Last week, we celebrated the latest songs from the canon of Made In Singapore music to reach the ether. Now, we dig deeper into our national anthems with a critical eye.
Read our review of the latest songs by MAS1A, Foxela, Lincoln Lim and yawa below.
MAS1A, Dr. Sakthi and Switche – ‘Hot Lit Fyah’
Rare is the body-rocking party tune that proffers the listener with something other than revelry fuel. On ‘Hot Lit Fyah’, the trinity of Singaporean reggae and dancehall doyenne MAS1A, Dr. Sakthi and Switche Trojan horse soul-searching, self-empowering urgings in an EDM banger forged in the crucible of intoxicating Afro house. There’s a pound here that is primal and kinetic – it’s as much an exhortation to move as it's crucial to the song’s structural integrity. Retrofitted with dance music's propulsive thrust, it shakes even harder and more emphatically.
But the deep current of the track asks us to “let the fire blaze up in the dark”. MAS1A raps those lines, her sing-rap flow alluring and affirming. Her cadence is infectious but cannily controlled. She’s aware of her ample powers – this song is a jetpack in the form of a blessing by the Far East Empress herself. For the party and for life.
Foxela and Revaze – ‘Harmony’
Future bass is the new pop. An imperfect moniker, for the most part, it does, however, underscore two very crucial ideas about the shape of the pop to be. ‘Future’ and ‘bass’ are the most important coins in the producers’ realm. This is where Singaporean producer Foxela capitalises. True to the main dictate of the genre, ‘Harmony’s sonics are panoramic and vividly colouristic. Buoyed by a beat and a bounce, textures, elements and micro-melodies fill up the space. There aren’t any vocals because none are necessary. The track presents many variations on a theme. House and bass music are the dual founts from which the music flows. As it proceeds to futurity, the soundscape is enlivened by the canons-spanning co-mingling of sounds. Catchy, fun and eminently danceable, the song presents every constituent sound as a hook. Behold the glorious, all-pervading call the of the hyper-digital future.
Lincoln Lim – Alive
Singaporean folk singer Lincoln Lim has been performing in the Singaporean music scene for almost nine years but, including this latest, he only has three singles to date. Yet, this does not diminish the quality of his latest transmission.
'Alive’ starts off with a tinge of cheekiness; quick and sharp guitar strums with the loud, emphatic sound of the bass drum. Maintaining his jaunty vocals throughout most the track, he snarls certain words to give them a punch of emphasis. But as the bridge comes, he seamlessly switches to his falsetto, expertly placing his vocals on top of the blend of the choir-like backing vocals and accelerated percussion. This proves his masterful ability to dramatise a harmonious soundscape with the beauty of story-telling.
yawa – Get Away
Now playing under the moniker, yawa, the Singaporean alternative rock band announces its return after a 10-year hiatus with a four-track EP dubbed Straying Thoughts and the first single to be released is a boundary-pushing, melancholic number, ‘Get Away’.
The track possess a strong measure of ambient pop in its balanced mix of synthetic sounds and organic melodies from the piano and drums. The band’s distinctive strong drawl suits the mood of the track aptly. It's slow and purposeful; certain words are dragged and elongated, while the ambient sound behind it stirs with a dreamy and heart-wrenching feeling. There are pockets of ethereal instrumentals peppered throughout, which showcase the band’s melodic ear. Then, there are the lyrics, which arrest the listener, most notably, “When it is gone/ When it is over/ Will I be happy”. This is the sound of a hushed but self-defining pain, smouldering with a feverish intensity.