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Amare Symone says hello on her latest release with a pair of goodbyes. Symone has been a singer to take note of since her high school days in Chicago, and has been spurred into new music by real-life transisitons that manifest themselves this time around as her four-song Hello Heathrow. Whereas her last project, 2016’s Broken Windows told the story of uncertainly moving forward towards the unexpected, her latest operates like self-assured journal entries detailing the next steps in her evolution. In short, Amare Symone speaks from the heart.

Hello Heathrow begins with a pair of aptly-named singles “Goodbye Brooklyn” and “Farewell Chicago” that in part detail her adventure first from Chicago to Brooklyn, and this time from Brooklyn to London. The first of the pair hits like a strong left hook when Symone picks up the story she left us with two years ago in typically powerful form: “I was only seventeen when I had to face our reality.” The sentiment sets the tone for the project as a whole, one that seeks to dig a bit deeper into the mindfulness of the decisions we make and the good and the bad that go along with them. As someone who’s known and existed in this city for longer than I’d like to admit, there’s a certain jealousy as well to Symone’s ability to transplant herself from one creative scene to the next. There’s a creative reasoning to her work, a through line that can be followed to some of the recent Renaissance’s most accomplished artists. Throughout this release is a distinct sense of vulnerability that comes with change. To Symone’s credit, she doesn’t shy away from exploring that space as we, the listener, are allowed to look on. The notes naturally flow and form, the songs manifested through life’s explanations, expressed when appropriate.

In the end, one of the realest moments on Hello Heathrow is the final line from “Farewell Chicago” when Symone exclaims, “why won’t you love me back?” Presumably talking to her soon-to-be ex home, it represents a feeling many artists coming of age in Chicago have. It’s a city of hate at times, but the perseverance is certainly serving her well.

While I definitely wish her well across the pond, I selfishly hope that she doesn’t like it much and goes elsewhere, ideally offering us the next chapter in the process.

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