Most poignant ballads show us a lot about a singer, and in the case of a slow folk-rock song, they can reveal to us the depth of a vocalist in more ways than one. Although I don’t think that Eddie Berman’s previous works have failed to showcase his versatility in the recording studio, there’s something rather profound and full-bodied about his new single “Rolling Over Me” that I didn’t expect to find so early on in his career. There’s a ton of emotionality sourced exclusively from the harmonies in this piece, and next to the structured arrangement of the instruments, Berman’s tones pop like the striking elements they truly are. This song is the first single from Eddie’s upcoming album ‘Signal Fire,” release date 1/19 by Nettwerk.
Eddie Berman is never forcing this lead vocal, and frankly, he doesn’t have to. His is such a sweet, endearing voice that can melodically shape the core of any narrative even without strong linguistics, but luckily for us, “Rolling Over Me” isn’t lacking in heartfelt poeticisms in the least. Truth be told, I think this is a little stronger than the previous entries in his discography had been, at least from the lyrical angle, and it suggests a deeper affection for idealization than I would have initially pegged this songwriter being capable of producing from within the recording studio.
The ruminating tone of this single is made all the stronger by the relaxed tempo of the instrumentation, which comes in contrast with the hint of urgency behind Berman’s singing. He’s insistent in his delivery, but the beat is rather easy in comparison, drawing out a greater friction in the climax of the chorus.
This is a player who grew up on a lot of classic folk and soft rock songcraft and were this not the case I don’t think that “Rolling Over Me” would sound as well-rounded and complete as it does in this incarnation. The current indie scene could use his influence, and I think most who listen to this song would be quick to agree.
This might be a rather unsophisticated mix by some standards, but I don’t think it’s raw because of an affinity for the black-and-white aesthetic. On the contrary, Berman seems more interested in preserving the sonic integrity of his music than he is in adhering to the polished model a lot of his folk-rock classmates would spend the better part of their careers trying to replicate in their work. He’s got a higher pedigree than you might be expecting, and what it winds up producing in the next few years could be big for singer/songwriter buffs.
“Rolling Over Me” is a dynamic representation of Eddie Berman’s personality, and I think it’s going to win him a lot more fans before the year concludes. Folk-rock’s hardcore followers have every reason in the world to be more discriminatory; with this era satisfying us with a good chunk of talent in Americana, there are a lot of incredible artists to choose from, and I think Berman is among the best in his scene right now. There are plenty of releases in the style of “Rolling Over Me,” but very few offer the soul this performance does.