Josh Ross: ‘Complicated’ – EP Review

Josh Ross releases his new EP, Complicated EP, out now, March 29th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the brand new project here.

For Canada native, Josh Ross, today marks the release of his U.S. debut EP, Complicated. Featuring eight new tracks, seven of which he co-wrote, the UMG Nashville/Universal Music Canada artists takes listeners on a journey through his head and his heart, both lyrically and musically.

“For me, things can kind of go all different directions,” Ross says. “Whether it’s healthy or not, I’m a complicated person, and the music is all different, too. It’s not straight traditional, or even rock or pop – it’s complicated, and I’m not afraid to let it stand out. … But that’s just me.”

Throughout the EP, Ross experiments with different sounds, occasionally veering into rock or pop but always staying country. The collection opens with the building, earwormy and effusive “Single Again,” which finds Ross dropping hints that he’s the one that a girl wants to settle down with once she dumps her current beau. It’s an immediate piece of ear candy that invites listeners to have another and keep listening.

“When you’re single again // and you’re Thinking of me // Ya know I got that same ole Tennessee // 615 that you used to hit up // Half past where you at pick me up // When you’re all over him // I hope you’re all over me // I got a king size bed // Just missing a Queen // Make me your first call // after your last call with him // And you won’t ever be single again”

The EP’s title track finds Ross thinking outside the box melodically with a sound he describes as “The Weeknd meets country pop.” On the synth-laced, 80’s inspired track that finds Ross experimenting with something outside of his typical twang, he cleverly juxtaposes darker lyrics over upbeat music, creating the ultimate contradiction as he wonders how a relationship went awry. “Why’d we have to go and complicate it?” He asks. “Weren’t we supposed to be the ones who made it?”

Heartbreak is definitely at the forefront of Complicated, weaving its way through songs like “Tell Me A Lie,” “Burn Back,” and “Truck Girl.” Each allows the singer to sample different sounds and themes, with “Lie” setting a moody and dark tone as he pleads with someone to lie to him about the fate of an ill-fated relationship. LIkewise, “Truck Girl” finds him dealing with an ex who’s moving on, while the R&B-tinted “Burn Back” finds him wondering how to get the heat back in a relationship that’s lost its spark.

“She Don’t Smoke” deals with a toxic woman who’s full of lies that he can’t quite quit, while “Trouble,” already a hit in Canada, finds him in a dark place, missing someone. “Trouble” truly allows him to flex his vocals, growly rasp on full display as he throws back a few drinks. Here, his voice sounds almost whiskey-drenched as he proclaims “Baby I’m in trouble” over darker instrumentation.

“For me, I would not have picked any other song to be the first identifying song for me,” Ross says of “Trouble.” “It’s the most honest song I had released up until now, and watching what it does for other people? Some of the stories I hear are heartbreaking, but it’s really nice to feel like your music helps heal.”

The EP ends with “Matching Tattoos,” a nostalgic piano ballad that looks wistfully at what’s left of young love. “I wonder where you are now // Sometimes I still think of how // We said something ‘bout forever,” He croons. “But what’s that mean at 22? // ‘Cause all that lasted are some matching tattoos”

“I always like to say the songs are where I’m at in my life, and I think this project is like that,” Ross says. “I want to keep people on their toes.” On Complicated, he does just that.

Complicated EP Tracklist:

  1. Single Again (Josh Ross, Joe Fox, Brad Rempel)
  2. Tell Me A Lie (Cameron Bedell, Lauren McLamb, Johnny Clawson)
  3. Truck Girl (Josh Ross, Johnny Gates, Mason Thornley, Jared Griffin)
  4. Complicated (Josh Ross, Heath Warren, Mason Thornley, Matt Geroux)
  5. She Don’t Smoke (Josh Ross, Joe Fox, Brad Rempel, Mason Thornley)
  6. Trouble (Josh Ross, Mason Thornley)
  7. Burn Back (Josh Ross, Mason Thornley, Sam Martinez, Benjamin Stoll)
  8. Matching Tattoos (Josh Ross, Joe Fox, Brad Rempel, Mason Thornley)

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Single Again
  2. Complicated
  3. Matching Tattoos

Josh Ross shares new EP, ‘Complicated,’ out now on all streaming platforms.

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Complicated EP is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.