Johnny Gates is the type of artist that just infuses soul and a cool factor into his music. The country newcomer released his self-titled EP this past weekend.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for Gates. Over 10 years ago he and his band came to Nashville and actually landed a major record deal. Easy, right? Wrong.
Timing wasn’t right as the band was searching for their identity as a group and as individuals. He headed west to Los Angeles and began focusing on a solo career which included a stint on The Voice. While he’s now back in Nashville, the collection of songs he wrote are from his time trying to figure things out in LA before returning to where he knew he would end up.
The four song EP has a ton of soul and richness to it. It’s easy listening that truly wants you wanting to listen to more and more of his songs. While there are only four, it’s fantastic music.
“Hell Outta Here” is the leadoff track. The soulful sounding song about falling in love in a karaoke bar with a tourist is something that truly fits in with a town like Nashville.
“Dive Bar” has him dealing with heartbreak by wanting to be alone in a dive bar. You get the sense that it’s almost therapeutic for him.
“Church Girl” is a song that shows the power of a cute girl. Johnny sings about the influence a girl can have over him and the faith that they can do anything together. Lyrically, it’s a pretty clever song.
“Bandit” is another example of clever lyrics, particularly with the song title. He sings about the girl who stole his heart and ruined him. We’ve all been there, right?
In this age of digital music, short projects like EPs and singles recorded a week ago is the new way of doing things. Here’s to hoping we continue to get more music from Johnny Gates. This project proved that he has what it takes to make some damn good music.