Omar Apollo’s New Album Is As Valuable As Ivory
Written by Vocalo Radio on April 8, 2022
The artist, adept in crafting romantic moody pop, escapes the limitations of language and genre.
24 year-old, Northwest Indiana-bred Omar Apollo released his new album Ivory on Friday, featuring renowned artists and producers like Kali Uchis, Daniel Caesar, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. Known for his retro R&B love songs, Apollo sings in both English and Spanish as a reflection of his Mexican heritage. After completely scrapping the first draft of Ivory about four months ago, Apollo perfected the work, releasing it a week before his first Coachella performance on April 15.
Premiering February 9, the surrealist music video for the album’s fourth track, “Invincible,” featuring Daniel Caesar, opens with Apollo strumming gentle electric guitar riffs and Caesar singing in dreamy falsetto, “If I were to go, tell me would you notice me?” The camera pans out to find young versions of Apollo and Caesar playing with an ambulance truck and a black SUV, tying into the following scene where Caesar “woke up in an ambulance.”
After arriving at a child’s birthday party in the ambulance, Caesar is wheeled on a stretcher into a suburban dining room and placed on the table — where a cake is set on his chest as the party’s birthday boy blows out the candles.
At the song’s turning point, Apollo sings, “64 hours since my baby spoke to me, he kissed me now our love is dopamine,” before stepping into a rap verse as the track picks up for its second half. The rest of the video features a couple affectionately play-fighting in the desert, clad in blue jeans and large, entrancing masks made by Costa Rican visual artist Andrés Gudiño.
Toward the middle of the album, Apollo shows his true R&B side with “Killing Me.” Over a smooth yet snappy R&B beat, he interchangeably sings in English and Spanish about an all-consuming love. “Holding back feelings like it’s the end of my life,” he sings. “That’s right, she’s killing me.”
As Ivory inches toward its end, it picks up with the fifth single dropped ahead of Ivory’s release — bass-, and verse-heavy “Tamagotchi,” produced by Pharrell and Chad Hugo with lyrics in Spanish and English.
Free from the confines of a singular language or genre, Apollo hops between pop, alt-rock, electronic, R&B and more, showing off the versatility of his style. No two songs on Ivory sound just alike, but they all surround the central theme of love and all its complications.
Ivory is available for streaming on all platforms.
Written by Milo Keranen
More from Vocalo: