With a debut solo album, How To (Make an Album in 14 Days), around the corner, Rob Townsend is premiering his second single, “Wherever You Go,” with Elmore Magazine! Townsend’s upcoming release, slated for September 9th, showcases the signer/songwriter’s shift to a more indie-pop leaning sound since moving from his hometown of Austin to NYC to pursue a solo career. The debut caps off a major period of change for the young artist, who was previously frontman for the Belleville Outfit, a much buzzed about Americana band that was nominated for both Emerging Artist and Best New Artist at the 2009 Americana Music Association Awards. But soon, with a little help from features in NPR Weekend Edition and Out Magazine (and Elmore, of course!) and an upcoming residency at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, fans will learn to love the singer in his own right as a master of cheeky songwriting, danceable bass lines, percussive guitar riffs and stick in your head melodies.
“Wherever You Go” is a unique indie-pop meets soul track, with a fun groove, catchy melody and emotionally charged lyrics. Townsend’s sultry, smooth vocals shine above the gospel vamp of the organ, laced with a sense of calm that juxtaposes against the desperate love in the lyrics. Townsend offers his heart and devotion unconditionally, singing, “You can always call if you miss me/if it’s love you need or just some company/I will follow you wherever you go.” Townsend told Elmore that even though it’s not his usual terrain- and may come on a little bit strong- “Wherever You Go Out” turned out to be an inspired collaboration. “It’s a love song. I try and stay away from that, because it’s hard not to feel like I’m just throwing more wood on a fire that doesn’t need it, but this song felt sweet to me,” he admits. “It’s kind of got that “every breath you take, I’ll be watching you” creepy vibe. Which is definitely me to a T… following people when they don’t know it and whatnot… Kidding! What sold me on it in the end, was that it just had this really soulful vibe to it. It’s the only tune on the record that I outsourced the wurlitzer and B3 parts for. I sent it to Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler) in Nashville, and when he sent it back, I basically rewrote the whole thing to come up to the level of what he was playing. That, and people immediately reacted to the sentiment. It deals with some kind of heavy life events.”
We’ll let you decide– heartwarming or eyebrow raising– but either way, we bet he’ll have you swaying by the end.
New Yorkers can head to Townsend’s official album release show at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 on October 1st, and catch him on Mondays through December for his monthly residency on Rockwood’s Stage 1. Connect with Rob via his website and listen to “Wherever You Go” below.