Continuing our tradition of rounding up the month’s Top 10 musical offerings, October was no different from previous months – we received recommendations and votes for tracks that range from Pop, R&B, Dance, Hip-Hop and more, displaying the diversity and liveliness of Singapore’s sonic ecosystem.
This month, Popspoken partnered with Levi’s Singapore for yet another exciting giveaway. We asked you, our readers and friends, to recommend your favourite new releases on our Instagram page at the start of the month. Near the end of the month, we invited all of you to vote for your favourite submissions, and one follower who voted for any of the the Top 3 tracks will be picked at random to win $300 worth of Levi’s x Felix The Cat apparel.
Below are the Top 10 tracks we’ve received – the first three are the ones with the most votes, and the rest are placed in no particular order. The winner of the giveaway will be announced at the end.
The young’uns are teaming up and taking over with this fun, heart-ponding R&B-Dance number that will set the dance floors on fire. Feez. and YHB Sleepsalot are two rising names in the Singapore music landscape, and they definitely took the saying “two heads are better than one” quite literally.
Being Feez.’s first release with HVT Entertainment, a new Hip-Hop and R&B imprint label of Zendyll Music, he has set the bar high for his future projects with this powerful electronic track. Produced by EDM prodigy Foxela and up-and-coming R&B producer Dan Rafaael, ‘UNDER’ offers the world a look into what the young musicians in Singapore are capable of.
Sambal Snake – ‘Singapura’
If you’re looking for a serving of light-heartedness with a touch of patriotism, Sambal Snake’s ‘Singapura’ is an easy listen. Sambal Snake lays out everything that makes our island country unique. From our colonial past to our sedap food, the track is basically your Social Studies textbook condensed into a fun song clocking in just under three minutes.
Produced and mixed by Singaporean musician-producer Fauxe, ‘Singapura’ is supported by solid trap 808s and a dark, heavy mix that contrasts with Sambal Snake’s humorous bars. Also weaved into the instrumentals are the sounds of machine gun fire, the door-closing alarm from Singapore’s MRT trains, the commands of a drill sergeant and the notorious cries of the Asian Koel bird.
Dexter Heto – ‘Fly’
Dealing with questions of life, existence and mortality is always challenging; it is hard to get a good perspective when the rest of one’s life is seemingly so far away. That being said, everyone has their own set of beliefs and it’s a very personal subject that is valid as long as you truly believe in it. Dexter Heto’s ‘Fly’ is the artist’s own interpretation on that topic.
Flanked by the production of Darren Cheng, Evan Low aka. Evanturetime and Zendyll, the track boasts angelic vocal harmonies and a Pop-R&B beat as Dexter ponders the wonders and limitations of life. Lyrics such as “Printed in ink / Followed unquestioned / Taught us truth / All else misguided” suggests a struggle with faith that is not uncommon to go through when faced with the finiteness of life. Is there life after death? Is Heaven and Hell real or just a place in our heads? These are questions that we will only find answers to after our last breath.
Shahrizal – ‘I’m Not The One’
Dipping his toes into City Pop, independent R&B artist Shahrizal presents ‘I’m Not The One’, a synth-laden track seemingly inspired by the campy sounds of Eurodisco and Europop. Here, Shahrizal exhibits his sensitivities towards balancing nostalgic sounds with those of the new age, with a simple bass-and-clap beat supporting the tentpoles that are his synth riffs and vocal melodies.
But, make no mistake, the colourful production masks the melancholy of a love that has gone past its sell-by date. The pre-chorus, “We can’t deny / We’ve done our time / Just you and I”, is a resignation that a relationship has expired, and that real life has caught up with the fantasy of a whirlwind romance. Sometimes, it is just better to admit that we are not the one, and move on.
Marian Carmel – ‘Pause + Reset’
Marian Carmel returns this month with her latest single off her debut album, to you, to me. ‘Pause + Reset’ is an exploratory piece about coping with a love that has run its course. We are all familiar with having to readjust to life on ones own without the eyes and heart of another influencing all the little decisions in a day, and this track is Marian explaining what she had to do to make herself, at least, feel whole again.
Lyrics such as, “Sat myself down, taking time to talk it out / Spent all these months writing lines that don’t stick / Who knew this would flow soon as I pour a drink” perfectly illustrate the storm of feelings and emotions that takes a bit of liquid courage to express and expel from ones being in such situations. So, let us pour one out for lovers past, present and future while we swim in Marian’s smooth saccharine melodies.
ShiGGa Shay – ‘Passive Aggressive’
Following his massive collaboration with Jay Park, ShiGGa Shay returns this month with ‘Passive Aggressive’, a reflective confessional about living in the past and worrying too much about the future to the point of forgetting to be present. The track is an internal conversation happening within the mind of the Singaporean Rap OG, with lyrics such as “It’s crazy, you don’t ever listen / Why try same things expecting difference?” illustrating the struggle within.
Released in collaboration with HUGO Louder, a new global music platform by fashion brand HUGO, the track was supported by a music video directed by Ivo Heffner (Saltwater Films, Germany). The visuals show ShiGGa Shay grappling with his inner demons as he attempts to come to terms with his worst enemy – himself.
Soul Dot, Akeem Jahat – ‘Berapa’
Singaporean Hip-Hop mainstay Akeem Jahat joins forces with multi-instrumental maestros Soul Dot for a third time with ‘Berapa’, a groovy Jazz-informed number that is sure to get listeners on their feet. The track opens with the wails of an Erhu traversing an oriental scale before transitioning into an arrangement of horns commonly associated with a Big Band configuration.
Akeem’s sharp delivery cuts the funky musicalities like a knife as he raps about the cost of staying true to yourself and maintaining one’s self-esteem. At around the 2-minute mark, the flapper-reminiscent track was carried into modern contemporary music with a guitar solo easing the listener out of the song. This track is, simply, Gospel.
Linying – ‘Faith’
When things get tough, many fall back on faith to get through those trying moments. Everyone puts their faith in something – be it the Abrahamic God, deities from pantheons all over the world, a lover, or a thing. Life is so unpredictable, we can never know what is in store until that very moment. Linying’s message in ‘Faith’ is clear: I don’t know what’s in store, but I want to keep faith that everything will turn out just the way they should.
“I don’t look too hard / I don’t gotta know all the cards I keep / Keeping out the rest of it is what I need / ’Til it comes to me”, croons the Singaporean singer-songwriter as she finds satisfaction in letting things be as they are.
Saints Amongst Sinners – ‘Bind’
Singapore-based septet Saints Amongst Sinners’ latest offering ‘Bind’ is a dreamy mix of Psychedelia, Shoegaze and Post-Hardcore sensitivities. Clocking in at four and a half minutes, considerably long by today’s playlist standards, it is known that this song is the band’s final single before the release of its debut LP slated for 5 November.
The vocal work of Day and Mateen draw parallels with that of bands such as Paramore and Of Mice & Men in terms of vocal texture and range, while the instrumentation of Saints Amongst Sinners builds up a tension that culminates in a rousing 16-bar guitar solo.
Fresh off Deliciious’ latest record, Mise En Place, ‘Inside Your Mind II’ stands as a mid-album repose in contract with the rest of the album. A moderately paced two-minute track, ‘Inside Your Mind II’ is, literally, a rundown of life from the rapper’s point of view. He experiences the mundane everyday activities in the midst of struggling with self-loathing, as exhibited by lyrics such as “Suicidal night in paradise”.
Lincoln Lim’s velvety vocals juxtaposes the tense bars and muddy instrumentals, as if playing the role of a guardian angel to the disturbed rapper. Although he only comes into the song occasionally, Lincoln’s hook is a welcome respite – a soothing balm on an open wound.
Giveaway Winner: Nurun Nisa (@ni.sucks on Instagram), Popspoken has issued a redemption letter for you to claim your prize. Thank you for taking part in the giveaway and we hope you enjoy your loot!
This article Popspoken Picks: The Best of Singapore’s October Offerings appeared first on Popspoken.