by Thomas Bedward March 24, 2021
One of the many RnB and soul artists who are currently keeping Portland’s music scene afloat, Bleary has gone from an optimistic hip-hop hopeful to one of the scene’s brightest stars. Inspired by the immortal Tupac and drawn to rap ever since he was able to understand flow, substance, and storytelling, Bleary’s music is all about opening up his listeners, detailing real-life events in which he’s been able to grow and share his homegrown wisdom. After surviving a life-threatening experience, Bleary took on music full-time, pushing to become the best and share his expansive creative world with us all.
After months of refining his sound, Bleary has finally released his debut EP, and it’s an absolute masterclass in sharp emotive writing. Aptly named ‘Bad Days’, the EP delivers nine tracks of genre-fusing brilliance, with each piece channelling love, heartbreak, self-growth, and the aftermath of it all.
Track by track, ‘Bad Days’ unfolds as a series of immersive hip-hop stories, each one designed to impress and affect the listener in equal measure. In opening cut ‘Sever Pt. 1’, Bleary lays down a soft, evocative beat that drifts amongst a sea of RnB sounds, setting the stage for a near-perfect release. A call for better days, it’s an impressive opening track that sets the mood brilliantly. As the EP continues, tracks like ‘Peace’ deliver a unique rhythm and structure that builds brilliantly as the release progresses, while ‘Weeknight’ and ‘Long Gone’ showcase Bleary’s more experimental side, offering some true funk and melodic vibes that will catch your attention and elevate you to a higher plane.
As the tracks keep on coming, ‘One Day’ fires on a straight hip-hop flow, carving out its own path with a powerful and commanding sense of self, while ‘I Tried’ and ‘Let Me Go’ delve into smooth, reflective beats and a twisting emotive melody, showcasing Bleary’s more evocative side and really tugging at the heartstrings throughout. In the end, the last song is arguably one of the most effective, with ‘Don’t See You’ perfectly illustrating Bleary’s moody rap style. Lyrically, it’s a song that sees the young rapper accepting the person he is and pushing on to achieve better things, perfectly encapsulating the tone and message behind the EP.
A riveting, often surreal introduction to Bleary, the EP is a rare, truly captivating example of modern hip-hop done just right. Combining poignant narratives, honest emotions, and hard-earned wisdom, as well as some unique structures and rhythmic, everything about the EP has been built to inspire and entertain, and Bleary should be damned proud of it.
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by Thomas Bedward November 24, 2022
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