CD | Alternative | 13 Sep 2019
CD | Alternative | 13 Sep 2019
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The debut EP, Ready, introduced the world to Ruel, whose song writing talent, emotive vocal delivery and live performances swiftly captivated a dedicated fan base that has grown exponentially with each song and release.
The EP contained the standout singles; the Platinum ‘Younger’ and ‘Dazed and Confused’, and the Gold accredited ‘Don’t Tell Me.’ His 2019 release ‘Painkiller’ is also certified Gold.
Review of Ruel - Free Time by Thomas Bleach
With maturity beyond his year’s, Ruel’s new EP ‘Free Time’ is not something you would expect from a sixteen year old. When you reflect on what Justin Bieber was releasing at that age, he was just repeating the word “baby” 56 times in a song, where as Ruel is diving into heartbreak, unrequited love and heavy self reflections. Kicking off the EP with ‘Don’t Cry’ he explores gender constructs that tell boys it’s not okay to cry or show emotion because it’s a “feminine” quality. Supporting a friend through a hard time, he encourages them to embrace their feelings and to forget all the constructs they’ve grown up with. It’s a very soothing and soulful song to begin with, that rolls into the RNB injected ‘Real Thing’ and title track ‘Free Time’. Lead single ‘Painkiller’ sees him reflecting on the concept of how someone can be the antidote to all your bad times and your questioning thoughts. Growing it’s moody atmosphere through it’s soul-pop production, he cites influences from the likes of Frank Ocean, Khalid and James Blake on this massive singalong track. Throughout this EP he gets very real. Stripping all the production back on the moody piano ballad, ‘Hard Sometimes’, he explains all the things he misses out on with his new found fame that sees him on the road a lot. He struggles with not being able to experience life with his friends and having to watch them have a good time through social media. It’s an honest depiction of the loneliness he's discovered in chasing his dream. But the EP’s strongest moment comes from the moody and beautiful ballad ‘Unsaid’ which is about the affect mental health can have on relationships. This track was written about his friend and fellow musician Luke Liang passing away after struggling with mental health issues. “I see that you've been crying but you never wanna talk about it. All these words left unsaid. Hanging over my head”. It’s a powerful song that will have you immediately taken aback by it’s pure heaviness. The thing I love the most about Ruel is that he’s genuinely making music that he wants to make and his fans are listening and engaging. He isn't being pressured into making pop friendly songs like Justin Bieber or Shawn Mendes to have success. Instead his fans are supporting his raw creativity and his label are supporting that too.
See more from Thomas on his website
2018 saw Ruel become the youngest recipient in history to win the prestigious ARIA Award for ‘Breakthrough Artist Of The Year’. In 2019, Ruel continued to break records by becoming the youngest male artist in history to sell out the iconic Sydney Opera House, not once, but twice for his Painkiller Tour.
Title: Free Time EP
Release Date: 13 Sep 2019
Catalogue No: 19075989982