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“Robbed” by Gareth Campbell

Relentlessly passionate and fiery in his melodic command, Gareth Campbell refuses to hold back as he lays into the chorus of his new single “Robbed,” his vocal slicing through the countrified instrumental fabric like a long sharp sword cutting through silk. There’s a lot for his to compete with in this latest single – the beats, the striking synthetic melodies, even the very nature of the slow tempo itself – but there’s scarcely a moment in “Robbed” where he isn’t both the most fetching and the most intriguing element for us to behold. He’s made some big waves in the last couple of months, and in this latest release, Campbell sounds like the pro many of us in the country music underground have been waiting to celebrate in 2023. 

The pulsating beat is the very soul of the mood in this song, but I wouldn’t say that it steals any of the adrenaline away from the bassline – nor the obvious focal point, Campbell and his six-string harmonies, all of which feel as fresh as they do inviting to us. He straddles the rhythm of the drums like a trained expert; the surgical precision of this master mix aside, he’s executing on-point wonderfully here, and flexing some serious muscle that his peers ought to be jealous of. 

I’ve been hearing lots of country indie tracks this season, but this production quality is out of this world clear.

The fine-tuned reverberations on the keys make a glistening effect against the backdrop of the black and white bassline, and even when the ebb and flow of the percussion has the potential to smother the vocal with as much tone and intensity as possible, there’s never a point where any of the individual parts get muddied up in the mix. This is solid craftsmanship, and it’s probably the slickest work this scene has to its current credit. 

It would be nice to hear more harmony-powered tracks like this one in the future from Campbell, and I think that his versatile approach to “Robbed” is proof that he can tackle just about any beat and come out on top. This is admittedly a little familiar in the lyrical department, at least when compared with some of the other singles out of the underground to be making a big splash in Nashville this year, but I’m not sure that the goal here was to demonstrate any of this artist’s skills as a poet. This is all about big beats and bold vocal vibes, and on those two fronts, it outshines a lot of mainstream hits by a mile. 

If you weren’t already listening to Gareth Campbell’s music before now, there’s a likely chance that you’re going to dig what he’s doing in “Robbed,” and the current direction that he appears to be taking his sound. He’s come a long way in recent years, and with the new momentum forming behind his music in 2023, I think we’re going to hear his best material in the near future. I’ll be looking forward to more of his output, and I doubt I’m the only one. 

Mindy McCall



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