Summer is almost ending, but the hit releases aren’t stopping. This month, Popspoken has compiled a list of new music from all over Asia for your playlist, ranging from rock to R&B and pop.
DPR Ian – ‘Mood’
Christian Yu – also known as DPR IAN from the collective Dream Perfect Regime – is back with his first full-length album ‘Moodswings In To Order’, where he once again delves into his experiences with bipolar disorder. The Korean-Australian artist complements the 12-track album with a short movie that depicts the descent into fury and self-destruction. ‘Mood’ – one of the songs featured in the film – expresses these themes with a seductive, groovy melody that draws the listeners in as the lyrics describe the initial stage of being held captive by feelings. While the track holds up well on its own, it forms a part of cohesive storytelling of an album that packs a punch.
Cindy Zhang & Josh Berkeley – ‘Disposable’
After releasing a track with LambC, Zhang is back with another collaboration. The US-based musician teamed up with Grenadian singer-songwriter Berkeley to release ‘Disposable’, an R&B tune that depicts a back-and-forth between two people involved in a classic romantic dilemma – whether one should commit. Various jazz references – ranging from Chet Baker to Etta James – are included in this easy-listening and warm-sounding track.
NIKI – ‘High School in Jakarta’
The Indonesian singer revisits her teenage years and heartbreak in ‘High School in Jakarta’. She plays a younger version of herself in the music video, where she develops a budding romance between classes and school activities. NIKI’s 88rising labelmates Rich Brian and Warren Hue are also featured as fellow students.
In a statement, NIKI describes the story – part of the short film ‘But I’m Letting Go’ that will be released alongside her upcoming album ‘NICOLE’ – as “inspired by my own life, but somehow also about every relationship”. Precise in its chronicling of bittersweet memories, the song successfully encapsulates the universal feeling of dealing with heartache and fear of the unknown.
Faraday – ‘How to Be Human’
The Singaporean band launched this single as part of their debut full-length album of the same name, which was released on July 22. The metal track offers some consolation to those going through a rough time with bouts of self-loathing. “Stop your whining, wait and stay till it’s over,” vocalist Danial Zahirulhaq sings, “then you’ll know, then you’ll know just how to be human.”
Will Mara – ‘Safe Flight’
The Indonesian soloist is returning this month with the indie pop single ‘Safe Flight’. Inspired by the announcement call at the airport, he melds smooth, upbeat sound with sugary lyrics that describe the feeling of coming home and the anticipation of being reunited with loved ones – a soundtrack for today’s world, where we are able to travel more freely after years of restrictions.