Singapore Music Reviews: Estelle Fly, slodown, Vivid Shade, Elsa Mickayla, ZIONN, LATRO, Vivien Yap, and Daren Yuen

Singapore Music Reviews: Estelle Fly, slodown, Vivid Shade, Elsa Mickayla, ZIONN, LATRO, Vivien Yap, and Daren Yuen

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 Estelle Fly, slodown, Vivid Shade, Elsa Mickayla, ZIONN, LATRO, Vivien Yap, and Darren Yuen.

Estelle Fly – ‘Love Like This’

When a relationship ends, one is usually faced with different feelings and emotions – sadness, regret, confusion and anger are not uncommon in such situations. In essence, Estelle Fly’s latest single illustrates the tumultuous feelings that are present post-breakup. Produced by Jason Gelchen, the track also includes contributions by Axel Brizzy, Sam Rui and YAØ.

When one can’t let go of the other party, it becomes a vicious cycle of pain and bittersweet memories, as portrayed by lyrics such as “Reminiscent ‘bout the things we used to do / Like I’m in a loop and I cannot break through”. The raw feelings masked behind this banger of an electro-pop track makes this track a poignant yet catchy listen. This song is for the broken and the healing; for anyone who’s ever been through a bad breakup.

slodown – ‘Sunset Spot (Sam Rui Version)’

We recently reviewed this track in another article, which you can find here.

Vivid Shade – ‘Goodbye, World!’

Vivid Shade offers up an atmospheric auditorial experience with it’s latest single, ‘Goodbye, World!’. Loaded with deep, rumbling bass and melodic synths, ‘Goodbye, World!’ is, in essence, a song of an industrial form catered to the ears of the 21st-century listener. If the worlds of Trent Reznor and Billie Eilish were to collide, the resulting product probably won’t deviate much from Vivid Shade’s brand of dark pop.

The track can be described as a psychedelic descent into the brains of ZoeJoey and her father – both of who make up this musical collective. Compared to Vivid Shade’s previous single, ‘I’ll Do It’, this new single relies slightly more on instrumental engagement rather than vocal melodies, showing that the group isn’t afraid of tipping the balance when needed.

Elsa Mickayla – ‘Keep Me Guessing’

‘Keep Me Guessing’ embodies a situation that is not uncommon among new lovers – do they really want to get into a serious relationship, or do they still need more time? And then what happens when one of them pressures the other to make a decision? The latest offering from singer-songwriter Elsa Mickayla presents that narrative in the format of a soulful anthem that is somehow reminiscent of the iconic ‘Lady Marmalade’

“When I keep talking, you tell me to stop / When I keep walking, you tell me to stop / When I walk away, you tell me you want me / So baby, baby tell me what you want me to do”, vents Elsa, as she hits an impressive falsetto towards the end of the song, expressing the frustration experienced by people who are stuck in similar circumstances.

ZIONN – ‘What Did I Do?’

Producer and multi-instrumentalist ZIONN’s newest track presents a sense of instrumental euphoria to whoever hits the play button. Impeccable production and perfect timing gives space for nothing else as ZIONN flexes his electronic muscles on this near-3-minute house track. The defining characteristics of the genre are clearly exhibited in ‘What Did I Do?’– filtered sounds and a smooth bass introduces listeners to a world of ecstasy and class.

Compared to ZIONN’s previous release, his remix of Stephycube’s ‘Departure’, ‘What Did I Do’ is much more muted. The fast synth melodies so present in ‘Departure’ are swapped out in favour of the drum machine and more subtle sound in this new track. This proves that ZIONN is not only adept at reimagining other’s works, but he is also skilled in creating his own unique sonic realm.

LATRO – ‘Dr3ams’

Emo trap may have just emerged in the local music scene not too long ago, but over the course of 2019, LATRO has wasted no time in staking his claim as one of the key players in the genre. With ‘Dr3ams’, the rapper creates a track that follows in the footsteps of his usual style and tracks such as ‘Mollywood’ and ‘Trapazine’, while at the same time standing above the rest as one of his best releases yet. LATRO lets the production work its own magic, focusing his efforts on songwriting, delivery and production. The subtle bass, prominent trap snare and bubbling melodies combine to create a bouncy beat that’s the perfect vessel for LATRO’s vocal excellence.

Vivien Yap – ‘Lonely Lovers’

Last week, Vivien Yap released her charming debut EP, Fables. While the EP in its entirety is a breathtaking work of art, we’re particularly drawn to its closing track, ‘Lonely Lovers’. The final piece of the puzzle that is the EP, ‘Lonely Lovers’ is the track that ties everything together, holding it in place. The song sums up the EP, striking up the right balance between the playfulness of ‘Part II’ and the sombreness of ‘Everything Stays’. Vivien’s performance is as strong as ever, delivering every word with crushing conviction. With solemn lyrics that creep over you like dark rainclouds and bright instrumentation that cuts through like a ray of sunshine after a thunderstorm, ‘Lonely Lovers’ is the perfect balance of emotions within listeners. Take 500 Days of Summer and turn it into a song, and the result will be Vivien Yap’s ‘Lonely Lovers’.

Daren Yuen – ‘broken tv ft. GGoat, the Flower BOi’

Daren Yuen’s latest track is a heartbreaking one, dripping with Yuen’s airy, reverb-laced tormented delivery. While he manages to keep it together, you can tell he’s in pain as he sings throughout the track. GGoat and the Flower BOi pick things up with rap verses that put a more playful spin on the same painful themes. It creates a nice balance between the lighter and heavier emotions. The track’s instrumentation stands out as one of Yuen’s best, with a chill vibe, and a delicate and passionate piano melody leading the way, complete with electronic chimes laced throughout the track.