Proving repeatedly that a lasting display of talent and drive united with professionalism can rarely connect with a single track – that hard work, extensive songwriting and mastering of the craft, are essential – Apo’s Vault Vol. 1 is a brilliantly eclectic, increasingly engaging new album, which quickly moves from good to great to superb throughout its 13 original tracks.
Just one of a plethora of projects and releases from artist and rapper Apo, this album makes for a fine starting point, but is again supported by a limitless array of tracks that further underline his ability and depth as a creative.
Head Named Trauma is a defiant early highlight, blending just the right amount of melody with a clean-cut, fast-paced set of bars that impress and captivate right the way through.
Immediately afterwards, the blissful jazz ambiance of Flashback works beautifully. Apo is a story-teller and mood-setter all at once, leading with a clear desire to connect, to speak openly in this quietly confident yet emotionally uncertain manner. The realness stands tall throughout, and the versatility showcased between tracks is superb – increasingly so as the album progresses.
In For It follows on with a blissfully dreamlike, echoey hook and ambiance, and a subtle rap vocal intermittently injecting pace, rhythm and intention into the process.
Later on, Her Mind is another highlight, and a personal favourite. The soundscape is on point, the use of contrast between delicate melodies and gritty, intense rap verses allows the whole thing to hit with immense impact. A brilliant performance and a strong example of wholly immersive songwriting and sound design.
Really these are just fragments of what’s available here though. The Vault is somewhere to escape into – to hide away from the world or suppress (or embrace) the confusing, emotional weight of contemporary life, for a while.
Apo is an artist unconfined by genre or style – he paves his own way, writing from the heart, with a fine ear for melodies and rhythms that compel and often mesmerise. Well worth knowing about. Let the album play.
Check out more music via Spotify.