The beautifully produced and lyrically sharp Highs And Lows is a musical coming-of-age story told through the unique lens of August Roads. The steadily rising Bay Area artist blends hip-hop, pop, and R&B vibes to create a sound all his own, one that’s propelled by his talents as a vocalist and songwriter.
Roads makes an immediate statement on the emotionally gripping “9-1-1,” a stirring opening track produced by Daniel Weber that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. Like the rest of the EP, the opener delivers both musically and lyrically, as your ears are treated to sonic flourishes and too-real writing from Roads. He’s unafraid to wear his heart on every possible sleeve, a quality that brings an authenticity to the emotion you can hear in his vocals.
Emotions play an important role in the structure of Highs And Lows, both in its theme and the way it plays out from one song to the next. You can almost feel the opposing highs and lows through your speakers or headphones, and there’s a purpose to it. Roads is creating and sharing art that is unabashedly raw—albeit wonderfully produced—and it captures the sadness you hear on “9-1-1,” as well as the pure joy of closing banger “51%,” which delivers a powerful message that you may not be the smartest or richest person in the world, but you can be grateful for what you have.
If there’s a key takeaway to remember about Highs And Lows beyond the music itself, it’s that Roads wants to see everybody win. This message is further detailed on the Weber-produced “Turn Up,” a track tells the story of being in a limbo state where you’re on the verge of either breaking through or falling apart. “You know you shouldn’t continue down a path of toxicity, but you’re not quite ready to stop,” Roads adds. To say we’ve all been there would be underselling just how relatable his music is, and it’s yet another reason to keep an eye on this rising talent.