Fresh Brewed Playlist #15

Niki’s new album “Nicole” is out everywhere now!

“Backburner” by Niki was an automatic standout from her fantastic new album Nicole– recalling the feeling of neglect she’d become used to when in love with her partner. “I’ll always be in your corner, ’cause I don’t feel alive ’til I’m burnin’ on your backburner,” the feelings of neglect are almost okay as long as her partner still comes to her eventually, even if pushed aside for the time being. That feeling of waiting to be prioritized by the one you love is heartbreaking, and unfortunately quite relatable for many listeners. The Indonesian singer songwriter even wonders if it was her upbringing and her father’s “wandering eyes” that have instilled this feeling in her. It’s a gorgeously written song and Niki’s storytelling ability really shines through here in a poignant way that makes me want to hear way more going forward!

“Backburner” by Niki

Ruel’s newest single “YOU AGAINST YOURSELF” is the first single from the Australian singer’s debut album and another fantastic release. Starting the album cycle off with a sense of introspection, he offers up an anthem about overcoming self-sabotage- begging his loved one to let him be there for them in their time of need. “I can’t save you now, Oh, why’s it always you against yourself,” he sings on the chorus- beginning to lose hope that he can break down this barrier between them. Sonically, it’s a synth heavy pop banger with great listenability and the production by Sammy Witte and M-Phazes is so smooth that Ruel’s vocals lay perfectly on top of it. The 19-year-old singer’s voice has never sounded better, showcasing the gravel in his tone along with a falsetto in the chorus that solidify him as one of the most talented male vocalists in music right now. I for one, cannot wait to see what his debut album sounds like when it’s finally released!

“YOU AGAINST YOURSELF” by Ruel

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #15 below!

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Review- Omar Apollo’s “Ivory”

Omar Apollo’s new album “Ivory” is out now!

After several years of releasing mixtapes and a mini album called Apolonio, Omar Apollo has finally released his debut studio album called Ivory. The 16-track project combines Apollo’s Mexican heritage with his Pop and R&B sound that has cemented him as the most versatile male singer in music right now. Ivory is both sexy and emotionally rich- and it’s absolutely worth the wait for anyone who has followed him throughout his career so far.

With Ivory, Apollo paints a picture of what love looks like for him- exploring the beauty within the pain that comes with love, as well as his own identity. Across the 16 tracks, the Mexican American singer glides effortlessly from soul baring, stripped down tracks to bilingual hip-hop- all along keeping his queerness at the forefront.

Directed by Jenna Marsh

It all began back in July of 2021 with the release of the album’s lead single “Go Away”, a beautiful combination of Omar’s smooth falsetto and pop influenced production that was made for summer night drives with the window’s down. If you’ve heard the song, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The song’s success was followed by several other releases like “Bad Life” featuring Kali Uchis and “Invincible” featuring Daniel Caesar, the latter of which was featured in my Fresh Brewed Playlist # 2!

Directed by Jake Nava

The album’s latest single “Tamagotchi” is a sexy, bouncy change of pace from the rest of the album as Apollo effortlessly raps in both English and Spanish. The high-octane track is a definite standout among the album, both exhilarating and memorable with its tongue in cheek lyrics. “Just hit me on FaceTime, feeling so good, feeling so good, singing a bass line, your body is on me, you touching up on me, we cum at thе same time.”

Another standout track is the brutally raw “Evergreen”, a song about the devastation of losing someone’s love- a feeling so universal and yet Apollo makes it feel so painfully personal. “You know you really made me hate myself, had to stop before I break myself, shoulda broke it off to date myself, you didn’t deserve me at all,” he sings on the bridge of the toll this love has taken on his mental health. He captures the pain of feeling as if you aren’t enough so vividly, even questioning if his body is what made his lover leave him in the first place. It’s that spiral we’ve all felt at one point, picking ourselves apart to try to explain why we weren’t enough for the one we loved.

“Evergreen” by Omar Apollo

“Personally” is another album standout and is my personal favorite from the track listing. The production is stripped back, mainly just an acoustic guitar and Apollo’s ethereal vocals which are layered so perfectly that they leave you hanging on every single word he sings. “Cause I really don’t wanna be here alone, too many people I don’t see no more, too many feelings I don’t feel no more,” the feeling of change and losing friends along the way give “Personally” an achingly vivid window into Apollo’s soul.

“Personally” by Omar Apollo

It would be impossible to compliment Omar’s vocals without highlighting the incredible vocal showcase that is “En El Olvido” which brings his Mexican heritage right to the forefront. In an interview with NPR, Apollo mentions how the song was inspired by his love of Juan Gabriel, who he grew up listening to. The song, which is a corrido, otherwise known as a Mexican ballad, feels so classic and yet it’s unlike anything I’ve heard on a Pop/R&B record like Ivory before.

“En El Olvido” by Omar Apollo

After scrapping an album that he had worked on during the pandemic, Omar Apollo has graced the world with Ivory, which is an incredible piece of work that somehow gets better with every listen. His versatility and fluidity bring forth a charisma unlike any of his peers- leaving his listeners sure that they are taking in the art of a master at work. Apollo is set for superstardom, and if there’s any justice in this world, he will get the recognition he deserves.

Ivory is out now on all streaming services!

Fresh Brewed Playlist #2

Omar Apollo and Daniel Caesar

This week’s Fresh Brewed Playlist was curated with a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew!

“Y.T.D (Year to Date)” by Madeline is the perfect, beautifully bittersweet song that you need to jumpstart this new year. Her lyrics describe the dreaded feeling of drifting apart from those you were once close to and the hope that maybe some day you’ll unite again. “And I know sometimes, it just ends up this way,
go from friends to a feeling tied to a name,” the Los Angeles based singer captures the loneliness while proving herself to be a force to be reckoned with in pop.

“Y.T.D (Year to Date)” directed by J. Logan Alexander

Omar Apollo’s brand-new single “Invincible” featuring Daniel Caesar off of his upcoming album Ivory is a vocal showcase for both artists as they explore the complexities of a lost love. “If I were to go, tell me would you notice me,” Caesar’s heavenly vocals open the track and instantly remind the listeners of that longing for their lover’s affection and the emptiness that is felt when it’s not returned. Along with the previously released singles “Bad Life” and “Go Away”, 2022 is set to be a huge year for Apollo once Ivory is released on April 8th.

“Invincible”- Directed by STILLZ

“When You Lose Someone” by Nina Nesbitt details the aftermath of lost love and the toll it takes on every aspect of your life. The Scottish singer first teased the song on her TikTok and after an outpouring of support by her passionate fans, has finally released the beautifully produced ballad. Nesbitt’s vocals are stunning over the piano laced track, striking right for the heart in lines like “it’s not something that just fades overnight, it’s something that stays for the rest of your life“. It’s a reminder that time can only heal our wounds, along with beautifully written songs by Nina Nesbitt.

Lyric Video: Natalie Sakstrup

Lyric of the week: “Those weekends at the beach made me feel ugly, But now all I can see is how you loved me“- Aly & AJ in “Way Way Back”

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #2 below!

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