Material: Combining elements of piano rock, indie rock and R&B, Evan Roth has found a unique sound reminiscent of Coldplay. His vocal melodies, which travel in the lower register, seem influenced by Chris Martin and Hozier. Emulating those artists, however, should be avoided to distinguish his sound. Certain piano riffs combat the straightforward, hammered-out grooves, thereby creating varied tempos and dynamics within the songs. This gives the artist’s songs character and prevents them from sounding alike. Slower, romantic songs like “Finale” yearn for more rhythm to fill out the emptiness. Finding a balance between the mellow songs his upbeat material like “Solo” will enhance his sound and allow his material to appeal to a bigger audience.
Musicianship: Roth confidently plays piano and sings comfortably with the assertiveness. He is most confident on the upright piano, as opposed to the synthesizer and keyboard. Mallory Roth’s higher harmonies add a seductive quality to the material and she could be featured more. Oloffson and Kertes lock professional rhythm section, and Oloffson doesn’t shy away from driving the beats, but holds back when necessary. Kertes fearlessly lays down bass licks that make you want to move. Unfortunately, Forgey’s subdued playing doesn’t come up to par with the rest of the band’s overall musicianship. His one-note vibratos could be supplemented with open chords, which would sustain more prominently in the music.
Performance: The artist played a bold and dynamic set to an intimate audience. Despite a few hiccups with the microphone, Roth persisted to perform and entertain like a professional. The tempo changed when he sat down at the upright piano to play “Silhouette,” a ballad of sorts with an upbeat chorus that caught on quickly. His energy boosted as he transitioned into Coldplay’s “Clocks,” which meshed incredibly well with his sound. All the instruments, minus the guitar, were perfectly balanced and complementary. The songs screamed for guitar chords, effects and frequent strumming from Forgey.
From Roth’s performance, it was evident that his music emotes with his lyrics. The mostly nostalgic lyrics fit with the compositions. Roth closed the set with “Walk Away,” an upbeat original, but encored with “Finale,” which brought the mood down and detracted from the powerful ending of the previous closer.
Summary: Evan Roth has a gift for songwriting and a conditioned voice. He should master successfully incorporating synthesizers so that they complement the music. Fusing his slower material with the upbeat tracks will allow him to grow his fan base.
Players: Evan Roth, lead vocals, piano, synth; Stewart Forgey, guitar, synth, Mallory Roth, vocals; Erik Kertes, bass; Matt Oloffson, drums.
Venue: The Mint
City: Los Angeles, CA