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 reviews of the latest songs by Charlie Lim, Linying, Vandetta, Angelk, Kim Olsen, Masia One, Richard Jansen, Darryl Sim, Joshua Young, King Nicole and Haziman.
Charlie Lim, Linying – ‘Hummingbird’
Charlie Lim and Linying have collaborated before, but not like this. ‘Hummingbird’ is the first time the two singer-songwriters have co-written a track together, and you can tell right from the start that you’re in for something truly special. Initially written for Lim’s CHECK-HOOK album, the track didn’t fit the theme of the record, and was left on the cutting room floor. That may have been for the best though, as ‘Hummingbird’’s final product now sits comfortably among the best songs to come out of Singapore. Linying’s lush voice kicks off the track, before Charlie joins in for the chorus, and the second verse. The track, while simple, showcases the innate strength of the pairing when it comes to songwriting.
Vandetta, Angelk, Kim Olsen, Masia One – ‘My Dough’
This is femme fatale at its finest. Vandetta, Angelk, Kim Olsen and Masia One have united to put forth one of the most empowering, uplifting tracks that feature the perfect mixture of raw, unadulterated bars, and a chorus so catchy, it’ll get stuck in your head for days. Individually, each one of the four musicians are a force to be reckoned with. Together, they’re unstoppable. As the four trade bars, instead of trying to one-up each other, they shine together, complementing each other.
Richard Jansen– ‘Waves’
Richard Jansen’s artistry is growing at break-neck speeds. On ‘Waves’, Jansen trades in his bars for a early-2000s-inspired R&B cut, a la IYAZ. The track, which clocks in at 2:31, covers its bases so completely, you can’t make any case for it being too short; it’s done everything it set out to do. ‘Waves’ features heavily auto-tuned vocals from Jansen, this bass kicks, and a boat-load of trap snares and hi-hats. While ‘Waves’ isn’t Jansen’s best offering, it still stands as an incredibly strong release, and his future experimentation is more than welcome.
Darryl Sim – 'lost love'
There is never an easy way to talk about heartbreak, and while Darryl Sim lays his heart bare in the lovelorn ‘lost love’, a particularly mellow change of tune in his generally lightweight discography, his bleeding melancholy is somewhat tempered by his coherent soundscape. The careful and controlled dialectic of anguish prevents the track from descending into saccharine schmaltz, transforming it into the residue of grief; a cautionary tale fit for those who have witnessed the depths of desolation and still come out breathing.
Joshua Young ft King Nicole – ‘Lowkey (F*** IT)’
This isn’t Joshua Young’s first foray into producing original music, but this may be his best work yet. In his collaboration with King Nicole, he eases his synths around King’s effervescent vocals, creating a buoyant R&B piece that draws one in with its stripped-down and whimsical soundscape. Young succeeds in crafting a delicate but sturdy foundation of beats that fluidly complement rather than overwhelm King’s mellifluous timbre, allowing the song to speak for itself and allure with its languid novelty. All said and done, ’Lowkey (F*** IT)’ is an indubitable gem of a find.
Haziman – NEW FRIENDS
Bursting into public consciousness with his debut single in 2019, Haziman has since gone on to develop an impressively mature and varied discography that speaks volumes of his keen sonic dexterity. On his latest single, ‘NEW FRIENDS’, he isn’t so much spitting platitudes about the golden times of youth as he is making a case for the teenage experience and all the banal superficialities of human relationships, executing his lines with a precise master stroke between rapid abandon and hard-hitting restraint.