Melbourne based indie singer-songwriter Zoe Koul made quite a decent impression with her debut release, Time To Fly, an accessible pop semi-ballad that climbed to #3 on the Triple J Unearthed Pop Charts. The twenty-year-old has just released her second single, Cry, a similarly charged pop song that’s perhaps a little more serious-minded and self-reflective. As Zoe has said about the lyric, ‘The song serves as a positive reminder to be in touch with our emotions when it seems easier to bury them—and that we should keep believing in ourselves, even when things are tough.’ A worthy enough ambition that deals with the complexities of such a task by using that most abstract of languages, music.
The style here is not exactly the balladeering appeals of Time To Fly but of a more measured kind, wrought with a little more subtlety. Written during the COVID-19 lockdown, Cry is that all too familiar meditation on anxiety and adversity, a self-diagnosis that ultimately leads to a certain kind of awareness. As Zoe says about Cry’s origins, ‘It was written as a personal reminder that there is no shame in being vulnerable and asking for help; in fact, there is beauty and strength in it!’ Comprising an array of contemporary sonic touches, Cry manages to sound unfiltered and sophisticated while creating an equally multi-faceted dynamic.
Cry eschews the over-the-top hooks for a more tranquil form of melodic strength; the rather weighty subject matter efficiently mirrors the deliberation revealed by the production, instrumentation, and, of course, Zoe’s performance. The song aims high, and for the most part, it achieves a certain level of RnB fused pop eloquence that belies Zoe’s age. When asked about her ambitions, Zoe says, ‘My biggest goal with my music is for people to resonate with the uplifting and introspective topics that guide my lyrics and melodies.’
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