The twenty-one-year-old Mexican born singer, Omar Apollo, released his second EP this past week. Known for his indie and bedroom pop sound, Apollo has been gaining steady popularity with tracks like “Ugotme” “Unbothered” and “Breaklights.” His new EP, Friends, is sure to gain him more fans and push him closer to “indie darling” status.
Friends opens with the Prince-inspired track “Ashamed.” Despite the great instrumentals of the song, the vocals on the verse fall short. The track changes course about halfway through into a breakdown that sounds straight out of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Multi-Love.
The tracklist moves into a fully R&B sounding track, “Kickback.” The bassline in the song is reminiscent of the iconic bass in “Smooth Criminal.” The singing fits the instrumentals extremely well, but the lyrics fall slightly short of being interesting.
Previously released as a single, “Friends” is a sweet fingerpicked ballad. The lyrics are simple and sweet and captures Apollo’s youth. The track introduces electronic elements throughout, such a synth riff and some autotune vocal runs, that augment the song’s atmosphere and help to keep it from sounding repetitive.
“Hearing Your Voice” could easily be a B-side to “Friends.” The track is carried by staccato strumming on an acoustic guitar and an incredibly catchy hook. The vocal harmonies in the song help make it fit perfectly into the acoustic pop ballad category.
Apollo proves he can not only make a great ballad but a great disco jam. “So Good” sounds like a lost single from the 70s (with some extra synths). The bass line helps move the instrumentation along and brings all the elements together. The song is a stuck-in-your-head-for-days kind of catchy, and sure to get people off their sofas. The track brilliantly fades out, staying in your head long after it finishes.
The EP closes on the track “Trouble” which is perhaps the least memorable track (aside from the EP’s interlude) of the project. The track is not bad, and perhaps following “So Good” works against it, but it is not the strongest closing to an otherwise pretty solid release.
With the release of Friends Apollo has proved to be an artist worth keeping an eye on.
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