- 24 Jul 20
In their set supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Smoothboi Ezra exuded the messy charm of bedroom pop at its best.
For years, bedroom pop has been a genre from the fringes of the internet, its talents sharing their lo-fi tracks on YouTube, Bandcamp and Tumblr. Yet today, with artists such as Clairo and Cavetown racking up radio play and millions of streams, the genre is beginning to feel more boardroom than bedroom. Not so on Smoothboi Ezra’s performance on the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions Y&E Series. Streaming from inside a blanket fort with yellowish streaks in their hair, the singer-songwriter radiated the messy, whimsical energy that gave the genre its original DIY charm.
To kick off their performance supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Smoothboi Ezra played their newest release, ‘Familiar Sadness is Too Comforting’. It was a poignant, off-kilter intro: like the loneliness it describes, the track circles around itself, never quite reaching a climax. The strange vibe set, Smoothboi Ezra proceeded to play ‘A Shitty Gay Love Song About You'—one of their catchiest, most popular songs—and ‘Hypocrite’. After ‘Hypocrite’, the pickup fell out of Ezra’s guitar. Unfazed, they simply grinned and said “I’m gonna switch guitars.”
At the end of each of Smoothboi Ezra’s emotionally complex songs, viewers got a reminder of the 18-year-old singer’s young age: an offscreen friend threw confetti over them. As the set progressed through ‘Never Get Over’, ‘Water’, and a cover of ‘Savior Complex’ by Phoebe Briders, this bit got more and more absurd, and Ezra and their friend laughed harder and harder. Finally, Smoothboi Ezra played ‘Thinking of You,’ a groovy love song that was almost unrecognizable without the filters that make the original recording sound underwater. To close out the set, Ezra’s friend set off a confetti cannon. Ezra squealed, then said “I hope you had a good time, I have a lot of cleaning to do”.
You can rewatch Smoothboi Ezra’s messy and wonderful performance supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the Hot Press Instagram below.
Upcoming on the Y&E Series:
Friday, July 24: JAY RONIC
Since introducing himself as a serious force on the Irish scene with his debut EP, The Fresh Prince of Cork, last year, Jay Ronic has rapidly built up an ever-growing following. After kicking off the summer with an unforgettable guest appearance on Cal x Pepper's 'Violation', he found major success in his own right with the release of 'LIQUOR' – a hard-hitting track packed with effortless braggadocio, and centred around an irresistible hook. The video for the track, featuring up-and-coming artist Slick Bullet, has already clocked up nearly 28,000 views since its premiere earlier this month. Jay Ronic has also been making serious waves as an online entertainer – with three million likes across his TikTok videos.
The Y&E Series, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is broadcast live at 19:30 every night from the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine).