SINGAPORE – There has been a bumper crop of local music act EP releases over the past month.
Rapper, singer and producer Alyph takes the time to produce hits for other artists in order to release a solo EP.
Label mates Nathan Hartono and Jasmine Sokko both have new EPs with songs inspired by life during a pandemic.
New name, Carpet Golf, a group made up of members of various local indie groups debut with an EP dealing with toxic masculinity.
Check out the releases on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp.
1. Hip-hop / R & B
III / III
Rapper, singer and beat-maker Alyph delves into intimate portraits of betrayal, hope and absolution in his three-track EP, III / III.
Melodies line sounds ranging from ethereal R&B to trap. “My motivation for making music is that it can’t sound like everything I’m hearing right now,” he says.
Alyph, who first made a name for himself as a member of hip-hop duo SleeQ, is also known for producing hits for artists in Singapore and Malaysia.
2. Electronic / Pop
i = r
Jasmine Sokko’s EP is named after Snell’s Law of Thinking and inspired by her life from last year.
“Considering the pandemic, I find myself having to spend so much time alone where I can’t help but confront certain feelings and find a new sense of myself. A lot of the songs on this EP have to do with reflections, ”she said.
The six-song EP features 25, co-written with fellow Singaporean singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, as well as Magnet, sung in English and Mandarin.
Edge of days
The four songs from Crooner Nathan Hartono’s EP Edge Of Days are a self-proclaimed “random mix of sounds and feelings” born out of life during a pandemic.
“It was written in the first half of this year, which was erratic to say the least. The rules of life kept changing,” he says.
“And I found myself bouncing back and forth between days, stopping and starting, unable to really get a foothold on anything, really, so the ‘edge of the days.’ The music kept me going, for this I am eternally grateful for. The bonus is you get to hear the product of it all. “
It features the dreamy ballad The Difference, produced by acclaimed Singaporean electronic music artist Myrne, as well as Simple, a track about dealing with the impossible nature of love.
4. Jazz / R & B / Pop
Pearls by singer Aisyah Aziz is a cover album released by audiophile label Groove Note Records. It includes his interpretation of classic songs such as Wicked Game by Chris Isaak in 1989, Lou Reed’s song Walk On The Wild Side in 1972, and Prince’s signature song in 1984, Purple Rain.
5. Emo / Power Pop
Not as good a fisherman as Brock Lesnar is a man
Carpet Golf is a new formation made up of members of bands such as Subsonic Eye, The Neptune Waves and Charm.
One track bite from their debut EP, Not As Good A Fisherman As Brock Lesnar Is A Man, reflects the quartet’s original perspectives, and the songs address topics such as toxic masculinity.
The album opener and first single, Brock Lesnar, is named after the American-Canadian wrestler.
6. Folk / Classical
UTOPIA reimagined: the first chapter
Jazz singer Joanna Dong’s single kicks off a series in which local artists create compositions inspired by the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Utopia Symphony by Russian composer Vladimir Martynov.
The symphony was commissioned in 2003 by Singapore’s Ambassador to Russia, Mr. Michael Tay.
The song, Utopia Reimagined: The First Chapter, is co-written by Dong and composer Chok Kerong, and includes lines from the classic Taoist text by Tao Te Ching.
The series is an initiative of the Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise, founded by Mr. Tay, who is also its executive director.
7. Independent rock
Dijangka / Matahari
The past month has been a big one for indie rock / noise pop quintet Subsonic Eye.
The group found a global following when they shot a set for KEXP (At Home), an online music series from Seattle radio station KEXP FM.
They also released two new singles, Dijangka (Expected) and Matahari (Sun), their first songs in Malay. The romantic lyrics are inspired by the relationship between songwriter and guitarist Daniel Castro Borces and singer and lyricist Nur Wahidah.
Afterglow is an uplifting and ruminating piece by 18-year-old singer-songwriter Keyana.
“In Afterglow, feeling lost becomes the main narrative of my current self, not knowing where to go, who I want to be, what I stand for and the fear of losing myself in the process,” she says.
“But as I speak to myself, a part of me reaches out and reminds me that the ideal woman has always been in me. It is through this conversation that I learn that as long as I embrace who I am and am my heart in all that accompanies this journey, I will become that ideal woman and experience my afterglow. “
Qis Maraj and Mawar Berduri
KakakAdik, which is a mix of words for older sister and younger brother, is a collaborative track between two generations of female rappers.
Mawar Berduri is a seasoned singer and rapper who first made her name in Singapore and Malaysia with hip-hop trio Ahli Fiqir in the early 2000s.
Qis Maraj is a newcomer whose recent single Fatalis topped the local music charts on Mediacorp Malaysian radio station ria897.
Rapper Shigga Shay’s single Passive Aggressive is a collaboration with Hugo Louder, a musical series from fashion label Hugo Boss.
He is the only Asian artist featured in this year’s edition, which also features artists such as Danish pop singer MØ.
With lyrics that touch on mental health, the rapper also worked on Passive Aggressive with Portuguese Grammy-nominated DJ and music producer Holly and Thai producer and musician ZOL.