Aroe Phoenix has dropped a new single with the release of “Space+Space,” a glowing attempt at introspection that’s warmly lit by the Los Angeles artist’s warm vocal bathings. Over simmering beats and buoyantly spacious soundscapes filled with scattered cries and lush tones, Aroe Phoenix cuts through a thicket of personal epiphanies. “Leaving dreams just to play it safe / I swear money ruins everything / you try to walk / but you moving in vain,” she bites, then questioning: “So who’s winning the race? / How you dealing with pain?”
The words are razor-sharp and if they sound accusatory, it’s because they still burn white-hot from Phoenix’s own self-reflection. “Oh I was made / Through lust and mistake,” another gut-wrencher, but even as Phoenix delves into dark but poignantly existential questions, there’s dimming hope. The final act of “Space+Space” transcends from this spoken-word toss-up of all the things weighing on Phoenix’s soul to something triumphant. One that coalesces around the repeated pledge Phoenix wails: “I promise not to take my own life,” a brutalizing and sober promise that she hammers home as she repeats the chorus over one final glittering riff.
“Space+Space” follows previously released singles “River,” “See Yourself,” and “Beautiful Demise.” For those who caught her single “Cansar en Paz,” which was a big favorite here on Grimy Goods, rest assured Phoenix has plans to re-release some of the Spanish songs this year. The trilingual singer/songwriter continues to mix R&B with modern pop in ways that affectionately and intensely reflect the overflowingly emotional worlds inside of her. With the release of “Space+Space” it’s become apparent once more Phoenix’s visceral but uplifting songs deserve special attention.