EP Review: Rodney Eldridge – Black Box

Black Box is the debut four track EP from American folk pop singer songwriter Rodney Eldridge.

By Graeme Smith

The EP kicks off with the emotional and atmospheric Came Here To Talk. Full of a sense of heartbreak and a certain apprehension you get the feeling that this is the start of a difficult but necessary conversation. The tension builds and finally releases in the track’s layered climax where acoustic and electronic elements collide.

Track two The Weight starts with a simple acoustic accompaniment and Rodney’s soulful vocals are showcased. He has a beautiful voice, akin to the likes of Bon Iver or SYML. The Weight feels confessional and, like a confession, there is a cathartic ending with a joyous note of things to come.

Rodney composed Black Box in the wake of a dying marriage and a sense that he’d spent his twenties living someone else’s life. Trying to reconcile that feeling with the relationships you’ve built is difficult and certainly worth exploring. Rodney bares his soul in this EP, feeling part therapy for him and part advice for the listener. No clearer does this feeling come across than in track three Am I Too Late? With a gentle piano melody, Rodney leaves nothing out in his pleading lyrics. As is his style, there’s another big finish and it leads nicely into the EP’s final track.

Other Side is the EP’s happy ending. The acoustic guitar strikes a brighter note and there is a sense of reconciliation. Early reluctance melts away and Rodney embraces the change. The soul searching comes to a close but the emotion remains. Black Box certainly gives you a lot to ruminate over.

Based in Nashville, Rodney is a young singer songwriter who has all he needs to find an audience. He has a voice and knows how to use it. His gentle style of folk-pop fits right in with some popular contemporaries. If you’re looking for some catharsis on a Monday morning, Black Box is the EP for you. You can check it out below.