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 iNCH, Goose, yawa, Tell Lie Vision, Frinla, 96memory and Darryl Sim below.
iNCH – ‘SUN & MOON ☉+◑’
‘As long as the sun and moon still abide / Who am I to disregard the divide’ – that’s the non-rhetorical question that iNCH poses on her first transmission in two years. The division and duality she alludes to is defining and pivotal. Everything about it packs a two-fold payload.
The song is a reality check about the disquieting realities of climate change. The sun and moon map the extent of the widescreen destruction our planet will most certainly face if we don’t change how we live. And that’s where the elemental and abstract become poignantly personal. iNCH isn't wagging a finger here; she situates herself within the world’s inhabitants and emotes thence. Over a stylish-but-hushed Evanturetime beat, she sings of “Gasoline rainbows and spilt champagne”, of the space between apathy and regret and the rapidly closing window for action before we’re “buried in the rubble”. All of it cuts in more ways than one.
Goose – ‘燃燒沒事 - 另一版(It’s OK To Burn - Reinterpreted)’
A reimagination of an eponymous track off his latest EP If I Left The Park?…, Goose turns to heavier-sounding instruments in order to place more emphasis on the melancholic theme of the song: The cost of a toxic relationship and the toll it takes on one's well-being.
By incorporating the cello, played by Vick Low, and an antique piano sample, played by co-producer Prue Chew, Goose manages to create an epic atmosphere within the skeletal piano arrangement, which leaves the listener to space out and absorb the emotions in the lyrics. And as the cello slowly rolls in, the harmony between both instruments reaches a climax before descending into soft undertones, in which Goose lays the lyrics. The end result hits in all the right spots. A round of applause for Goose here.
Yawa – ‘
While Yawa(formerly known as You And Whose Army)s first release of 2019, ‘Get Away’, introduced us to his keen ear for production quality and musicality, it’s his second release ‘Fall’ that truly captures the artist’s essence. The alt-rock musician builds upon the impeccable production of ‘Get Away’, stacking multiple layers of lilting sounds in his successive release. A feature on the track, IXA’s smooth, angelic voice feeds off Yawa’s calm vocals to create something hauntingly beautiful.
Tell Lie Vision – ‘Fear Our Own’
Post-hardcore will never die. On its new single, this Singaporean quartet furnishes a testimony for why it has and will endure. The most crucial and sublime quality of the movement, the one that elevates it from being a mere offshoot of emo, gravity, is something the band traffics in well. Multi-layered guitars, that alternately twinkle and rumble, seismic drums and a legitimately titanic breakdown demarcate the high-stakes essence of the song. In the same dimension but in a different realm, are the duelling vocals which convey tidings of desperate times and bridges burned – there is no turning back. Finality and power reside here.
96memory – ‘not all sinners are’
96memory makes his first foray into the music scene as a solo artist with this release, which is a beat-ridden, downtempo track that gives us a peek into his capabilities. Before this, he collaborated with Shahrizal on his track 'Godsent', which is a completely different showcase of his talents. In this track, 96memory drones out the lyrics, almost like he took inspiration from Lil Peep’s signature melancholic drawling style. He then peppers the track with several rapid drum beats and a couple of clipped samples of conversations that happen at a racetrack pit, which manoeuvre the track to the more trending quarters of contemporary hip-hop.
Evanturetime – ‘I Need to Withdraw Some Money (Frinla Remix)’
This reimagined song is as much a tale of two minds as it is a showcase of the regenerative power of human imagination. Evanturetime’s original is ominous and elegant and earthily punctuated by a hard-slapping measure of drums and bass. It’s fertile ground for Frinla’s take to soar off on.
The new, more expansive version is situated in a noir-ish world, where possibilities lurk menacingly in shrouded corners in the form of pullulating polyrhythms and micro-melodies that surreptitiously break away and return to the main body. Dynamism has always been Frinla’s most formidable veneer. Here, he shows how darkly sublime it can render someone else’s sonic architecture. Method, madness and mastery abound.
Darryl Sim – ‘You’
Darryl Sim takes simplicity to the forefront with his second single ‘You’ with a sparse piano piece, modest drum beats and his whispery delivery. Following the theme of his first single ‘Stay With Me’, he remains in the realm of the hushed and melodic singer-songwriter mode. On the chorus, he repeats the line “It’s you/only you” over and over again, together with warped vocal loops in the background. The repetition is hypnotic and emphatically purposeful. The effect is lulling. Is this the next frontier in minimal pop music?