Teen pop pin-up Ruel is sitting on a park bench in Sydney when we hop on a call. He’s just finished a heated basketball game (his team won – in case you were wondering) and is now deliberating what to do with the rest of his evening.
“It’s a muddle of emotions,” says the 18-year-old, who’s shot to fame since opening for Shawn Mendes’s 2019 self-titled tour. “It’s nice to have some more free time. But my God 2020 has been weird, hasn’t it?”
It has. Listen to the three-time platinum artist’s playlist below to see where his head’s been at. From the sounds of it, it was a weepy one…
Listen to Ruel’s playlist on Spotify
Monster Florence – Deck of Cards
“Lyrically I’m not sure what he’s on about, but the opening 15 seconds of this song where Monster Florence goes crazy, make me feel uneasy but satisfied at the same time. A bit like how I’ve been feeling this week – satisfyingly quirky, which is an emotion I like to get when I’m making music.”
The Neighbourhood – Cherry Flavoured
“This is a great driving song for me. I’ve only just got my license 15 months ago and I always put it on in the car. It’s that quiet, mid-tempo vibe. It doesn’t take you anywhere too crazy.”
John Lennon – How Do You Sleep?
“Just wanted to put this in here ’cos of how sick it was that John Lennon wrote a diss track directed at Paul McCartney and many others in 1971.”
slowthai featuring James Blake – feel away
“I instantly knew I was going to like this song when I saw the lineup. They’re two of my favourite artists from the UK at the moment. I was so stoked to see them both together and this song is just… mwah bellissimo.
I listened to it for the first time in the car again and it’s so sad. It really made me feel a type of way. I’ve been feeling sad and I like listening to sad music to really feel that emotion. But sometimes when I’m really happy I like listening to sad songs, too. I just like to feel, no matter what emotion it is.”
Tame Impala – Nangs
“I heard it live at Coachella and it was so sick. It’s just a little interlude but it’s such a huge production flex. I love it when a song is epic and so much happens in a short time – it takes you to other places. It definitely sums up my last few weeks – just all over the place and a lot happening in a short about of time.”
Cosmo’s Midnight – Idaho
“I just love those boys – they’re the nicest people. I guess this is how I’ve been feeling because I’ve been hanging out with those guys for the past few weeks.”
The Weeknd – Snowchild
“This is another amazing driving song. If you’re driving past midnight and playing this, and you don’t cry, you’re a robot. Everything in it makes me so sad and I love it. Legit for the past three weeks when I’ve been driving I’ve put this on and cried.”
Bon Iver – PDLIF
“I wanted to end the playlist on this one because it’s quite cinematic and it’s very ambient. It’s another great crying song… I guess I’ve just been crying for the past three weeks.”
Ruel’s EP ‘Bright Lights, Red Eyes’ is out now via RCA