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 Jasmine Sokko, bittymacbeth ft Orumo, MRTNS, and Feez.
Jasmine Sokko - ‘退烧 Fever’
Jasmine Sokko is an extraordinary force in the field right now. After releasing her debut single, ‘1057’, the EDM singer-producer has gone from strength to strength in her subsequent works. It’d usually be hard-pressed to maintain this momentum and live up the precedent set by what seems to be her pinnacle hit, ‘TIRED’, but once again, Sokko doesn’t fail to impress.
In her latest bilingual track, Sokko proves her deft affinity with electronic music, simultaneously commanding the pulse of the music while building an arresting sonic narrative with her distinct vocals, punctuating it with the occasional sigh. There’s no mistaking it—this sound is undoubtedly her own. It remains as refreshing as it was when she kicked the doors down with ‘1057’ in 2016, and has everything that made ‘TIRED’ so right. It’s rare, but Sokko traces a personal trajectory that seems to only go up, and we are left to wonder what new heights she will reach next.
bittymacbeth ft Orumo - 'Get Better. Not Bitter'
bittymacbeth sets a tall order in one of her latest tracks, 'Get Bitter. Not Bitter'. After all, why take the high road you can stew in your own resentment and plot petty revenges to right the wrong done to you?
The singer-songwriter is compelling, though, laying out her own personal experiences in song and weaving everything into an anthem of grace and compassion. She cuts a silhouette shrouded in dignity, upright and unyielding in the face of even the most niggling compulsions to act on our baser impulses. "Take out the knife / Put it down and never look back," she sings, then the song swells into a fitting crescendo. Bittymacbeth is laser-focused in her determination to reflect all the good, bad, and ugly of life as we know it in her music, and perhaps we are all the better for it.
MRTNS - 'Daisies and Doves'
MRTNS, once the Morning Martians, are charting out new beginnings for themselves.
New name aside, their debut single under their refurbished moniker, 'Daisies and Doves', sees an unmistakable deviation from their old discography. Where it was once made up of songs pumped with pathos and teenage angst, this new track is an upbeat technicolour extension of their rock souls, and sees the band heading in a different sonic direction.
If there's something that hasn't changed, though, it's the band's ability to make relatable music. Consider lyrics such as "It’s your lips, and your eyes, like glistening autumn leaves / It’s your heart, your mind, i think i fell in love". It's the epitome of the rush of young, reckless love, and coupled with the charming music video driven by their usual goofy humour, MRTNS prove that they're finally back, stronger than ever.
Feez. - ‘are you gone?’
This is the kind of song that creeps on you in the middle of the night, when you're at your most vulnerable and your emotions are all hanging on a thread.
"Do you know that who you are / is nothing more than a broken scar / Do you know that who you are / is nothing more than a fallen star?" are lines that could find themselves as a centrepiece of a coming-of-age movie. There's a sense of desolation and desperation that fits right in with all the teenage turmoil and vacillation that typify such a genre. It's the perfect soundtrack for when the protagonist is standing alone, away from the noise of a huge party they don't want to be at, and it's testament to Feez.'s capacity for emotive story-telling.