Yiannis Alexander braves the stages of a breakup on debut EP ‘Kerosene Hearts’

Yiannis Alexander’s debut EP Kerosene Hearts navigates the turbulent waters of a breakup with tender vulnerability and an affinity for pop.  

Yiannis Alexander has sifted through the rumble of a broken relationship on Kerosene Hearts, a four-song collection that serves as the Berlin singer’s debut EP.

Taking cues from the titular fuel, Kerosene Hearts inspects the sometimes-joyous, sometime-damaging nature of young love, recounting on each track the stages of a breakup. 

Yiannis Alexander EP 'Kerosene Hearts'

The concept is buoyed by Alexander’s eclectic understanding of pop music, from soft, guitar-led acoustics to bouts of exhilarating electronica.

The result is a vulnerable and ear-catching rumination on heartbreak; a kind of diaristic artistry that recalls the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Charlie Puth, Dominic Fike and more. 

Kerosene Hearts begins with the synth revelry that is My Shirt. Punctuated by electronic flairs and an inescapable bassline, the EP opener is a masterclass in unadulterated pop, helped along by Alexander’s backing harmonies and earworm hook. 

Later, the singer switches cadences for a second-verse rap section, showcasing his versatility atop shimmering bursts of electronica.

Here, Alexander reflects on the triggers that arise in the initial stages of a breakup, namely in a shirt that once belonged to him. “You’re in my shirt,” he pines on the chorus, “and I would go back to yesterday.” 

That relatable lyricism — detailing the universal tale of love’s leftover fragments — continues on second track Need You (In My Life).

Yiannis Alexander EP 'Kerosene Hearts'

Opening with the rustic warmth of acoustic guitar, the song marks Alexander’s clearest foray into balladry, delivering the EP’s most enrapturing vocals and tenderest instrumentation. 

Need You sees Alexander adopts a vocal timbre so airy you might just levitate, as a subtle R&b groove provides the soundscape for a portrait of lovesickness.

Equal parts instrumental ballad, slinky hip-hop and ambient pop, Need You finds Alexander at his most exposed, recalling the post-breakup phase where he questions if he made the right choice. 

Heartbreak is channelled into anger on penultimate track Rock Solid, a grimy and electronic rock-indebted entry that marks the EP’s most ferocious statement.

In amongst grittier guitar and a cathartic build-up pre-chorus, Alexander stands firm in his decision to breakup, reflecting that conviction with a cacophony of noisy synths and scratchy guitar licks. 

You were my poison, my Harley Quinn,” he scowls with a newfound sense of purpose. “Feelin’ rock solid without you here.” The candour of the track will speak to anyone who removed their rose coloured glasses in the wake of a relationship; a message of independence made clear through Rock Solid’s defiant and empowering sound. 

Yiannis Alexander EP 'Kerosene Hearts'

Alexander’s efforts culminate on the final track Caveat Emptor. Here, the narrator acknowledges their role in the relationship’s demise, and pulls apart the idealised vision they once held.

The EP’s most bittersweet entry, Caveat Emptor pairs its tender lyricism with fuzz rock stylings, with melancholic guitar melodies and a downtrodden vocal performance. 

It’s a worthy conclusion to Alexander’s emotional journey, offering the sonic equivalent of the light at the end of the tunnel that everyone promises will someday appear.

Such praise might be expected for an artist with years of experience in the game, but Kerosene Hearts is doubly impressive given that it marks Alexander’s debut project. 

Possessing a patent talent for songwriting and sound — the kind seemingly more suited to an artist ten years’ his senior — Yiannis Alexander arrives as a promising new voice, and with a tracklist as good as Kerosene Hearts, you can’t help but stand up and listen. 

Traverse the peaks and valleys of love with Yiannis Alexander’s debut EP Kerosene Hearts below.