Monday, August 21, 2023

Reneé Rapp Releases Long-Anticipated Debut Album ‘Snow Angel’, Where She Explores The Vulnerability of Love

North Carolina-based Reneé Rapp has released her evocative debut album, titled ‘Snow Angel’. 

On the album, the singer powerfully explores issues of vulnerability, love, and loss in the form of both emotional ballads and infectious pop hits.

Rapp is well-established in the up-and-coming music scene, and experienced unprecedented success in response to her 2022 EP ‘Everything to Everyone’The EP saw her selling out headline shows, reaching around 200 million global streams, and receiving MTV Global PUSH Artist honours. 

Previously known for playing Regina George in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical Mean Girls, and Leighton in Mindy Kaling’s HBO Max series The Sex Lives of College Girls, the multi-talented young star has now made the transition to full-time pop artist, meaning we are sure to expect a lot more music from her in the coming years.

The album opens with ‘Talk Too Much’, a track that focuses on self-consciousness and self-sabotage within a relationship. Rapp sings, “I’m here again, / talking myself out of my own happiness” and questions, “I wonder if we should just sit in here in silence / ‘cause, I think I talk too much”. The song itself features a steady yet gradually building backing track, which breaks down during a section of monologue where Rapp illustrates the experiences of internal conflict and questioning that inspired the track. She goes back and forth in her mind, acknowledging that “I actually have no idea what I’m saying” and wondering “Are you mad at me?”, a relatable experience for many listeners.

Next is ‘I Hate Boston’, a contemplative and reflective number dealing with the lasting consequences of heartbreak. The lyrics, “Why’d you make me hate Boston? / It’s not its fault that you don’t love me”, perfectly capture the emotions of the end of a relationship, where everything seems to remind you of the person you can no longer have. Beginning simply but intensely with only a piano accompaniment, the track swells into a battle between feelings of sadness growing into resentment and anger as Rapp begins to realise the injustice of her lost love.

The album’s title track, ‘Snow Angel’, is a stand-out song on the record, reflecting exactly what Rapp is most talented at - transforming the most vulnerable and emotional experiences and feelings into meaningful songs that aid the journey to recovery. Produced with Alexander 23, who has previously worked with artists such as Selena Gomez and Olivia Rodrigo‘Snow Angel’ demonstrates how much Rapp has grown as an artist from her EP. It boasts delicate piano which immediately draws listeners in, alongside well-written lyrics and growing instrumentals as the song builds to a stirring and cathartic crescendo. Rapp cleverly reflects the emotional highs and lows of love through her instrumental and lyrical compositiona difficult task for any artist, let alone one who is still relatively new to the scene.

In contrast, Rapp demonstrates a punchier and more assertive side to her music in ‘Poison, Poison’. The singer reclaims her power and sense of self following a toxic situation, singing, “Yes, I am a feminist, / But bitch you’re making it hard for me to be supporting all women”. While seemingly petty, Rapp maintains that this angry stage is necessary for healing, especially after such periods of submission and acceptance as she alludes to being subjected to by a past partner.

Ending with ‘23’, the album closes with a provocative rumination on everything dealt with so far. While not the most uplifting song, ‘23’ explores how progress and healing are not linear, with Rapp singing “I still can’t fly”, even a year older at the age of 23, but nodding towards a future where she may finally “care less”. The close of the album is beautifully introspective, rather than attacking a past lover. It suggests the process of healing may end when one learns to look inside and listen to their own heart rather than relying on the hearts of others. Although Rapp is not yet fully healed from past traumas and heartbreaks, ‘23’ points towards a more mature outlook that enables self-growth rather than sabotage.

Ultimately, ‘Snow Angel’, as a complete album, deals with all stages of love, loss and healing, resulting in a sense of catharsis that is just as much felt by listeners as Rapp felt through the writing of the record. 

Reneé Rapp now prepares for her global headline tour titled ‘Snow Hard Feelings’, which kicks off in Texas next month. Details can be found on her official website.

Isobel Reeves


Image: ‘Snow Angel’ Official Album Cover


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