From their poster-covered bedroom-meets-recording studio in sleepy Greystones, a small coastal town in Ireland, Smoothboi Ezra has developed a world class flair for emotive songwriting. Their songs are catchy but subtle; self-deprecating but never sombre; always utterly charming. They offer an often overlooked take on emotional relationships, as Ezra is writing as a person who is gender non-binary and on the autism spectrum. They are helping people who don’t often see themselves represented in the media to hear themselves in music and to know that there are songs which speak to their experience. They are moving the needle on what it means to write a love song.
Ezra’s latest EP ‘Stuck’ takes a closer look at the intricacies of relationships. Written during lockdown to a soundtrack of Angel Olsen, Soccer Mommy and Haley Heynderickx, the EP recalls a formative relationship with sensitivity and maturity scarcely attributed to young people. Speaking about the title track, Ezra says: “‘Stuck’ is a song about being in a relationship with someone you care a lot about but you know it’s not going to work out. It’s an unsaid mutual agreement that you can feel the relationship ending but you’re both waiting on the other person to end it.” The single is accompanied by a touching, lo-fi music video, starring non-binary couple El and Lauren.
Ezra reflects on the breakup on ‘Without Me’ and confesses to not wanting the person to move on: “it’s about trying to come to terms with not being that person’s number one anymore.” On ‘You’, Ezra speaks more broadly about their experience of emotional relationships: “My autism makes it hard for me to remember how I feel about people when they’re not right in front of me,” they explain. “I have very little emotional object permanence which makes it hard to feel loved by people but also makes it hard for me to let the people I love know and feel my love for them.”
Smoothboi Ezra is a 19-year-old songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Their recent single ‘My Own Person’ garnered widespread acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1, NME and The Irish Times for its candid exploration of gender dysphoria and depersonalisation, something many young LGBTQIA+ people deal with. Their musical influences range from contemporaries like Phoebe Bridgers and Mitski, to legends like Elliott Smith and Kate Bush. In their short career, they have amassed over 10 million Spotify streams, despite releasing their music independently. They have supported Orville Peck at Dublin’s Grand Social and also sold out their first headline show at Whelan’s, Dublin.
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