“Vodka Orange Juice,” the poignant new single from Australian artist Flowerkid, is a must-add to your next playlist. At only 20 years old, Flowerkid has perfected his sound. With the soothing and deeply emotive musical arrangements of Frank Ocean and the vocal stylings of Adele, Flowerkid has truly carved himself a niche in the industry.

“Vodka Orange Juice” is a particularly special song and takes multiple plays to fully digest. Upon first listen it’s like hearing two separate songs. The backing track and lyrics both demand the listener’s full attention, with the backing track taking the lead in the first round. The song opens with an eerie trio of repetitive piano notes setting the sadness of the song. These notes repeat for most of the song, creating a hypnotic sound that lures the listener away from the depth of Flowerkid’s words when his soprano enters the subconscious and accents the piano to wrap the listener in a warm blanket of sound.

On its second play, the lyrics of “Vodka Orange Juice,” which deal with bullying and transphobia, take center stage. The lyrics start off reading like the diary entry of an angsty teenager looking back on a party, and it’s nice because it’s got a sort of heartbroken nostalgia (a lá Olivia Rodrigo) that is implicitly easy to relate to. The pressure continues to build as each verse tells the story of a trans man being ridiculed at a party by a classmate:

‘The girls want a real boy,

And you’re not that’.

Eventually, it’s revealed that the man has made multiple suicide attempts:

‘Boy I’ve tried to commit suicide multiple times.’

Each word is sharp, meant to cut deeply, and to tell a story bigger than itself. Not just a personal commentary, but a social one on a topic so rarely covered in music. Is Flowerkid setting a trend? We’ll see. If “Vodka Orange Juice” is to be any indication, Flowerkid has a long and successful career ahead.

Check out the single, available on all streaming platforms.

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