In celebration of the day of love (i.e. Thaipusam), we’ve made a list of local tracks about love – its ups and downs, and the many versions of it that exist. These are not arranged from any particular order and are simply an amalgamation of all of Daily Seni’s staff choices – however, its a collection which we think speaks the fullest truths. Hopefully this takes some of you on a trip down memory lane, the same way it did us.
Bunga Di Telinga – Noh Salleh
The track has a jazzy vibe to it and it becomes more upbeat along with Noh Salleh’s swooning vocals as the chorus goes, “Kamu lebih ayu dengan bunga di telinga.” It makes an ordinary commute on the MRT feels like floating and ultimately turns everyone around you more beautiful (honestly, try walking and listening to this and not feel attracted to someone). The highlight would be how all the instruments come together almost messy like the first time stumbling upon a crush.
Belaian Jiwa – Innuendo
An oldie but, a goodie. It’s admittedly one of the most famous songs for karaoke when you want to let loose and sing with your pals but, not be judged for failing to hit the high notes. Though, this song is for moments of revelation in a relationship; sitting in the car and waiting to apologise to your partner or just lying in bed for the phone to ring and thinking whether he or she is the one? Well, of course because it’s destiny and how can you win someone over if not with soulful music?
Oh Dewiku – Ramayan
The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this song is the crazy, unexpected tunes from The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine; Oh Dewiku is colourfully compact and it’s a reminder of how love songs should not be one dimensional. This is for a relationship that is celebratory and it describes the kind of love that needed to be shouted from the rooftops but, the rhythms are a bit irregular at times (hallucinogenic actually). However, the lyrics are distinctive from songs you would hear on the radio.
Lagu – Bo Amir Iqram
A song to serenade your lover with a few chords on the ukulele and limitless vocabulary to describe, ‘Dear’. The fun tempo and jovial words make the song amusingly repeatable especially during the phase of an affiliation when partners are in a ‘bubble’ which is when it’s at the beginning of the relationship and any seriousness or worry is put at bay. If one word can be used to define the song is that it’s very, ‘Festive’.
Bila Resah – Anuar Zain
In a long distance relationship? Try this song. Having trouble in paradise? Give Anuar Zain a listen. Bila resah? (If you’re restless?) Calm yourself with remembering the good times and hopes for the future and the ever after since this song does just that. Anuar Zain’s impressive vocals is notable for making the record more than a pop one-hit-wonder but, a memorable song that can be revisited through the musical ages.
Masih – Flop Poppy
Andy Flop Poppy‘s voice is one of the musical landmarks of the local industry in the ’90s. His raspy plea of a lover that just won’t leave his heart is an iconic statement of the type of ballads that hit the charts back in the day. Although many other tracks from them would do this list justice, Masih stabs the soul repeatedly in its desperation for the person who left him to change their mind. Unrequited, broken yearning manifested into melodic beauty.
Tunggu Sekejap – P. Ramlee
It’s no secret that we adore P Ramlee and it’s undeniable that the man was talented especially in one of his milestone performances in Sarjan Hassan when he sang this melancholic melody. Close your eyes and you can hear the yearning in his voice, the desperation to confess the love he’s been keeping secret while the woman of his dreams is nearby. The song is unlike the black and white film since it’s blue with emotion but, it gives light to chance; if you don’t make your move now then, you’ll be waiting forever.
Stay – Estrella
This is for dancing through the night, for cuddling against the cold and a track that’s meant to be played while driving through a darken tunnel with dimming lights beaming to the beat. It has the familiarity of British indie pop bands which is melodiously gloomy. It’s sweet and shy like a first love and similar to the experience of being in a relationship for the first time; it’s youthful and unforgettable.
Isabella – Search
A song that you would go through five minutes of straining your voice; hey, not all of us is as gifted as the rock star, Amy Search. Who’s this woman who symbolised the glory of love? The song was made for a film illustrating forbidden love between Amy’s character and the woman he’d devoted named Isabella and their relationship was objected to because they were of different societal classes. It’s phenomenal for the craftsmanship of Bob Lokman in penning the lyrics as he described the significance of love in spite of disapprovals so put your hair up, draw that eyeliner and just rock to it!
Kau Ilhamku – Man Bai
If you’d been schooling in Malaysia then, you’ll be aware that this song is played at least once at a Teacher’s Day celebration or a graduation event. It’s as trailblazing as Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up as it is a song to acknowledge the support you’d obtained, for the people who inspires you and as a farewell for your brothers and sisters in arms; it perfectly embodies universal love.
Terukir di Bintang – Yuna
Malaysia’s sweetheart has given us a taste of exceptional indie-inspired harmonies from her range of pop and R & B though, who could forget this ballad about a love reaching the stars? And Aizat Amdan’s performance of Terukir di Bintang at the 27th Anugerah Juara Lagu for commemorating the song’s nomination brought a Parisian feel and engraved in our memories of the time we pined for another’s heart.
Lagu Untukmu – Meet Uncle Hussain
Leaving its mark in the Malay indie circuit through its appearance on Kami, Meet Uncle Hussain left an indelible ink in the script of aspiring Malay bands with their high notes reminiscent of late ’80s rock kapak , coupled with classic alternative indie vibes. The lyrics to this song strikes you down from the very first note, as Firdz sings “Tiada bintang/Yang mampu menerangkan hati yang dicela“, listeners would be woken up from their slumber thinking this was a doting love song. Instead, it’s a cry of frustration (especially in the bridge when the vocalist sings like a marching officer) of two incompatible people, and being manipulated by love into staying in probably a disintegrating relationship.
Hey There Young Sailor – The Impatient Sisters
Love does make you feel like going for a whimsical adventure across the seas and maybe battle a few underwater monsters and make friends with mermaids so you could meet with your soul mate. The symphonic band of sisters who’d written and performed this song is nothing short from the magical and wavy melody and it’s the kind of music that lowers the perception of harsh reality and welcomes the boundless world of fantasy.
Tell Shorty (feat. VE & Ruffedge) – Too Phat
This rap/R&B track fools you into thinking it’s feel-good, especially with the melodious harmonies of VE and Ruffedge. The lyrics tell a catalogue of stories of failed relationships and attempts at finding the one. Relatable to most, but made poetic to all with the sweet bars of Malique and Joe Flizzow.
Permysuri – OAG
OAG has a way of mixing English and Malay into resplendent sing-song poetry, even more so when it’s about love. With a catchy hook to boot, Permysuri has one of the best metaphors in a love song ever used, comparing his partner to satellites, drama productions, sunsets and stars. Coupling the jangly, melancholic riffs with poetic prose, Radhi‘s songwriting has always been a work worthy of a hundred galleries, and this song, which initially sounds like a lot of mumbo-jumbo due to the bilingualism, manages to manifest itself into the clearest statement of admiration – that the woman he loves is his queen.
Have any comments about our list? Feel like recommending some of your own must-hear local love songs? Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter. This article is co-written by one of our writers, Aina Izzah.