The Artist Ren – ‘Under the Bleachers’ EP


Emotive folk and synth-touched pop enamor alike on the Under the Bleachers EP, the debut release from Los Angeles-based artist The Artist Ren. The approachable sound is complemented thematically by the artist’s depicted emotions during lockdown, ranging from being “scared to be alone” to “my cat is my only friend.”

“sleepstuff” kicks the EP into motion with a melodically catching production, encompassing fleeting thoughts as the sun rises. “I am scared to be alone,” the vocals admit, driving into an exhilarating fusing of guitars and synths. “There’s just some things you can’t go back to,” they sing, reflecting on how the comforts of childhood are in the rear view mirror. Wordless vocals and dreamy synths concoct an atmospheric spell into the riveting conclusion.

The EP impresses in its overall range and consistently melodic engagement. “The Circus” is perhaps the quaintest effort, with a yearning folk sound complementing vocals that admit they don’t want to re-ignite a past relationship. “Your attraction isn’t attractive,” the vocals ring into the rousing escalation, which is understated yet effective. The concluding “Radio Nurse” fuses the late-night rock hints of “sleepstuff” with the folk-minded allure of “The Circus,” melding together the act’s various strengths into an alluring, satiating final single.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of June 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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