So much of pop music is auto-tuned, polished, shaved down until all the rough-hewn, distinctive elements are faded and gone. It’s tragic, really. But up and comer Luke Underhill frames his gravelly voice, unapologetically, with his first single “I’ll Be Waiting,” an amalgamation of Bryan Adams, John Mayer and Gavin DeGraw. It is unmistakably him, too, slyly gliding across throwback soft-rock, which deals in hearty singer-songwriter lyricism and anthemic-style production. In a brand new live performance video, premiering today, Underhill looks the crowd in the face and pours his heart out. The yearning of the lyrics to the tenderness of his phrasing, particularly on the verses, sets the tone for the intense and raw hook, hitting you squarely across the eyes. “I try and I try,” he wails, backed by brisk guitar lines and thudding percussion.
“Baby, I’d show you what you’re worth,” he later avows, as the arrangement heaves and sighs around him. “If you love me, let me know. I’ll be waiting right here,” he then proposes. The gathered audience soaks in the fervent and somehow solemn tone of the song, both gleeful and fierce.
“Performing as a solo artists and performing with a band are two completely different things. This was my first show with my band in about three years and I couldn’t be more happy with how the band played and how much fun we all had,” Underhill tells B-Sides & Badlands about the moment he stepped out onto that stage. “It was an awesome feeling to showcase my new music from my upcoming project and I am looking forward to playing more shows with these talented guys.”
Hailing from Chicago, Underhill is expected to drop his first project, The Left Side EP, Aug. 18.