- 11 Jun 21
The 19-year-old artist's highly-anticipated second EP dropped today.
Unlike most artists releasing a record right now, lockdown didn’t much interfere with the making of Smoothboi Ezra’s new EP Stuck - given that the act already self-produces music from their Greystones bedroom.
Stuck is the second EP from the teen songwriter and producer, a soft and pop-y offering that sometimes belies the slightly more serious lyrical content. With a soundtrack of Angel Olsen, Soccer Mommy and Haley Heynderickx for inspiration, it charts Ezra’s experience of emotional relationships - in particular, the break-up of romantic connections and friendships.
On the EP's title track, the Hot Press Hot for 2020 musician reflects on the end of a romantic partnership.
“‘Stuck’ is a song about being in a relationship with someone you care a lot about, but you know it’s not going to work out,” the non-binary musician says. “It’s an unsaid mutual agreement that you can feel the relationship ending but you’re both waiting on the other person to end it." ‘Without Me’ is then about the aftermath of that end, about “trying to come to terms with not being that person’s number one anymore.”
Watch the video for 'Stuck', starring non-binary couple El and Lauren below.
‘You’ takes a look at Ezra’s experience of relationships as an autistic person. “My autism makes it hard for me to remember how I feel about people when they’re not right in front of me,” they explain. “I have very little emotional object permanence which makes it hard to feel loved by people but also makes it hard for me to let the people I love know and feel my love for them.”
There’s a lyrical narrative quality to most of Ezra’s songs, particularly ‘Palm of Your Hand’, although this isn’t always something they set out to do. “I think people get more from a song when they decide what it means to them.”
“Sometimes my songs are amalgamations of different lines from different songs I’ve written, and they end up being about multiple things,” they explained. “Other times I’m thinking of one specific memory or situation I’ve been in and I write about that.” ‘Palm of Your Hand’ is one of these specific situations, a night they saw a manipulative friend for the last time. “The song is a form of closure for me since I didn’t get it in real life.”
For Ezra, creating music during lockdown was a way to keep their brain occupied. “Making an EP, that was the one part that stayed the same for me,” they said. The process of writing and producing songs on their own is something they really love, but they haven’t ruled out collaborating if the right person asked. “If Phoebe Bridgers said 'hey do you want to collaborate?', I’d definitely find the time.” Releasing an album is also something they haven’t ruled out yet either, but for the moment they’re just going with the flow.
Going with the flow doesn’t gel well with having to maintain a presence on social media and in print/online media to garner attention for work, however. “I don’t hate social media, I just like not taking it seriously,” they explain. “The whole point of releasing music about how I was feeling was so that the people around me would know how I’m doing and wouldn’t have to talk to me about it. I got very used to writing a releasing a song and pretending it didn’t happen. Whereas now I have to acknowledge that I’m actually writing and making music.” They are however, looking back to getting back to performing live and playing their new songs, with two dates in September planned already.
Tickets for both of Smoothboi Ezra's upcoming shows are available here.
22nd September: Eastbound Festival at Whelans, Dublin
24th September: So Young Magazine presents Mood Swings at YES (Basement), Manchester.
Stream their new EP Stuck below: