Roman Clarke of The Middle Coast takes on his first solo effort with EP Looking For Mine which just proves that even individually the members of the trio have the Midas touch when it comes to banging out clean, catchy tunes. Clarke impressively plays all parts on the album almost entirely on his own, aside from electric guitar, which was tackled by Ariel Posen. The album was released at The Good Will Social Club on Sept. 21, with seven band members required to cover all the necessary parts.
Clarke’s vocal performance shines across the entire album as he belts out astounding harmonies, which come out on the pop love song opener “Faithful Man.” Bee Gees-style 70s background vocals help set the stage for the melting pot of genres that are featured on the album.
The gospel style of “Let You Fall” grabs the harmonies from “Faithful Man” and bumps it up a few notches. The opening piano melody picks up an organ groove that turns the sweet-sounding tune into a funky story about a pair that is not meant to be. Misplaced distorted vocals find the perfect spot in the song, training the ear to focus on some of the other subtleties in the rest of the album.
A genre flip to the sweet R&B grooves of “Waiting,” with nostalgic vocal runs that are reminiscent of Boyz II Men with a bit of a disco beat, further proves that talented musicians like Clarke can seamlessly experiment with genre. The youth in Clarke’s voice is lost in certain parts with a maturity that is not heard in the other songs, which really emphasizes his vast and impressive vocal range.
The album is very clean, with crystal-clear sounds and perfectly polished mixing. Clarke came out swinging with the hardship tale of a hopeless romantic jam-packed with perfectly-timed exquisite instrumentation. Though Clarke is a drummer in The Middle Coast, this project allows his other talents to shine, including vocals and composition.