It’s a groovy tune for the senses with sultry vocals for the soul.
It’s quite laughable to say that the summer heat has not left this campus or its students in October just yet. The wait for autumn leaves and rainy weather is still dragged out and we have met our fourth week of the quarter. But as we embrace the heat once more, why not get swept away by the electric waves and spunky soul with “Endlessly” by Omar Apollo.
Omar Apollo is a first generation Mexican-American singer/songwriter who has been known since 2018, but has since recently gone viral for a song named “Evergreen” on TikTok. His music has been influenced by artists such as D’Angelo, Prince and Frank Ocean, also having hints of Mexican soul and traditional corridos. In “Endlessly,” a song that started as an interlude; listeners can hear a DIY aspect of this style, along with other funk elements attached.
Here we have a universally-known story of unrequited love in the first-person narrative. Omar is singing about someone he loves and knowing the relationship isn’t good for him, but giving it his all until he no longer can. Listeners can find themselves in a rotation of confusion until he reaches a decision. A lovelorn ballad of pain and a ripped journal entry all poured into the listener’s ears.
High-pitched vocal effects fade in as the intro begins. He sings, “Yourself to me baby/Already got what I’ll ever need (ever need) /I know deep in me there’s everything (Everything)/ what if I trust myself Endlessly? (Endlessly).” Each ending is accompanied by muffled harmonies. This continues as a pattern for the following choruses, but gets deeper and starts to have a more stable base.
The first verse gives the listener more ground to sit with, a deeper and raspier vocal by Omar, some heartbeats and an electric guitar as he sings, “If you need me now, I will hold you tight, hold you tight.” Background vocals fly in softly, “If you change your mind/ Don’t wait till the moment’s right.”
As the pre-chorus hits, the listener is fully taken away by the groovy but minimal sounds of the electric guitar that accompanies his unique flow; “You ain’t even touched me in so long/ You ain’t say you loved me in so long/ You don’t even try to call my phone/ Did you even love me all along?’ It becomes apparent as this verse plays on repeat just how repetitive this issue might be, and just how he is vocalizing it to his unresponsive lover.
Verse two then smoothly falls into place as he sings, “Cause if I decide to leave tonight, I’ll have no pride. / At least I can try to be by your side/ But something’s not right.” The song highlights Omar’s vocals, combining falsetto and subtle riffs, along with small hints of instrumental elements that perfectly tie in with the story he is telling.
It’s clever enough to say that the vocals towards the final verse are filled with frustration, however, in a very effortless and sultry way. This element could be a pausing point for the listener to take in that final high note as he brings the song together with an old school, doo-wop stylistic choice that reminds one of a sample from the ‘50s.
The studio version is more focused on Omar’s vocals sounding more DIY, which he often explains in interviews. While the live version is filled with a wide variety of instruments such as horns, drums, saxophone, piano and electric guitar. Thus, this version should be able to provide the watcher and listener with a more stripped-down and soulful experience of the song.
On his performance on the Tiny Desk concert series, Omar was able to provide the viewer with a more humorous outlook on the meaning of this song by saying that “I want you to think about something. I want you to go home, I want you to meditate and I want you to just burn the bridge,” says Omar, “I want you to burn that S***.” The song ultimately finds its way into being a journey about trusting yourself and finding self-love, “Endlessly.”
So, if you are ready for some mellowed-out tunes, and some self-love coming your way, “Endlessly” is for you. The studio version is available on all streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and SoundCloud. However, if you’re interested in seeing the live version, you can watch this on YouTube for free.