Niykee Heaton returns with a three-track EP called Starting Over. And it finds a pleasing middle ground between the stripped-back singer/songwriter fare of her early material and the urban-leaning bops that dominated The Bedroom Tour Playlist. Thematically, however, the songs are as raw as they have ever been. Take EP opener, “Mascara.” On the surface, this is a slinky mid-tempo that plays up the 23-year-old’s sex-kitten image. But, dig a little deeper, and it soon becomes apparent that the song is about protecting yourself emotionally.
“Ruin my lipstick, ruin my bed, ruin the hair up on my head,” she purrs over finger snaps and minimal beats, “But don’t you ever, ruin my mascara.” It’s an impressive start, but “Bad Guy” is even better. This gives me “Bad Intentions” vibes in both replay value and its ability to capture a fairly universal experience (i.e. being assigned blame for something you didn’t do). “I hate that you hate me, that we’re ending so ugly,” Niykee laments on the moody chorus. “You can call me the bad guy, if it helps you sleep at night.”
The short, but very sweet EP winds up with the excellent title track. “Starting Over” is a throwback to breakout star’s acoustic roots. She opens her heart on the ballad, showcasing her (underrated) vocals in the process. “If you really love me then let me go now, find somebody new and take ’em home now,” Niykee sings over acoustic guitar on the gut-wrenching breakup song. “I look at you, I miss you and I stop from starting over.” It’s so good to have her back. Stream the EP in full below.
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