With one more month left to go and until we get to resume some level of normalcy in our lives, let’s turn the volume up, soak up new music from various local artists and hustle our way through the remaining 30 days of quarantine.
1. All I Wanna Do by Joshua Simon
After the successful release of his first album “Filthy” in 2019, Joshua Simon returns with a solid bop titled “All I Wanna Do”, which wasproduced by Kylan, recorded and mixed by Marc Lian of .brb. This deeply personal track was birthed out of a journal entry delves into the double-edged emotions of optimism and anxiety that comes with falling in love. It sees the self-taught, independent pop singer who double hats as a radio DJ at Kiss 92fm, crooning about his mixed feelings and frustration about putting himself out in the dating world, backed by pulsating beats and catchy synths.
Joshua confesses that he has never written a happy song before, and always wonders how his parents mange to stay so joyfully married, but it is through the process of completing the track that he can remind himself that “it is possible to be happier.”
Some of his best moments so far were performing at Pink Dot, as he shared a phenomenal stage connection with the rambunctious crowd as he belted out hits such as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”. It is in such moments he reminds himself to be grateful of the privilege to pursue his craft, “I believe in creating my dreams. Someone has to foot the bill, and that’s me. I get to work to get the sound to exactly how I want it”. We are thrilled by his conviction and would be eager to see what the multi-talented creative has in store for the year ahead.
2. 尋覓連接 Lost & Found by Shelby Wang (ft. Acid)
Singer-songwriter Shelby Wang partners with rapper Acid on the R&B tune “尋覓連接 Lost & Found”. Wang’s light lilt dances across lyrics about waiting for the right one to cross her path and Acid responds with his rhymes, the combination just the right amount of chill for the recent rainy weather. In the spirit of staying at home, the artists filmed themselves in their cosy abodes and Wang personally edited the footage into a music video, complete with animated line art that complements the breezy track.
3. Perihelion by Planeswalker
Defined as the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid or comet nearest to the sun, “Perihelion” is also the second single off Planeswalker’s eclectic EP of the same name. Trained as a classical violinist, Planeswalker, also known as Martin Wong, uses his formal training as grounding to string together his “curiosity for sound, textures, emotions and experiences.” The piece gradually builds up a mysterious and moody atmosphere until the halfway mark, when dissonance hits and the sounds grow bolder, the eclectic producer’s sonic take on a natural phenomenon.
4. Aware by Dominic Chin
From viral YouTube covers to original compositions, 24-year-old Dominic Chin has progressed steadily as an artist over the years. He was recently involved in the NDP 2019 theme song, “Our Singapore”. On “Aware” which was released two weeks ago, he sings about his heightened awareness of a potential love interest and ascertains, “no way I’m letting go of what I know is gold”. Cue whistle hook.
5. Shape of Your Love by HE1ST
“Shape of Your Love” is the first single from electro-pop trio HE1ST, fresh off their graduation from the Noise Music Mentorship programme. Incorporating trendy elements of pop into the song, the mid-tempo, radio-friendly track talks about being tailored to the shape of someone’s love. Featuring Lay Yi on vocals, Boaz Koh with the electric guitar riffs in the chorus and Darren Lee completing the sound with bass and synths.
6. Somebody New by LEW
A seasoned pro at weaving emotionally sensitive tales of love and loss, local musician LEW teams up with Oregon singer-songwriter Ariyel on the moving duet, “Somebody New”. “Love is a war, it’s a fight worth fighting for”, the two harmonise, their gentle voices blending into one on the acoustic, country-influenced ballad. The song was also aptly used as the soundtrack for meWatch drama series, Muay Thai Girl.
7. Leh Loh by ShiGGa Shay
Is hip-hop artist ShiGGa Shay advising us to ‘lay low’? The rapper with a playful streak muses that he released his latest track “Leh Loh” that was produced by Riidem, both as an ode to Singlish and local culture, as well as to “encourage people to have fun while staying home”.
The hard-hitting track has been in his drawers for a while and its release is aptly timed. We have this track on loop as a done-deal earworm with the constant bell chimes and scratchy gangster verses. He had taken a step back for a while from his career to re-calibrate after the White House State Dinner in 2016 with Tabitha Nauser when he was invited by then-Ambassador Kirk Wagar, but it seems that this track on loop as a done-deal earworm with the constant bell chimes and scratchy gangster verses is set to get him restarted for the year ahead after the crisis dies down.
8. Call Me by 美婷 OHMYMEITING X Becka
The ping of a notification, the prolonged dial tone and the sound of a phone finally picked up from its receiver set the scene for “Call Me”, an R&B-tinged Mandopop song. Becka starts the track with her raspy vocals, wondering why the other party she is interested in has yet to reply her messages, while 美婷 OHMYMEITING joins in, grappling with self doubt and uncertainty in the push-pull of a budding relationship.
9. Release by Soulful Ghosts
Made up of vocalist Vanessa Fernandez and Australian guitarist-producer Nic Robertson, Soulful Ghosts are composers of songs true to their namesake: nu-soul music that haunts its listeners. “Release” is their latest track, a minimalist dream which Fernandez deftly navigates with her voice, riding on a laid-back groove and simple beats produced by Robertson that is a perfect addition to your lounge or night drive playlist.
10. Give It Back by Jon Chua JX
Zendyll Records co-founder and creative director Jon Chua JX who was formerly from The Sam Willows takes a break from boss duties to drop his new single, “Give It Back” this Labour Day. The hip-hop inspired tune is a melodic expression of emotions Chua believes everyone has experienced before, evident from the inner conflict presented in the lyrics. “Whether it is a relationship with your parents, sibling, partner or just an old friend. That feeling when you wished that ‘if only things were like what it was’”, elaborates the singer.