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 Vivien Yap, Writers’ Block and Foxela below.
Vivien Yap – 'Part II'
This is a breakup song that isn’t like other breakup songs. Despite the rupture she’s suffered, Singaporean chanteuse Vivien Yap isn’t fixated on wallowing and seething. Of course, having to say, “Take my heart and leave / Please don’t ask me why”, is a devastating and isolating experience. And when she does utter those words with a beautiful hush at the close of what is essentially a sunlit folk-pop song, the sense of finality is crushingly definitive. But that ending is as important as the road that leads to it. Along the way, she relives the episodic push-pull moments in the larger psychodrama that the experience has been for her with a vividness and grace. That’s why the replay value here is high.
Writers’ Block – 'G.S.T'
Don’t get it twisted: Transcendence is the biggest currency in hip-hop. Money is just the simplest, lowest-common-denominator manifestation of it. That’s why, in this expertly crafted track by homegrown crew Writers’ Block, there's a reminder to the listener of that truth: “No type of dollar incentive can change the value I got”. This is a note to the future self where the message is direct and uncompromising. Even though the beat is hard, playful and turn-up-ready, there’s a gravity here that is unforgettable and triumphal.
Foxela – 'Forward'
“You're not stuck on one sound unlike a guitar or a piano. You get to design a sound; that's the really cool thing”, was this producer’s response in an interview when asked about what drew him to making electronic music. At 16, his youth and the limitlessness of the electronic musical mode correspond perfectly. This new single joins his growing pool of songs and adheres to that sonic character – au courant, emotionally impressionistic and maximal – but introduces something new: Hybridised Korean rap-R&B from the singer, Krisis. It belongs undeniably to this time – nothing before sounds like this.