With a North American tour and handful of shows next month, Renèe Rapp’s first EP, Everything to Everyone, will have you tearing with emotion and dancing around the room while simultaneously pressing replay to feel it all over again and again. Known for her roles of Regina George in the Tony Award-Nominated Broadway musical Mean Girls and Leighton Murray in the HBO Max series The Sex Lives of College Girls, Rapp’s transition to music pop artist reveals a different type of artistic vulnerability that works so well in the ballads and pop tracks published.
Everything To Everyone (Intro) echoes sounds of strong similarities to Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek, setting up an amazing story told in the tracks that follow. The proclamation of owning the role of being a go-to healer and holder of another’s troubles can feel quite special until you realize that the weight of another’s troubles can weigh on you quite heavily. “God, I hope that it’s over when I’m older”. In the end, the “guts to go and give you up” and awareness of much needed self-love is where the real strength lies in “I’ll kill myself tryin’ and I’m not scared of dyin’.”
In the Kitchen rings a tragically beautiful ballad with a bunch of heartbreaking “what if’s” of a dead relationship and timeline of “strangers to lovers to enemies”. As opposed to the soft singing verses,the chorus drops deep instrumentally while Rapp sings high in providing an ear-pleasing opposing accompaniment emphasized with emotional charge.
Serving as one of the two upbeat tracks on the EP, Colorado brings a source of optimism, balance, and self-devil’s advocate. “I like it best when I’m breakin’ a sweat, so I go somewhere that is colder” acts as a great source of meaning and imagery of wanting to escape from a constant state of work and heated stress to somewhere more mellow and cool. The struggle of having the dream to relax while at the same time feeling accomplished in always being on the go can be heard from “I think I might like my life if I lived in Colorado” in the first verse to “but I think I’ll probably hate my life if I lived in Colorado” in the second verse.
Don’t Tell My Mom is a very relatable track that may hit anyone living alone and missing home as this track emphasizes the emotions of not wanting to reveal your real hardships to your mother and owning up to solving your own messes. After growing up being constantly worried about, “So don’t tell my mom I’m fallin’ apart. She hurts when I hurt, my scars are her scars” provides the vulnerability and responsibility of self-growth in hopes of reassuring her mother to no longer worry and feel her hardships.
What Can I Do sings a proclamation of romantic love and fear of telling a friend your true feelings ringing close to home with the Queer community, “I want you, but I know I’m only one of your friends”. As opposed to In the Kitchen, vocals continue soft and innocent throughout the whole track. A sense of yearning, dying secrecy, and compromise in hopes your friend feels the same, “I’d rather keep lyin’ than tell you the truth. So I’ll be here forever wonderin’ what can I, what can I do?”
Too Well serves as the second upbeat track with free-spirit feels of “Today, I woke up in a good mood for once. First time in six months I don’t hate you as much” and the annoying emotional round-about of “I’m back where I started again…This shit never ends.” While this track puts a meaning to “Forgive but never forget”, it makes you rethink that maybe not forgiving the other person makes the forgetting easier as “It’s easier holdin’ a grudge. I’d rather be angry than crushed”.
Last track, Moon, is a hope of shared emotions and feelings when you miss another. “But we’re lookin’ at the same moon. Wonderin’ if you miss me too”. A hope that the other person is also hurting and missing you as much as you are for them.
My top favorite tracks are In the Kitchen, Colorado, and Too Well as all three personally resonate with me and my journey in balance between my relationships with others, self-love, and aspiration. I’m itching to hear more music from Renèe and look forward to learning more about her throughout her music journey.