By Alyce Ruby
ROE - hailing from Derry, Ireland released her first single of 2021 today, ‘Cruel’. The last year has been heavily disrupted for most of us, but the Irish artist has still managed to have a year of raging success. Releasing her EP ‘Things We Don’t Talk About’ last August to the popular track ‘Room to breathe’, which has racked up almost a million streams on Spotify alone. All as an independent artist.
In 2017, at just 18 years old, she performed on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury which resulted in her riding out her remaining teen years touring Europe, North America, India as well as supporting Snow Patrol on their 2018/19 UK Arena Tour. She was the winner of the Northern Ireland Music Prize - Best Emerging Artist 2018, and in 2020 she was a recipient of the PRS Foundation Momentum Fund. In addition to this success, she’s received acclaim from and plays on BBC Radio 1, Radio 6 Music, RTE2FM and Today FM.
Speaking on the new single, ROE said: “Cruel was written about wanting to care for someone who doesn’t deserve the loyalty. It’s about being brainwashed into only seeing the good in somebody and thinking that they’re this huge part of your personality that you’d be lost without, when in reality they’re only dragging you down.”
‘Cruel’ seems to be a new era for the young singer/songwriter, taking a much punkier approach musically. The track was written and recorded with co-writer and producer Rocky O’Reilly, in a single day. Your ears are immediately met with 2000s electric guitar riffs and heavy drum beats, before ROE’s delicate voice breaks through on the first verse. It’s a contrast you wouldn’t quite expect but it works somehow, the music is loud and chaotic yet doesn’t overshadow her vocals – her voice forces you to pay attention to the lyrics.
‘Cruel’ is out now, available now on major streaming platforms.