We review the new single from John Ellwand – Roots of Love

With a fifth single now under his belt, John Ellwand’s latest single, Roots of Love solidifies a style inspired by many harder edged rock contemporaries. 

In the past couple of years, it’s become apparent that music is moving to a harder, more daring space. Drifting slowly away from the smooth and mysterious wave of synth pop that dominated the popular underground scene throughout the 2010’s. Instead there is a very clear shift in the dynamic as more heavy projects find their footing.

As a solo act, Ellwand is really flexing his musical muscles so to speak, with Roots of Love containing a variety of guitar riffs that never sound the same as the last. It gives the song a complex energy that takes some unpacking, even after multiple lessons. Combine this with some harsher vocals, looping, distortion and the mixing of vocals and guitar in some cases. You can really see the amount of work put in. 

Circling back to the synth explosion of recent years, there’s certainly some in there, but it’s within a very limited capacity on a track dominated by clever guitar work, and a lean into a hard and alt rock style. Despite this there is still a brief bridge dominated by synth and drums that leads into an explosive guitar solo and outro. 

With Roots of Love clocking in at around the five-minute mark, it’s a behemoth of a track that stretches its legs on every front. With a mixture of fast and slow tempo on the drums, the previously mentioned wide range of guitar and bass mixups, and use of various looping, layering and general range of Ellwand’s voice. All are put to excellent use and have their own respective time to shine within the runtime. 

With all that said, Roots of Love is a complex beast that’s full of nearly every trick in the book. Some artists would try to isolate each of these things for a single song, but Ellwand instead takes it as a challenge. The only criticism to this is that it can leave the track sounding a little fractured and sporadic. In particular, the synth section comes out of left field, but still just about manages to stick the landing. But only just. 

Overall, Roots of Love is an excellent track and shows that Ellwand is finding the groove, showing growth and is quickly becoming an artist to watch. Whether or not this level of creativity can be kept up is the next hurdle an artist in this position has to contend with.