Once upon a time, I was the ‘BITTER BOY.’

Recent P&P favorite Appleby is a curious sort of enigma. He obscures his face in every photo; he bares small pieces of his life and inner thoughts in every song. His small, growing catalog paints a personal picture perhaps made even more affecting by his refusal to show his face. As Appleby told P&P in January, “for me, it’s more or less just enjoyable that I can control how I’m perceived when I keep something as simple as my face from the public’s view.” The shroud isn’t purely a promotional tactic for him—it’s a tool that alters the perception of his music.

New single “Bitter Boy” is the latest in Appleby’s exploration of his past and interior life, this time looking angrily back at a broken relationship. “Bitter Boy” balances the untempered rage of a break up with Appleby’s particular gift for reflection, intertwining spoken word with a refrain that taps into the burn of bad endings. It smartly casts the almost absurd anger of a vengeful ex against the loneliness of introspection—like a Ty $ song as written by Albert Camus.