Rob Eberle’s songwriting ambitions bear impressive fruit with his new single “hope u feel okay”. Eberle’s writing isn’t content with observing the aftermath of a breakup from one perspective. Many songs do that. Instead, Eberle tackles the event from both sides and, in doing so, provides listeners with a rare well-rounded appraisal of the ensuing damage. It’s a challenging song that asks listeners to consider the respective all-around toll rather than focusing on a single party.


However, Eberle is up to the challenge. This third single from the Long Island, NY native, slated for inclusion on his upcoming EP release, builds on the enormous promise of its two predecessors, “IYLM” and “Half of You”, without retracing his steps. He expands his songwriting range with “hope u feel okay” by writing about what comes after two lovers separate from both sides of the breakup. Most songwriters are content with exploring one side of the fence, but Eberle gives both sides a full airing.

His lyrics reflect distinctions between these disparate points of view; you can tell the difference between their respective “voices”. He writes in a direct and conversational style that resists pseudo-poetic theatrics in favor of everyday speech. The vocals are never labored, but he invests each “side” with an appropriate emotional weight, and the singing benefits from a limited but effective use of effects. His voice is more than strong enough to carry the material.

The song’s polished pop-rock arrangement is ideal for the subject matter. It engages listeners physically, and the upbeat tempo generates enough energy to prevent “hope u feel okay” from ever becoming a tortured listening experience. Eberle’s production acumen is another strong suit. The single boasts an invigorating aural charge, and the mix balances the instrumentation with a keen ear and steady hand.

It doesn’t overstay its welcome. The songwriting concision helps hold the listener’s attention. Three minutes and change doesn’t demand much from us. You’ll finish a first pass through “hope u feel okay” reflecting that there’s nothing it lacks. It’s refreshing to hear a young songwriter who never believes himself beholden to tack on unnecessary instrumental breaks. The absence of such dross makes “hope u feel okay” a better song.

Rob Eberle is a rising talent. He draws from a healthy cross-section of influences, some identifiable, some not, but filters them all through an unique consciousness. There are no obvious reference points. Each of his three singles has explored different facets of his burgeoning songwriting talent, and I expect that further releases will do the same. Collateral Damage is shaping up to be one of 2024’s most promising EP releases.

It’s likewise shaping up to be the first collected step in a long music career. However, he doesn’t come across as a songwriter with careerist ambitions. The new single “hope u feel okay” makes it clear that Eberle is an artist in every respect and free from the pretentious trappings often associated with that label. He’s looking to express himself and does so with impressive skill.

Garth Thomas