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  • Conner Pettit

Review: “the road back” - Louis Pax

The truth can often set you free. Louis Pax speaks to this in their newly released single “the road back”, a song about drifting away from someone special yet questioning how much of the relationship was real. Whether it be an old friend, romantic partner, or someone whose presence still lingers, many can likely relate to this complex emotion, wondering if you held as much significance in someone else’s life as they did in yours. The song begins by saying “Take me back to the start”, something many of us would do if given the option, rewinding our mistakes and uncovering the real reason why a relationship had to end.

Beginning with beachy, rock guitar, the first verse transitions into a stripped-back, vocoder-driven chorus, emphasizing the song’s main message of longing and heartbreak. The second verse introduces a live-sounding drum beat and intentional pauses, creating a jam-session-type energy, similar to what you’d see at a concert. The bridge offers these cool ascending and descending “firefly-sounding” notes, giving the music an energetic yet contemplative feel. I appreciated how the production dials back after the bridge, leaving only Oscar’s voice, helping to release the song’s built-up momentum. Besides the live-sounding instruments (ex. Cymbals crashing towards the end), vocal delays and raw, vocal delivery further add to the “basement concert” energy, reminding me of artists like “Munn”, infusing an upbeat, band production with heartfelt lyrics.

Originally Royal Prospect, the three-member pop band (Oscar, Gustav, and Hanes Tingford) released their first EP “Watching Your World” in 2015 and the EP “Spanish Rain” last year, amongst numerous successful singles. Featuring up-tempo, “twinkling”, Lumineers-inspired production, the group experiments with genre-crossing sounds (featuring electronic, jazz, and even funk elements), in addition to their mainly indie-rock instrumentation. From the folksy track “Last Letter” to the ballad, “Whisper a sound”, they fully stepped into their distinct sound with the song “Lights Out” (2019), using cinematic violins, layered choruses, and rock drum beats. The best way I can describe their music is the moment when a movie’s protagonist reaches a pivotal breakthrough, straddling the line between internal strife and positive, personal change. I am excited to see what else they have in store, especially with their upcoming EP!

Written By: Conner Pettit



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