Spend some Free Time listening to Ruel

Teresa Arisawa

I discovered Ruel while listening to a playlist that recommended me his song, “Younger”. I really enjoyed the lyrics and melody, and after hearing the song, I wanted to check out more of his music. 

At only 16 years old, Ruel has already released multiple singles and two extended plays (EPs). With his pop influence and feel-good beats, it’s no surprise that he has already amassed over six million monthly listeners on Spotify. Ruel’s sophomore EP, “Free Time”, was just released on Sept. 13, 2019. Here are some of my favorite songs off the EP: 

Real Thing 

 With the help of experienced producer M-Phazes, Ruel talks about how he is tired of thinking about fanatical relationships and craves the real thing. The song starts out raw, with just an electric guitar loop, and slowly becomes more electronic. Something I really appreciated about this album was that many of the songs had interesting music videos to accompany them. Going along with the fantasy versus reality theme, the music video for “Real Thing” depicts Ruel as a robot performing “human” tasks, who gets rescued from the strange mechanical world by human touch.

Painkiller

This is probably my favorite song off the album. While the beat is bouncy and more on the playful side, Ruel’s voice and words have a sad undertone, creating a nice contrast. In “Painkiller”, Ruel talks about how it’s always beneficial to have a person there for you while you’re going through difficult times. The music video for this song is really interesting, as it shows Ruel alone in a big house, surrounded by smoke and men in hazmat suits, hinting at a completely unexpected meaning to the song. 

Face to Face 

In “Face to Face”, Ruel sings about feelings for a person that have become extreme. In the accompanying music video, Ruel takes a darker turn, describing a stalker who is obsessed with a girl. Along with the song’s darker message, Ruel talks about how in a world full of online interactions, you can’t help but long for a more personal, face to face connection with people, which is something that I think most people nowadays crave. 

 

Tracklist: 

Don’t Cry

Real Thing

Painkiller

Hard Sometimes 

Face to Face

Unsaid 

Free Time