California-based singer-songwriter NERIAH wrote her first song at only five years old, but now, 18 years later, she has garnered much exposure and attention worldwide and now released her third EP No One Cries Forever on March 17, 2023. Getting her start on YouTube, Neriah achieved widespread attention when she performed on Zane Lowe’s World Record Show, kickstarting her career as an artist. With two EPs already released, over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, and several sold-out shows under her belt, Neriah is on the road to massive success. In her new EP, however, she takes the time to reflect on a hard breakup, the aftermath feelings of intense despair, and the reminiscence of a love never to be revived.
The opening track’s title follows the name as the EP itself, the song focusing on moving on in a relationship. “No One Cries Forever” right off the bat highlights Neriah’s strong high-pitch control and ability to create dynamic melodies with only synth and drums. The following song “Fight or Flight” begins with Gracie Abrams-Esq piano chords before building into an upbeat chorus that feels like a montage through the moments leading to a breakup. In an almost chant-like bridge, Neriah sings, “Close your eyes, pick a fight/ Let me know before we try/ Are you fight or flight?” The simple but powerful lyrics represent the singer’s confusion over where her ex stands on whether they want to fight for their relationship or not.
Neriah is joined by lilspirit on the third song “ME & U.” The two musicians rely on repetitive, upbeat staccato sounds to enunciate their back-and-forth lyrics, not only creating a flowing piece but keeping listeners grounded throughout it. “Shoulda, Coulda, Didn’t,” the fourth song, describes Neriah’s feelings over leaving a relationship. Utilizing her recurring theme of slowing down before building up to a hard-hitting chorus, Neriah incorporates synth beats to fully portray how she had given up in a relationship.
“Dumpster Fire” and “Blockbuster,” the fifth and sixth songs respectively, are slower than the previous tracks but just as impactful. Subtle acoustic notes ring throughout the first verse of “Dumpster Fire,” this delicate notion disappearing into an intense chorus that drives home the idea of being in a toxic situation. While it follows the same pattern of synth builds and mantra-like bridges, Neriah changes pace entirely by singing the outro “So was it me lovin’ too much/ Or you not lovin’ enough?/ What’s the reason we’re here?” only for it to be followed by beautiful string notes.
“Blockbuster,” the final song, showcases Neriah’s large vocal range to its full capacity. With an echo-y chorus that sounds like a midnight choir, she pledges her loyalty to a relationship that doesn’t quite deserve it, ending the heartbreaking EP on an even more melancholic note. No One Cries Forever may not be the most varied of EPs, but its strength lies in its consistency. NERIAH has skillfully developed six tracks that blend into one another, taking listeners on a journey through a topic known all too well, and reminding everyone that all tears dry eventually.