By Taylor Barrett
Ponloe released his debut EP, Late Bloomer, on February 27, 2021. The 5-song EP features vocals from Tess Carean, his sister, and his good friend Patch William. Late Bloomer was produced by Ponloe, with Patch William’s help for additional touches, mixing, and mastering.
Late Bloomer begins with Ponloe posing a contemplative question, asking Alexa, “do you think that the human brain is a mini model of the entire universe?” Alexa then responds, “I’m not sure.” The intro begins with an airy melody, accompanied by positive and uplifting lyrics, discussing how we have the seeds inside of us to grow into whatever we desire, so long as we stay ambitious and pursue our dreams. This message makes “Garden In Me” a perfect title for the first track, and overall, it spreads a strong message of growth and perseverance.
The second track, “Lil Big Bang,” is 100% the banger of the EP, and it’s evident in both the title and beat. Instead of talking about success in the typical sense of rap lyrics, Ponloe explores a more organic way of living. He talks about how he aspires to grow his own food and live a sustainable life, where some might flex about commas and everything prosperity tends to entail. The song also talks about creating a new generation that is genuine and more than just a skeleton, but a “spirit in its element.” The message is made very clear: we should be aspiring toward a more efficient and sustainable way of living while also caring more about each other. This song, in particular, gives me strong Felly vibes.
“Space Stations” feels very similar to a Kid Cudi song, talking about how Ponloe feels like an astronaut inside his head or “innerspace” and how travel doesn’t always have to be in the physical sense necessarily. Also stating, “this ain’t make or break, I don’t need to be famous, I can change my wake and believe in my greatness.” Continuing with the line, “Good people gettin’ lost in the matrix, build spaceships, but haven’t mastered the basics.” Ponloe discusses how we should learn to understand what is in front of us before we venture too far off, and we should find balance in the give and take because that’s the only way the human race will grow and prosper.
Tess Carean is featured on “Crazy Is Real,” the smoothest and grooviest track on the EP, the type of song where you’d find yourself cruising in the car with the wind blowing through your hair. The harmonies between Ponloe and Tess are phenomenal, and the beat compliments the song with intricate electric guitar and bass licks. This song is all about finding appreciation in the little things of life and learning that love is everywhere.
The last track, “Humanature,” discusses the human experience and how it is up to us as humans to decide what to do as co-creators of the universe, singing “What came first? You or the universe?” Also stating, “You are the universe, you are the universe,” with an outro that leaves us with the sound of children on a playground, the very same age at which many of us started contemplating our own existence.
Listen to Late Bloomer on all streaming platforms!