Jonah Kagen Explores Life's Spiraling Twists and Turns in "The Roads"
Photo: David O'Donohue
Jonah Kagen wrestles with the complexities of growing up in his latest single, "The Roads." Led by an acoustic guitar and passionate lyricism, the singer-songwriter opens up about how much life and "the roads" we choose to take can change you.
The single opens with soft acoustic guitar lines and Jonah's soothing yet commanding vocals. Fueled by a deep sense of sentimentality, Kagen's lyrics capture the emotional intricacies of life's transitional moments, with poignant lines like "There's blisters on my feet / I ran right through my shoes / These roads are changing me/ But they all lead back to you," striking a deep emotional chord. The song gradually builds into a rousing folk-rock number with impassioned energy and instrumentation seeping into every sonic crevice, enveloping the listener in a warm yet bittersweet blanket of sound.
"'The Roads' is one of those songs I feel like I've been working toward for so long," Jonah writes. "It's the culmination of so much heartbreak, so much growing up, and so much learning. Some of my favorite lyrics and sounds I've ever created are in this song, and I think the story speaks for itself—I hope you can feel the years of emotion and human experience pouring out in it."
The accompanying music video sees Kagen teaming back up with director David Od, who also worked on Kagen's "18" music video, heading to the Cotswolds, a strikingly picturesque area of Southern England. The visual follows Kagen as he sits in nature and performs the song surrounded by the remarkable isolated beauty of the site.
The 23-year-old singer and songwriter grew up in Savannah, Georgia. They took up guitar at six, diving deep into the instrument's technical aspects after his jazz musician grandfather showed him performance videos. He further found inspiration in the music of guitarist Andy McKee, whose finger-style technique lit a creative fire within. "He opened my eyes to what an acoustic guitar could be," he recalls, as he dove deeper into creating music on his own. "If you can bring somebody something with your music that they can't get anywhere else, there's nothing better than that."
Kagen's debut EP, georgia got colder, was released in December 2022 on Arista Records. He's already cut impressive figures with over 200+ million global streams, a US tour supporting Maisie Peters, nearly two million Spotify monthly listeners, and was included on Shazam's 2023 predictions list. Kagen is undoubtedly an artist on the rise, an exciting new voice bringing undeniable energy and sincerity through his multifaceted sound.
Watch "The Roads" video below: