A wonderful mess of genres, Lonesome Rhodes’ latest release, “Not Gonna Leave You”, switches between indie pop, soft rock, funk, electronica, and even classical music. But, at its heart, this summery single is a powerful piano pop song.
From the opening run, Kevin Johnson evokes nostalgia. As the lyrics narrate reaching out to a former lover, hoping to reconnect and stay friends, the instrumentation bounces between hope and fear. There’s residual bitterness and optimistic hope embedded in the shifting soundscape and freewheeling lyrics. “Your lovely smile, and green eyes,” he sings.
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The tonal freedom and vulnerable verses speak to the rollercoaster of emotions he’s feeling, and he believes his former significant other feels. The chorus, sung through varying timbres of a talk box, repeats “I’m not going to leave you now” as a promise reiterated to someone hesitating.
Even the block chords ringing out under the verse feel tentative—a light contrast to the anthemic and catchy chorus. With a joyous and funky bridge, Lonesome Rhodes takes us back to the chorus before a keyboard outro that rings out with promise fades on a less-than-tentative block chord. The wonderful inversion of the opening chords feels perfectly at home in this tightly tied-together hodgepodge of emotions and genres.
Stream “Not Gonna Leave You” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.