligence that never fails keeping listeners involved. Naysayers who decry the dearth of creativity in modern music aren’t looking hard enough when gems such as this slip under their radar. It’s a fantastic debut bursting with promise for the future. 

Mindy McCall



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