The idea of an “ex” will forever be enigmatic: you get to know someone so well – from the crinkles that form on the corners of their eyes when they smile to the random whistles they make to fill gaps of silence – and suddenly, you become strangers left with this shared knowledge of one another’s idiosyncrasies. In Freddie Lewis’ pair of singles, “Best Dressed Ex / Your New Tattoo,” the Bristol-based artist explores the conflicting feelings that come with a love that is no longer.
“Best Dressed Ex” is a bedroom-pop earworm about reconnecting with an ex… only to find out that they are dating someone new. Through his clever songwriting, Freddie manages to disguise a wistful experience in the form of a relatable and catchy story. The instrumentation in “Best Dressed Ex” reflects its lyricism: beginning with upbeat indie-pop drums and synths that decrescendo into a swirling pool of melancholic sounds, eventually meshing to end on an ultimately bittersweet note.
“Your New Tattoo” is a spoken word poem that gracefully demonstrates Freddie’s ability as a writer. Freddie has a way with words that feels so special to hear. The track unfolds an anecdote of scrolling through Instagram, seeing a post from your tattoo artist, and realizing that it isn’t just anyone in their post: it’s your ex. When you date someone, you know them only for a finite period of time. “Your New Tattoo” confronts the honest reality of people changing – they are no longer the person you dated, just as you are no longer the person they dated. In only two minutes, Freddie has managed to delicately craft a story that is unique to their experience, but relevant to all.
If you like Arlo Parks, Chloe Moriondo, or Thomas Headon, I have an inkling that you will enjoy Freddie Lewis. He’s only just getting started, and I cannot wait to see where this year takes him.
Stream “Best Dressed Ex / Your New Tattoo” below!