Review: Ben Kessler’s “Violet”

With the release of his second EP Violet, Ben Kessler is cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with among his singer songwriter peers. Like all of his previous music, the songs on Violet are painfully detailed and honestly crafted- made all that much better by Kessler’s voice which wears every single emotion right on his sleeve. I dare you to listen and not feel something.

2022 has proven to be a huge year for the singer, headlining his first two shows and just coming off of a European tour with friend and frequent collaborator Lizzy McAlpine. He shows no sign of stopping with the release of Violet, which Kessler himself has called a collection of the best music he has ever made (so far). A bold statement for sure but I can honestly concur- it’s difficult to ever doubt him when every single release is this damn good.

Opening track “April” was released nearly a year ago and has been in constant rotation ever since. Lyrically, it finds Ben in a hopeful place- setting himself a goal of feeling better by the time April comes around when this dark cloud will no longer hover over him. Sonically, the soft production and Kessler’s falsetto feel like a comforting hug to help any listener going through something similar hold on just a little while longer. The build of the song crescendos into this gorgeous musical break after the third chorus that instantly brings chills to my arms with every listen. “I get nostalgic when the weather changes, Been dreaming strangers with your face and, Sometimes I think that I can’t face it, But changing seasons makes me shaken,” the track sets the tone perfectly for what’s to come in this project and still feels just as fresh as it did when it came out last January.

“April” by Ben Kessler

Next up is “Graffiti”, my personal favorite from the tracklist and a song that encapsulates that feeling of seeing the one you are in love with everywhere you go. It’s painful, it’s relatable and it’s a damn good song. “And I thought that I could run away, and I almost thought I would feel the same, now everybody has your face, And I’m chasing graffiti with your name, Yeah, I’d wait for you all night, Just to know that you’re alright,” he sings on the chorus. That feeling of running away from your source of pain as an act of distraction is universal- yet we all experience it in our own unique ways and are forced to reckon with the fact that no matter where we go, they will always follow us. Using his lover’s name in graffiti as a metaphor for the term “writing on the wall” which is usually used to describe an impending disaster, Ben expertly lets us in on his thought process when it comes to this particular relationship. Sonically, it feels almost dreamlike- the production on his vocals so smooth as he croons away over that haunting piano melody.

“Graffiti” by Ben Kessler

“Default” details the ways in which Ben sometimes feels as if he’s no longer human- as if he is nothing more than just some wiring and written code, doomed to be set in his ways for the rest of his time. He’s left to overthink everything that people say to him and about him and hopes that he can get back to his “default” settings, before life had become this trying. “Just rip all of my wires out, See how long it takes ’til I shut down, Twist me ’til the truth falls out, Don’t call me when you’re guilty now,” he wishes he could start again, free to be his true self and speak what’s on his mind instead of worrying how it will be perceived. I’m not always a fan of overly produced vocals but when used so perfectly in tracks like this and balanced by an impressive vocal performance, it works extremely well.

“Default” by Ben Kessler

On the next track “Just Like Me”, Ben explores the similarities between him and the one he loves and how he knows them so clearly because of their shared complexities. From the moment that chorus first hits, you can feel a rush of what can only be labeled “sonic euphoria”. It demands to be blasted in front of a crowd and sung back just as loud. “Everybody says you’re just like me, I know the shadows underneath your eyes, Could I fix your heart if I fix mine?, Baby, you’re really just like me,” it’s all about that beauty of not judging someone for whatever they are going through and instead, just seeing them clearly and loving them completely. It’s this topic of relativity that I feel like I’ve never heard portrayed so earnestly by an artist before this.

“Just Like Me” by Ben Kessler

Back in July, we featured the EP’s next track “I Could Do This All Night” in our Scalding Hot series so I’m not going to do a full coverage on it here but SPOILER ALERT, we absolutely loved it. The song continues to get better with each consecutive listen and the playful melodies implant themselves in my head for hours and hours afterwards, proving that Ben can in fact do this all night. Wow I hate myself for making that joke. Anyways….

“I Could Do This All Night” by Ben Kessler

The EP’s final track “Violet” is a stunning deep dive into Ben’s state of mind and how he approaches the idea of truly falling in love and being vulnerable with his partner. He approaches it quite hesitantly as a form of both self-preservation and the mere fact that he feels unworthy of their love. “My fingers are crossеd, One hand on your leg, Pretend for a minute, I know how to stay, I’m too scared of falling, I give less than I should, Just know that I love you, I’d love you if I could,” he confesses on the title track. The visual of him shutting his eyes so tightly that all he can see is violet when he finally opens them is so striking that it adds even more depth to the emotions behind this song as Ben lays it all on the line for his love.

“Violet” by Ben Kessler

Ending the project on this final note leaves a lot to the imagination as the track comes to a close on the line “I’d love you if I could“, which I found particularly haunting as I tried to resonate everything I had heard. In a way, it’s quite a poignant statement by the young singer who had previously felt like on earlier tracks that he needed to bite his tongue. This is a man that knows exactly who he is, even if he still doubts himself. He communicates his feelings and recognizes the traits that might be a bit toxic. The honesty and sense of self exploration featured throughout these 6 tracks is what makes music, and artists of this caliber so meaningful to this world.

The world needs more artists like Ben Kessler. Now go stream the hell out of this EP.

Violet is out now on all streaming platforms!

Fresh Brewed Playlist #16

Gracie Abrams’ new single “Difficult” is out now!

Alas we are back with another Fresh Brewed Playlist and this week, we have Gracie Abrams to blame for our tears! Her newest single “Difficult” is anything but difficult to listen to, with melodies that only the masterful minds of Gracie Abrams and Aaron Dessner could craft. While the lyrics continue the raw writing style Abrams has become known for, the production is sonically more expansive than anything the singer songwriter has previously released. The chorus soars as Gracie describes the weight that her inability to escape her own thoughts has had on her. “And I’ve been thinkin’, If I move out this year, I’ll feel my parents slippin’, Away and also, I’m just scared of that commitment, I really think sometimes there’s somethin’ that I’m missin’,” she puts all of her insecurities on display with this track and still finds a way to somehow still make it fun. Her voice is as gorgeous and painful as always, mixed perfectly with the guitar and drum heavy track. If “Difficult” and the previously released “Block Me Out” are a sign of what is to come from Abrams’ new album, 2023 is going to be moody in all of the best ways.

“Difficult” by Gracie Abrams

Joesef’s new single “Joe” is about grieving the person he used to be before all of the pain and heartache. Nostalgic of that simpler time, the anthemic track is ready to be screamed and cried out on these cool fall evenings. That itself is the risk of loving big and being open right? The toll that it can take on who we are, forever changed by the scar tissue built around our heart. But that’s the beauty of it- if we never loved, would we ever truly love? Joesef wrestles with this realization on this track, which he says will be an overarching theme across his new album Permanent Damage which will be released on January 13, 2023. “How much of myself can I give away, ‘Til there’s nothing left to take from me? Feels like I’m losing things I can’t replace, It’s an emptiness that makes me weak,” he opens the song with a knife to our hearts- so rudely relatable and wonderfully addictive in its instant listenability.

“Joe” by Joesef

“Runaway Blue” by Chloe George is an addictive, late summer release that evokes the feelings of a hot New York City night. The track is about her own fear of commitment- her inability to allow herself to truly feel at peace with her partner as she is beginning to fall deep. Sonically, it feels so joyously wonderful- actually reminiscent of Sza in all of the best ways. “It’s just usually I see it comin’, so vivid before it finds me, but with you, it’s somethin’ I could never know, woah, I love you out of the blue since I’m givin’ way too much, I feel I been waitin’ up for you, I know life changes, if your mind changes out the blue, would you let me know,” she pours her heart out, afraid to let herself get too vulnerable in case her partner changes their mind without her realizing it. The songwriting and production choices made are absolutely gorgeous, and it makes me so excited to see what Chloe has in store for us with all of her future releases.

“Runaway Blue” by Chloe George

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #16 below!

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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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Fresh Brewed Playlist #14

Inhaler’s new single “These Are The Days” is out everywhere now!

So being away for a bit means one major thing: Lots of new music has been released in the last several weeks so we have plenty to catch up on. Grab your morning coffee and let’s get rolling!

Dublin based rock band Inhaler’s newest single “These Are The Days” is the anthemic summer single ready to rock an arena near you. Over the years, Inhaler have proven themselves to be one of the most exhilarating new bands to emerge in years and continue their winning streak here with this newest release. “These are the days that follow you home, these are the days that kiss you on your broken nose, these are the days I don’t miss the feeling of being alone, thеse are the days,” the chorus feels nostalgic in that “Glory Days” kinda way. It’s the cliche that these are the best days of their lives together as a band- and yet they make it feel so fresh and cool. The production, like all of their releases so far, is top notch- carrying the sound of the bands that have come before them and making it modern. If Inhaler is the future of rock, we are in damn good hands.

“These Are The Days” by Inhaler

“In The Kitchen” by Reneé Rapp is a stunningly haunting piece of music that focuses on a moment from her relationship that has now ended and how alone she now feels. “So I’ll dance with your ghost in the living room and I’ll play the piano alone, but I’m too scared to delete all our videos, ’cause it’s real once everyone knows, you could’ve at least shown me some decency, done me a favor and packed up your clothes, falling in love, no, it ain’t for the weak, so don’t try this at home,” the chorus punches a hole into your chest and rips your heart out before you can even catch a breath. Her vocal performance is raw and gritty, an absolutely unforgettable performance that stays with you long after the first listen as she struggles to move past the memory of their love in fear of making the loneliness that much more real. It’s heartbreakingly relatable and Rapp uses her acting chops to heighten the emotions even more so in the gorgeously shot music video below.

“In The Kitchen” by Reneé Rapp

The Lost Youth’s newest single “Headfirst” is a raging pop banger that grabbed me from the first 10 seconds- and frankly if you don’t feel the same, I highly suggest getting your hearing checked. The production is slick, reminiscent of the past and yet so perfectly modern. The lyrics are sharp, about the vulnerable early stages of a relationship when you’re afraid of ruining things. “I play my part and I don’t play games, what if I go too far, could I lose everything,” the chorus is anthemic, ready to be screamed at their concerts and sure to be a fan favorite. With “Headfirst” only being their second release, they have an incredible potential to become an absolute sensation around the world. I’m so excited to see what this duo have in store for us next!

“Headfirst” by The Lost Youth

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #14 below!

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Scalding Hot: David Alexander’s “Her”

David Alexander’s new single “Her” is out everywhere now!

After a bit of a hiatus, Brew Music Friday is finally back and today- I bring you the next edition of “Scalding Hot”! On today’s segment I bring you the newest release from an up-and-coming singer songwriter and producer named David Alexander, whose newest release “Her” is his most promising yet.

I first discovered David’s work on TikTok quite a few months ago when he began to tease all of the newest music he had been working on in his World Domination series. Each tease was so damn good that it made me constantly come back to see if he had posted more. I went back- over and over- waiting very impatiently for when I could blast these songs in my car. And now the first of what is to come has finally been released- so let’s break it down!

“Her” is an absolute bop- the kind of song that makes you want to jump around your room while screaming it at the top of your lungs. Alexander, who wrote and produced the track along with Benzi, does an incredible job building tension with the production which finally releases in the explosive chorus. “You’ve been calling me up, late night reminding me of everything we don’t have, it’s so embarrassing, I can’t hеlp but call it what it is, you’re just somebody I kissed last night, looking for somеthing to shut off my mind, all I’ve been thinking about is her, and you’ll never be her,” David sings on the chorus, his voice carrying a grit to it.

While the production is definitely joy ride worthy, the lyrics have an emotional depth to them that place you right in David’s shoes. The song tells the story of someone heartbroken over a girl and unable to move on, so he goes out to be with someone else who is nothing more than a rebound for him. He recognizes the toxicity of his actions, but he can’t help it- and like all of the best kinds of art, it is extremely personal.

“Her” by David Alexander

“Her” is David Alexander’s first release since November 2021’s “Dreams Cost Cash”- having taken some time for himself in his first year of college to just allow himself to write and discover the sound he was searching for. Between this song and the others that he has teased along the way- it definitely sounds like he’s found it. He knows exactly how to use his voice, at times smooth as hell and yet gritty when he needs it to be. I’m automatically reminded of Luke Hemmings’ voice when trying to think of who I could possibly compare him too.

With the release of “Her” also comes Alexander’s announcement that he will take time off from school to fully pursue his music, so if you are looking to follow an artist from the beginning of their journey through the time their art finally blows up- now is the time to get on board with David Alexander. Make sure to follow his socials below to stay up to date on more music news!

“Her” is out now on all streaming platforms!

Are there any other artists you’d like to see featured on the next “Scalding Hot”? Send me your recommendations on Instagram today!

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Review: Sabrina Carpenter’s “emails i can’t send”

Sabrina Carpenter’s new album “emails i can’t send” is out everywhere now!

Sabrina Carpenter has masterfully crafted a deeply personal and heartbreakingly intimate, yet perfectly fun summer album with her latest album emails i can’t send. Her first full length release since 2019’s Singular: Act II, this album is her strongest and most cohesive by far- showcasing her witty songwriting and utilizing her vocals better than I’ve heard from previous projects.

As I’ve now listened to the album quite a few times through, I can’t help but feel like in a way, this is Sabrina’s equivalent to Taylor Swift’s masterful album Reputation. Following a year of media scrutiny and the publicization of her personal life, one can only imagine the kind of backlash she faced and instead of letting it tarnish her career- she owns it with confidence and takes the time to tell her side of the situation and does so quite beautifully.

The track that will most likely get the most social media buzz “because i liked a boy”, addresses the perceptions and harsh assumptions that Carpenter faced when the public decided to villainize her when dragged against her will into a very public love triangle. “Now I’m a homewrecker, I’m a slut. I got death threats filling up semitrucks, tell me who I am, guess I don’t have a choice, all because I liked a boy,” she sings on the chorus, owning into the perceptions people made about a relationship they frankly knew nothing about. Throughout the song, she compares the innocence of their relationship against the cruel and sometimes brutal noise surrounding them. It’s sad that in 2022, a situation can still be so sensationalized to the point that one woman has to be torn down in order to support another- and frankly the true villains are the ones who made Sabrina write this song in the first place.

Directed by Amber Park

The album’s title track and introduction “emails i can’t send” adds another layer to understanding what Sabrina has faced- detailing her own fathers’ infidelity and her inability to look at him the same. The stripped down, gorgeous piano led track is tragic in its lyrics while explaining how her father’s affair has impacted her own ability to trust in her relationships- which frankly makes the public calling her a “homewrecker” that much more heartbreaking. “When I’m forty-five, someone calls me their wife, and he fucks our lives in one selfish night, don’t think I’ll find forgiveness as fast as mom did, and God, I love you, but you’re such a dipshit,” she sings in a stream of consciousness like style. Describing the track on her Instagram, Carpenter says that this is “The song that inspired the record. Someone I looked up to let me down and it changed the way I love and receive love.”

“emails i can’t send” by Sabrina Carpenter

Another album standout is “Tornado Warnings”, a very tongue in cheek and fun track about making a habit of ignoring someone’s red flags and choosing to see the best in them. “I drive you home, you drive me crazy, but that’s not gonna stop me, I call you out, you call me ‘baby’, but that’s not gonna stop me,” she sings on the bridge of the back and forth she feels in their relationship. The extremely catchy chorus is also sure to be having everyone singing “I’m lying to my therapist” all summer long as well right from the first listen.

“Tornado Warnings” by Sabrina Carpenter

Despite covering some heavy topics, Sabrina also balances out the album with some fun as well with tracks like “Nonsense” and “Bet You Wanna” oozing confidence and sensuality. My personal favorite as of right now is “Already Over”, which finds the singer exploring a relationship where her and her partner struggle to break the routine of being lovers when trying to maintain a friendship. The production is a perfect blend of pop and surprisingly country with the kind of knee slapping chorus that leaves you wanting to chant it over and over. “Yeah I Say I’m done, but I’m still confused, how am I supposed to close the door when I still need the closure? And I change my mind, but it’s still on you, how am I supposed to leave you now that you’re already over,” she sings on the chorus of how closure simply isn’t enough when you’re stuck on the moments you once felt happy in. It’s the perfect blend of heartbreaking lyrics and fun pop production that fans are sure to love.

“Already Over” by Sabrina Carpenter

The final song I’d like to discuss in this review is the album’s final track “Decode” which finds Sabrina coming to terms with the fact that certain situations are out of her control- finding in the end that she can try her best to let them go without taking it on herself. “There’s a weight off my shoulders now that I don’t chase you, being myself did that emasculate you? Learning from you that I can walk away too,” her message here feels like a true culmination of the journey that began with the opening track. As the track begins to close and the gorgeous violins continue on, you can practically feel Sabrina’s sigh of relief. It feels like finding her own freedom and inner peace- ending the album on a powerful note.

“Decode” by Sabrina Carpenter

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Sabrina Carpenter has managed to quite efficiently escape the “ex-Disney Star” phase of her career- transitioning seamlessly and quicker than any of her peers before her. This is damn good music and shouldn’t be belittled to headline grabbing hot takes. Sabrina Carpenter has cemented herself as here to stay- a successful singer, songwriter, actress and more. If you can’t see that, you’re simply not paying attention.

There’s more to emails i can’t send then the relationship drama that surrounded it. It’s a story of trauma at a young age and the harmful ways our society still tries to tear women down. But it’s also a story of taking what they try to belittle you with and owning it instead of letting it hold any power over you. And for that, Sabrina Carpenter deserves all of your praise.

emails i can’t send is out now on all streaming platforms!

Scalding Hot: Ben Kessler’s “I Could Do This All Night”

Ben Kessler’s new single “I Could Do This All Night” is out everywhere now!

Stop what you’re doing! The first edition of Brew Music Friday’s new segment “Scalding Hot” is all about singer-songwriter Ben Kessler who is finally back with new music and it’s about to be your new obsession. Kessler describes “I Could Do This All Night” as a song about fighting with yourself- the constant feeling of being stuck in your own head. “I realized I wasn’t writing about being angry or disappointed – I was writing about the power and amusement of realizing your own strength,” he wrote in a post about the release. It’s gritty, relatable, and like all of Ben’s music- effortlessly fun.

Yeah I could do this all night, you throw a mean punch, but I know you can’t fight and I gave up tryna give a piece of my mind, I’ll let you be right, run all the circles you’d like, I could do this all night,” he sings on the chorus of the rock influenced track. Ben’s voice has never sounded better- both gritty and vulnerable here and filled with stylistic choices that keep you gripping on every single word he sings.

In a short period of time, Ben Kessler has established himself as a poignant lyricist and producer who has stayed true to himself through every subsequent release and collaboration. Whether he’s singing with Lizzy McAlpine on “reckless driving” or on “Love You Now, Love You Later” from his 2021 EP Cruise Control, he makes you feel every emotion imaginable. His voice has the kind of gravel that most artists merely dream of possessing- at times reminiscent of John Mayer, but like most of the greats, he’s in a world all his own.

Ben has described “ICDTAN” as the first song from the most important batch of music he’s ever created, and if this is a tease of what he’s been up to in the months since the release of his single “April”, this next project cannot come soon enough. This is game changing music, anthemic and ready to be sung on every late-night drive with the windows down and sure to be screamed at the top of your lungs when he finally announces a tour.

If you’re looking to follow a rising artist before he hits the big leagues, Ben Kessler is your guy. Sincere, down to earth, and out of this world talented- he’s the kind of artist who deserves every single bit of attention you have to offer. And he’s sure to be an absolute superstar. You can follow his socials below to stay up to date with all of his upcoming news on releases and tour dates. Cheers and happy listening!

“I Could Do This All Night” is out now on all streaming platforms!

Are there any other artists you’d like to see featured on the next “Scalding Hot”? Send me your recommendations on Instagram today!

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Fresh Brewed Playlist # 13

Zach Oliver’s new single “Coat Check” is out now!

Zach Oliver’s newest release “Coat Check” is the perfect vibe to get this summer going with a chorus so catchy, I dare you to not have it stuck in your head instantly. I first heard the song teased on TikTok back in June and found myself instantly gravitating toward Zach’s sound, vibe, and overall personality he’d perfectly portrayed in the preview. It left me begging for more- and to my surprise the full song doesn’t disappoint at all (unlike many songs on the app that are teased for way too long before ultimately being underwhelming by the time they are released in full). Each chorus continues to build quite beautifully, and the background harmonies bring such a breath of life into each subsequent chorus. “I fell in love at the coat check singing the song of the summer and I know she got in without paying cover cause her one friend’s probably banging the drummer,” the tongue in cheek chorus is ready to be screamed at the top of your lungs on all of the night drives to come. Make sure you give him a follow now because this guy is sure to be a superstar.

“Coat Check” by Zach Oliver

“Gemini”, the latest release from Brynn Cartelli is by far the singer’s strongest outing yet since winning The Voice back in 2018 with Kelly Clarkson! Cartelli was the youngest contestant to ever win the competition and in the years since signing her recording contract, she’s shown a clear-cut artistry and talent for songwriting that all truly shine on this new single. “Gemini” is a fun play on astrology and the fact that Brynn knows that Gemini’s, often known for their double sides (as a fellow Gemini, I can definitely report that it’s real), aren’t good for her and yet the guy at the center of her song is still making her fall for him. The melody is instantly gorgeous and recognizable- unlike any song of recent memory- and the production purposefully allows her vocals to shine above the rising tension. The accompanying music video which Brynn directed herself features the most perfectly fitting choreography I’ve seen in quite a while (kudos to choreographer Olivia Picard). If this is a sign of what’s to come in Brynn Cartelli’s career, we absolutely have a lot to look forward to! Now listen to her advice and avoid my fellow Gemini’s at all costs!

“Gemini” by Brynn Cartelli

When I tell you that I cannot get enough of Manana’s new song “Pulchritudinous”, it’s just about the biggest understatement of the year. This song stopped me in my tracks, slapped me in the face and left me in its wake to sit and ponder over everything I know about life. It’s haunting, beautifully sung and produced, and just instantly memorable. The South African singer serves as songwriter and producer on the track, which is named after the word pulchritudinous, which also means physically beautiful or attractive. “See I’ve run out of words for what you deserve to be called,” he sings on the pre-chorus, forced to discover an adjective worthy enough to describe his partner. Whereas he searches for the words worthy of his partner, he finds them in the simplest of ways, telling them in the chorus “Cos you are where I’m so happy“. It’s that sentiment that makes it so gorgeous, finding the words that we all dream of hearing someday. Between the songwriting, his velvety tone, and the exquisite production, I hope you all fall in love with this song as much as I have. Manana’s new EP But could the moments in between is out everywhere now!

“Pulchritudinous” by Manana

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #13 below!

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Review: Conan Gray’s “Superache”

Conan Gray’s new album “Superache” is out now!

Conan Gray’s long awaited sophomore studio album Superache is finally here, and it’s a massive leap in the right direction. The 23-year-old singer who started out on YouTube has shown an incredible bit of growth with this project- maturing as a songwriter and showing a vast improvement in his vocal ability as well. While I’ve always had respect for Gray and his pen, the production on previous projects sometimes left me wanting more and this album finally feels like his lyrics are met with their harmonious equals. Now let’s break it down!

Superache is a tale of love and heartbreak- telling stories of unrequited love, childhood trauma, and the impact they can have on one’s life. It’s heartbreaking and dramatic as hell, leaving you in its wake as Conan opens up about the experiences that have nearly broken him.

On opening track “Movies” he fantasizes about the kinds of love seen on screen, wishing him and his partner could have an unbreakable bond instead of feeling merely what they lack. No relationship is ever perfect, and yet we all search for that idealized love we grow up watching in films. Perhaps it’s a bit unrealistic but it teaches you what you truly deserve- which Conan recognizes when comparing his relationship to the ones he’s grown up watching. “In my head, we never grow apart, in my head, you never break my heart, but we know that’s not what we’re doing, ’cause baby, this ain’t like the movies,” he sings on the chorus and sets the tone for what’s to come with the rest of the album.

Movies” by Conan Gray

Another album standout is the newest single “Disaster” which is one of the very few up-tempo tracks on this project. The track represents the panic that ensues when contemplating over what will happen if you confess your feelings for someone. Conan captures the spiraling panic perfectly with collaborator Julia Michaels as well, imagining the worst-case scenario if he confesses his love for his crush. “There’s so many factors, like what if you freak out, and then we’re losin’ it all at the critical chapter, where I say ‘I love you’ and you don’t say it after? This could be a disaster,” he sings on the chorus of the all too relatable track. It’s a moment we’ve all found ourselves in at one point or another and despite the frustration this describes, the production is bouncy and pure pop perfection.

“Disaster” by Conan Gray

“Family Line” is by far, the album’s most personal and heartbreaking track- detailing Gray’s childhood and relationship between his parents. Conan describes the feeling of growing up within this trauma and how it has molded him into who he is today, recognizing the parts of his parents that he sees within himself and how he has tried to unlearn the toxic patterns. “All of my past, I tried to erase it, but now I see, would I even change it? Might share a face and share a last name but we are not the same,” the bridge brings to light a sense of catharsis within Conan. It’s poignant and the production is absolute perfection- I dare anyone to listen to it without getting full body chills.

“Family Line” by Conan Gray

It would be impossible to review this album and not talk about “Astronomy” which came out over a year ago and still feels just as fresh as the first listen. To put it simply, it’s one of those songs that haunts you to your core and leaves you coming back for more pain every single time. The production builds so beautifully by the time it reaches the bridge as Conan sings about the fear of losing his friendship with his best friend and not having this bond someday. “You can’t force the stars to align when they’ve already died,” he recognizes how it would be perfect if all of the conditions would be ideal to revive their relationship but it’s not something they have any control over when there’s nothing keeping them together.

“Astronomy” by Conan Gray

Much of the beauty and pain of Superache relies on the fact that nothing lasts forever- whether it’s the love between 2 people, the ache from a relationship ending, or the trauma taught to us at a young age. There’s a poignant beauty to every feeling and experience, an opportunity to learn and grow from it all. And while life can hurt you and bring you to your lowest point, it’s that ache that reminds you you’re alive.

Superache is out now on all streaming platforms!

Fresh Brewed Playlist #12

Carol Ades’ new single “26” is out now!

Carol Ades’ long awaited new single “26” is a beautifully crafted anthem for anyone feeling lost in life. From the moment I heard the first snippets on her TikTok, I knew this song was somehow made exactly for me. The ways in which Ades describes that in-between state of your mid-twenties where the transition from childhood to adulthood truly hits is universally relatable. “Oh, I’m freaking out, trying not to turn this car right around, cos there ain’t a feeling I’m not tryna fix, I’m not a grown-up but I’m not a kid, it hurts every time I’m reminded, I’m not dying, I’m just 26,” she sings on the chorus. The production choices are simply gorgeous as the track continues to build into the second chorus’ crescendo, but it’s the simplicity of the outro that make it unforgettable. Carol Ades has already had an accomplished career as a songwriter but it’s about time she gets the credit she deserves- she’s an absolute star.

“26” by Carol Ades

“Ruby Sparks” is another standout release by a rising artist named Monét Ngo who proves himself to be a force to be reckoned with on this track (which is only the second song he’s ever released btw). According to his Instagram, the song came to him in a dream- and the mysteriously seductive production captures that dream like haze quite perfectly. While listening, I was reminded so beautifully of little hints of Joji, Ryan Beatty and even the one and only Frank Ocean- and yet Ngo is very much his own artist. The song was already pretty much perfect and then the final minute began- with the switch up in production slowing down the beat and adding a reverb to his vocals that truly skyrocketed it to perfection. It’s been a long time since I’ve found a brand-new artist that made me desperate for whatever is next- and Monét Ngo should know I’ll be waiting desperately.

“Ruby Sparks”- Directed by Natasha Abdul

Oceanic’s new single “Walt” is yet another incredible release from the Indie pop band who have gained quite a lot of success over the last few years. Like all of their songs, “Walt” is beautifully written and gives the listeners the opportunity to think on what it means to be in love. Named after Walt Disney, the song examines the ideas we have of love based upon the shows and movies we grow up watching and how they mess up our own view of the love we experience in our lives. “My love right now is missing some perfection, if the silver screens are true,” they sing on the pre-chorus, questioning their own experiences based upon the expectations fed to us. It’s not something that is always made obvious to us, but there are things that we are made to feel that we are required to say and do, which can make romance feel a bit more calculated than it really should be. It’s what Oceanic always do best, they get you bopping first and before you know it, you’re in deep thought- which is truly what I love about them. “Walt” is the latest single from their upcoming album No, Human and you can check out my interview with the band from back in May here!

“Walt” by Oceanic

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #12 below!

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