néomí Pens Painstakingly Beautiful Breakup Single with “red balloon”
Following the release of her highly-praised debut EP, before, earlier this summer, Surinamese/Dutch folk-pop singer-songwriter Neomi Speelman (aka néomí) has returned with a captivating new single, “red balloon.” Her EP has garnered one million streams and 100k monthly listeners since its release, landing néomí her first global Apply Music playlist placements in “Breaking Singer/Songwriter” and “New in Singer/Songwriter.”
2020 was set to be the breakout year for néomí as she recorded her first singles with British engineer/producer Edd Hartwell (Tom Walker, Birdy, Tom Odell), supported singer-songwriter legend Don McLean and was also invited to the UK to play her first shows abroad. However, the outbreak of the pandemic quickly followed by a life-changing event scuppered these plans with néomí using the next 12 months to develop as a songwriter and add to her growing catalog of songs. Now, néomí finds herself signed to [PIAS] with dozens of songs ready and waiting to be uncaged and take flight, like her debut EP released on June 24, 2022.
While she aims to capture more of that warm and rousing aesthetic she conjured during her initial collection, néomí embarks on the next sonic phase in her career with “red balloon.” Maintaining another beautifully wistful and alluring texture throughout, she builds upon her heartfelt direction to date and delivers a wonderfully mesmerizing return in the process. Speaking on her latest single, néomí shares,
“red balloon” was written in the winter of ’21. I’d moved into a new home together with my boyfriend and we were going through a tough time. He suggested we write a song together so we went to the piano, sat down having not discussed a lot, and just let the music speak. Little did we know we were writing a break-up song as we parted a couple of months later. Maybe we did know, but we were just very content at that moment creating a song together. I still love that man very much, but love is a very complicated thing as you might understand. The song wasn’t finished so months later I decided to finish it up with a good friend of mine. I gave it a twist, as my heart literally burst like a red balloon at that time. Now I just hope that one day I’ll be lifted like a beautiful red balloon that didn’t rip open.
The song is about knowing you love someone very much, knowing you want to be with someone still, knowing it doesn’t work out the way you want to, knowing that it might be over soon, trying to hold on, trying to let go, losing yourself and for that reason hoping that one day you can cope with the fact you let that one person go and feel gracious again without them.
Heartbreak is such a resounding topic to write about because it conjures up so many emotions, many of them sad and grief-stricken, that can later be turned into something so beautiful even if it is layered with pain. néomí does just that with “red balloon.” From recalling the emotions that were present that night to the rich vocals that melt into the mellow piano and string-backed soundscape, listeners are transported into an ethereal world that feels both buoyant and heavy – a reflection of the meaning behind the lyrics. You can listen to “red balloon” below and make sure to keep an eye out for what is sure to be another amazing year for néomí.