Another month, another 10 new tracks worth checking out. This month, we saw various new releases across the board in Singaporean music, with players old and new stepping into the playing field. We invited artists and fans to send in their September 2021 picks through email or Popspoken’s Instagram page, and, boy, did everyone deliver.
Before we reveal our picks for the month, we would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who participated in last month’s Popspoken Picks giveaway. Stay tuned to our Instagram page to be the first to know when the next giveaway rolls around!
Below, in no particular order, we share our favourite tracks of this month after sifting through all your recommendations and submissions.
Shye – ‘how r u sleeping’
Sleep does not come easy to some, especially after the whirlwind that was the past one-and-a-half years. On top of the usual troubles of life, work, school, friends and family, we’ve had to deal with the uncertainty brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on a global scale. With ‘how r u sleeping’, Electro-Pop chanteuse Shye poses that same question to listeners; a reminder to check in on your loved ones during these trying times.
About the song, Shye shares, “It was inspired by events that happened in 2020, a year filled with anxious moments, when sleep didn’t come easy for me. Being an introvert, I do find it extremely hard to open up and talk to someone about how I’m feeling, even to my friends. It’s also this feeling of not wanting to be a burden to others, hence the lyrics ‘I’ll make it look easy but it’s never what it seems.’
‘What Are We Doing?’ is probably the most underrated track from Gentle Bones’ recent eponymous album. In collaboration with Folk-Pop maestro lewloh, this song explores the uncertainty and hesitancy you feel in love, especially when the relationship is new. Most, if not all, would have experienced a point in a relationship where both parties are unsure where things are headed, and this track shows that you are not alone in this.
Compared to the other tracks from the record, ‘What Are We Doing?’ might be a tad understated when standing beside Bones’ collaborations with Benjamin Kheng and Tay Kewei, but that is where beauty lies in simplicity. Upbeat production accompanies the croons of “But we never thought that this would be the chorus / So how do I sing it? / It’s something I can’t bring myself to finish”, breaking the fourth wall while pondering the question posed in the title.
Deon – ‘Breathe In’
Indie-pop singer-songwriter DEON introduces his upcoming 2022 EP with ‘Breathe In’, a reminder to listeners to take time for themselves to process their inner feelings, emotions and thoughts even when faced with the chaos that life throws our way. DEON’s calm and airy vocals acts as a grounding element as the instrumentals flows past the eardrums like how life passes us by.
It is known that the past few years were tough ones for DEON in terms of his personal life, having to come to terms with the passing of loved ones after confronting a history of chronic illness in his family, as explored in his 2019 album, eulogia; eulogy, and its 2020 off-shoot, the acoustic Prologue; Eulogia EP. ‘Breathe In’ is the musician’s way of coping, and, while he does, listeners get to play a part in it as well.
Dreebsby – ‘Death of Me’
It’s a familiar feeling – the taste of whiskey on your lips as you hold your loved one (for that night, at least) close to your being. Singaporean singer-songwriter Dreebsby delivers a catchy alt-pop number illustrating that fleeting moment of intimacy with ‘Death of Me’. Produced by the musician himself, the track boasts Reggaeton-inspired beats, with it’s arrangement and composition reminiscent of Doja Cat’s hit song ‘Woman’.
Lyrics such as “Grab my hand / It’s a certainty / If I leave with you / You’ll be the death of me” describes the moment after you realise that the spark between you and a special someone is stronger than you expected. You just know that if said person comes any further into your life, trouble is sure to ensue. Question is: Will that trouble last just one night or a lifetime?
HYBRD – ‘SHUT IT DOWN’
Hip-Hop duo HYBRD returns to Popspoken Picks this month with ‘SHUT IT DOWN’, another track off the group’s latest EP, THE HYLIFE. Compared to HYBRD’s previously featured track, ‘NIGHTS LIKE THESE’, Draco Raj and Q bring out their inner party animals for this infectious dance track.
Informed by sounds typically associated with EDM and Trap, ‘SHUT IT DOWN’ brings the explosive energy you’d remember from nights spent dancing at the club (RIP Nightlife). Braggadocio-laden lyrics such as “Strength of a champion / Heart of a fighter” accompany the pounding bass and hard-hitting drops. When clubs reopen, hopefully sooner than later, ‘SHUT IT DOWN’ will be the perfect track to bring back the rowdiness of the dance-floor after its (almost) two-year long slumber.
The Lesslars – ‘Change’
The Lesslars is a Singaporean Eurasian band comprising of siblings Camille Lesslar, 13, on vocals and Craigston Lesslar, 11, on drums. Since its inception in 2018, The Lesslars have performed at various local clubs, cafes and schools. ‘Change’ is the group’s second single, and is slated to appear in an upcoming EP that is currently in production.
‘Change’ is a trippy psychedelic rock song that talks about how music can change and alter one’s moods and perspectives. Camille’s strong alto-range vocals are especially note-worthy, as the track demonstrates her ability to control and project her pipes despite being a teenager. Although the instrumentation buries the vocals at some points in the track, it’s nothing a little more mixing cannot fix.
Singapore-based rapper P_NEDA teams up with fellow artist KZY for ‘Smoke No More’, a track that meshes Lo-Fi-inflenced instrumentations and 808s with P_NEDA’s signature timbre. KZY’s parts contrasts P_NEDA’s deep tone with a lighter colour, adding variety into the mix. The track’s production also features the sounds of a muddied-up glockenspiel, bringing a sense of airiness into a track about the grind and drip.
Best consumed on the way to and fro work or school, ‘Smoke No More’ is an easy listen. The groovy melodies and flow are not jarring, yet packs enough swagger for a quick and vibe-y perk-me-up.
Joining forces once again are Rap mainstay Akeem Jahat, Folk-Pop singer-songwriter Marian Carmel and production collective Soul Dot. Following the success of ‘what are we’, the friends present ‘Heartbreak Boulevard’, a dangerously seductive tale of “don’t go looking for love at the wrong turn”, as per a press statement.
Bluesy basslines flanks the sultry vocals courtesy of Marian whilst Akeem’s sharp delivery cuts through the velvet with lyrics such as “I shot chivalry dead in the head”, a significant change in tone from their previous collaboration that demonstrates the rapper’s ability to switch between sweet and dangerous when needed.
AE$OP CA$H – ‘KNOW ABOUT IT’
“When the matrep brings a Grammy back / The haters rest in pieces”, declares AE$OP CA$H in his first official single this year. ‘KNOW ABOUT IT’ is a prelude to the Singaporean rapper’s upcoming music, putting his ambitions on display while confessing that “[he] could never love you / Even if [he] tried to” because he’s too busy “putting in the work to be the king of [his] own city”.
Produced, mixed and mastered by RIIDEM, the track is a down-tempo number that allows AE$OP CA$H to stretch his legs while he gears up for the rest of the year. Instrumentals consisting of simple guitar loops and basslines provides an introspective blank sheet, on which the rapper lays out his story.
FUDGY – ‘Foolish’
‘Foolish’ by FUDGY is a departure from his Grunge EP, Solitary Vices, that was released earlier this year. Instead of the crunchy guitars that were heavily present in the EP, this single boasts cleaner strums while the singer-songwriter laments a love that has since passed him by.
Lyrics such as “I was foolish to believe we were meant to be / all I ever caused was self misery” projects the fact that unreciprocated love does not hurt less the more common it becomes, and the only thing one can do about it is to accept that it was never in the cards. ‘Foolish’ seems to draw inspiration from the softer side of 2000s Alt-Rock, evoking a sense of nostalgia and melancholy in listeners.
This article Popspoken Picks: Our Favourite Made-In-Singapore Tracks appeared first on Popspoken.