More than a year ago, Tems ventured into the mainstream with Try Me, a song that not only became a playlist and turntable staple but the origin of countless think-pieces on the soul train driver’s prospects and possible future in the industry. Following the song’s release, Tems carefully bided her time with affiliations and features that scored her serious points in the industry. Despite her being a nonconformist, she toyed with and maintained the edge that has helped her bridge the gap across different socioeconomic strata. It is with the same energy, only renewed with the airs of a superstar in the making that she returns, solo on her debut EP, For Broken Ears, an ode to unrestrained lovers like her who wear their hearts on their sleeves.
As personal as the symbolic seven-track EP is, For Broken Ears is a reflection of everyone who loves unabashedly, this shameless projection of emotions being the jolt of energy that jumpstarts the project.
Tems’ nonconformism and unfiltered emotional state is the sweet mix that brings about nostalgia due to the similarities in sound to past singles like Mr Rebel and gears her listeners for the full ride that is the project on the opener, Interference on which Tems lets us into her world. “If you think I was disturbed before, I will disturb you now”. Her intentions are clear. She’s not here to play and her choice of words is as emboldened as her feelings.
She juxtaposes, projects, serenades, loves, and above all, entertains in the various layers that make up For Broken Ears. Her impressive self-production matches the different spirits that come to life on each track, her silky vocals project to the core of her listeners, her lyrics are raw, refined, and relatable, everything about the EP is personal with an unmistakable authentic vibe.
For Broken Ears is split into two categories, the first being the part that appraises Tems’s ears for oceanic sounds, then, an interlude on which she blows her own trumpet, and finally, the part laced with grooves, all of which culminate into love letters to her muses, her fans, her journey and to a future already defined by this impressive body of work.