Joëlle Buyckx has had a year for the books as she’s released her first four songs throughout 2021. “Separate Ways,” her fourth song, highlights the end of a relationship allowing one to grow, become stronger, and learn that they are better on their own.
“Separate Ways” opens with a banger of lyrics: “You left me here all alone / thinking I’d be dead without you / you left here in the cold / how could I survive without you.” Buyckx’s initial lyrics left me reeling. The story and image she crafted of being abandoned hurts, especially when it’s by someone you loved and thought they loved you back in the same way. Each lyric encompassing the leaving was followed by a lyric that highlighted the positive of being abandoned: the person didn’t care for you. For me, these lyrics illustrated the beginning of realizing the problematic nature of the relationship, which would then create space for you to move one. Her opening lyrics encapsulated the subject matter of her song, while reeling the listener in to continue listening and hearing the end of the story.
Her opening lyrics are preceded by a slow piano intro that carries a heavy weight and feels foreboding. Nothing light is coming afterwards and Buyckx’s heavy hitting lyrics do not disappoint nor stray. Her vocals are through the roof. Beautiful and deep throughout the song, I loved when she held her note for longer when singing certain words. The strength and talent her voice held really came through.
Midway through the song, Buyckx incorporates an overlaying voice of hers singing the end of lyrics “I don’t even think about you” and “I don’t even have your number.” The inclusion of the overlay emphasizes the lyrics and the independence the singer has found. The voice is like reaffirmation, supporting them in their journey to better themselves.
Furthermore, the bridge in “Separate Ways” was a great way to end the song. The bridge had slowed down the lyrics and instrumentals. All of which emphasized the power the singer held while highlighting the strength and independence she’d acquired after being dumped.
Joëlle Buyckx is an Italian-American singer-songwriter born in Rome, Italy from a Mexican mother and French father. She says that her “multifaceted upbringing” has provided her with an open mind towards “different perspectives and see differences as strengths.” Music has always been an important part of Buyckx’s life, though recently she’s realized nothing will eclipse how music impacts and feels for her. Buyckx “follow[s] no rules, just what feels and sounds good in its own unique way.” Through her music, Buyckx aims to “evok[e] a mood and mak[e] people feel a certain way through my fusion of sounds and visuals.” Following her first release song “Just a Fool” in May of 2021, “Separate Ways” is Buyckx’s fourth release of 2021. Buyckx hopes that her listeners join her in “hear[ing] in colors and see[ing] in sounds.”
Written by Anne Friedman