Shadowy, enigmatic, and endlessly intriguing, Appleby is the faceless Chicagoan who is quickly becoming one of the most distinctly brilliant artists creating today. Though he remains relatively anonymous to all but a few, his sound is anything but, lurking somewhere between richly emotive R&B harmonies and keenly introspective rap verses.
Borrowing his mothers maiden name for this new artistic identity, Appleby embodies an interesting duality of character. His music doesn’t hesitate to explore deeply personal, intensely visceral narratives, revealing much about the inner thoughts and pains of his own life, yet his outward appearance remains shrouded behind various baseball caps. This leaves us to judge the artist Appleby solely on his content, instead of any contrived persona, or carefully curated image.
It just so happens that every piece of content the young artist has released is exceptionally unique and wildly melodious. Leaving anyone whose stumbled upon his creations awestruck by the honesty and thoughtfulness he imbues in each track. Bitter Boy is his latest release, and arguably his best yet. As you may expect, the record is in fact bitter.
Appleby sharply reflects on the remnants of a broken relationship, and his now ex, while easily shuttling between the powerful harmonies of an ear-catching chorus and spoken-word verses. This varied vocal performance lays on top of a bed of fitful, slow-burning, production, which is equally captivating. Joining Appleby are Anthony White and Sydney Jay, who add their stunning vocals towards the end of the record.
“Tell my ex she was never that cold (Ho!) / Tell my ex she was never that cold (Ho!)”
Bitter Boy is vengeful, experimental, and at times deceptively poetic. It’s a record that demands the rapt attention of the listener from beginning to end. I highly suggest you give it a listen, and keep your ears open for Appleby’s upcoming project Tell My Ex, of which this is the first release. Though you may not have heard of Appleby yet, you will soon, and anyway as the man himself noted:
I swear the most talented people move in silence
— #TellMyEx (@applesgotit) December 20, 2014
Connect with Appleby: @applesgotit