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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Review- Luke Hemmings’ “When Facing the Things We Turn Away From”

Album Artwork

When Facing the Things We Turn Away From, is an album that punches a hole in your chest, grabs hold of your heart, and promises to never let go. Not that you’d ever want it to.

Luke Hemmings has achieved what most artists can merely dream of, crafting a cohesive, dreamlike soundscape to explore themes of growing up, isolation, and the fear of losing all that you love. Hemmings’ cowriter and producer on almost every track, Sammy Witte, creates an atmospheric tension that builds upon the foundation of classic rock.

Despite being his debut solo album, Hemmings is no stranger to the music industry- having spent the last decade as the lead singer for the popular band 5 Seconds of Summer. Now he’s getting personal, letting the listeners in for perhaps the first time on this 12-track journey.

“Starting Line”- Directed by Scottie Cameron

It all began with “Starting Line”, the lead single which tracks Hemmings’ experience throughout the years in the music industry. Despite his worldwide success with the band, Luke feels as if a part of his youth has been taken from him. “Standing on the sun and I don’t feel a thing“, the Australian singer is apathetic amongst the success that most merely dream of achieving.

It’s nothing groundbreaking, the struggles of fame have been told time and time again- but it’s Witte’s production that aids in the track’s success. It begins with a slow jog over a simple piano and builds until its bridge when Hemmings’ vocals begin to soar, and the drums propel the listener into a 5K for their life.

Witte outdoes himself again on the somber track “Mum”, a song tinged in regret of leaving those you love behind- in this case Luke’s mother. The tension of the lyrics continues to rise until the utter explosion of instrumentals after the second chorus- perhaps the finest bit of production in most recent years.

On album highlight “Slip Away”, Hemmings unleashes every bit of emotion he has left. Singing of the fear he feels in losing the ones he loves, he recently told Apple Music that “‘Slip Away’ is about that feeling right before bed where every bad decision and bad thing you have ever done swirls around your mind. The constant ache of expecting loved ones to be out the door as soon as they see who you actually are“.

Hemmings begs his loved ones not to give up on him, practically crying on the final chorus as he sings out “don’t you leave me in this silence, when you’ve seen all my mistakes, now I’m looking for escapes like I knew I would“. It’s impossible not to feel his pain, this burden of fear that sits heavy on our chests in our most vulnerable moments.

When Facing the Things We Turn Away From is a career defining album, one in which Luke Hemmings has made with his solo debut. Raw, emotional, and often times very fun- the album has no filler tracks and demands for each song to have its own focus. The best album of 2021 is criminally underrated, having somehow gone without much media attention. Perhaps this is just what its maker wants, to create his art and still live his life- he has clearly earned it.

When Facing the Things We Turn Away From is out now on all streaming platforms!