Queer alt-pop/R&B artist CLAY is returning to the release circle with her long-awaited sophmore EP Breathing Into Bloom. This unapologetically raw and vulnerable project uncovers CLAY’s intimate thoughts and emotions through experiences with mental health, love, and relationships.
‘Breathing into Bloom’ is about accepting that healing is a process, one that has many phases and breaths, ups and downs, and learning how to love yourself throughout the journey.” – CLAY
The title track to the album “Breathing Into Bloom,” welcomes the listener into the world CLAY has created with this project, with a hopeful promise that everything will be okay in the end even if its not okay right now. Running at only 1 minute and 52 seconds, this short but sweet song is the perfect way to start off this EP, highlighting CLAY’s majestic tonality paired with a jazzy atmosphere that will make you want to sway to the music.
CLAY released “Artery” as her first single off of the EP. This track explores the real-life experience of letting go of someone you love because they are causing you immense pain. Once letting go of this bruised relationship, you can allow yourself to heal and find independence – choosing yourself. Musically this song showcases CLAY’s soulful voice, with intricate lyrics, a looping bassline, and acoustic guitar.
The second single CLAY released off of Breathing Into Bloom was “WTSGD,” a mesmerizing R&B influenced alt-pop ballad featuring Alessia Cara, exploring themes of mental health. (read my article on this track here)
The last song released before the project was put out in its entirety was “Numb.” Moving out of her comfort zone and creating a surprisingly upbeat track, “Numb” is about feeling absolutely nothing in a world of constant overstimulation and overconsumption. Starting off with eerie synths, then joined by CLAY’s profound vibrato, the listener is instantly pulled into the shimmering soundscape from the second the song begins leading up to the explosive intoxicating chorus.
“Undertow” is the track that truly makes you think. Driven by CLAY’s strong passionate voice and a dreamy light piano, this song explores CLAY’s deep-rooted fear of being unlovable.
Finally, “Sunday” is a melodic ballad that uncovers CLAY’s inner thoughts that she is grappling with, asking difficult questions that she knows she might not like the answer to. Melodically this track is backed by a piano that almost feels like waves in the ocean, with a rhythmic rise and fall throughout the track – paired with beautiful harmonies during the chorus.
Listen to Breathing into Bloom in its entirety today. CLAY has created a masterpiece with this project, wearing her heart on her sleeve and practicing her mantra of “radical vulnerability.”