ENZI’s “Sickly Sweet” Traverses Emotion

Guilty pleasures are awesome. Tequila shots at midnight, way-too-hot wings before bed, watching YouTube on the clock… In the moment, these beautiful, intoxicating activities wholeheartedly feel validated — even when you know they will come back to bite you. A pounding head on a Sunday morning or an upset stomach ensues, yet we indulge again and again. Such is the same with love and relationships. ENZI knows this as well as anyone. During a recent recording session, the Nashville via Colorado alt-pop artist received a text from an ex that sparked a conversation about chasing what feels good in the moment, and the regret that follows. Thus, her second single of the year, “Sickly Sweet,” was born. 

Released this Friday, the track is a further extension of ENZI’s unique approach to pop music at large. It’s methodically wavy, and stays focused on the theme at hand — the “laugh now, cry later” facet of human experience. ENZI structures “Sickly Sweet” around relationships that feel like a roller coaster. “This song takes a tongue-in-cheek, seductive tone to that kind of relationship,” she explained. “You know it’s not the best, but it’s too good to get rid of.” 

The record’s most noticeable feature is its backdrop of clanging bells, downbeats and percussion. The ability to take traditional pop pacing, add an individualistic spin to it and deliver lyrics comfortably takes musical focus. ENZI does these things with ease — a further testament to her rapidly budding creative ability. Her best vocal moments come in flashes, bridging the chorus to the verses as she takes a step up in octave and intensity. Like all great songs in the alt-pop genre, a lot rides on the chorus. ENZI leaves no room for doubt in “Sickly Sweet’s” chorus, tying her impressive late-year record together. 

In addition to the stand-alone single, ENZI debuted an accompanying visualizer. She sits just off-frame on a yellow floor, ripping apart a cake covered in earthworms with her hands. The image is indulgent and wholly fits the song’s message — cakes are synonymous with flavor and celebration. A few too many bites, however, and you’re lying face down on a coach taking deep breaths. All things considered, ENZI executed her most recent record flawlessly. Everything from the melodies to the beat, the visuals and the reasoning for release, all fit a singular aesthetic. 

Comparatively, the differences between “Sickly Sweet” and “Time Flies” — her first release of 2021 — put ENZI’s range on full display. The latter is a full-fledged exhibition in pop-rock, another style that she seems to have on lock. In fact, her brief library of music covers ground on a number of pop nooks and crannies. Keep an eye out for more releases by one of Denver’s coolest young artists at the turn of the year.

Stream “Sickly Sweet” here.