Tracks of the Week (13/4/2017) (Alextbh, Kayczar, Wany Hasrita, I Lost the Plot, Sugar Shrill, Lawalah Familia, Paperplane Pursuit)
Hello there Daily Seni readers! This week’s playlist has two sides of every coin. From the soft new acoustic sounds of Paperplane Pursuit, to the singable ballad by Wany Hasrita. We also have some rough hip hop and an anthem for those vapers out there. For those electronica, digital music fans, we have some slow sensuous sounds with some slightly eccentric and poppy bass music too. As usual, there’s something for everyone!
1) Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby [Cigarettes After Sex Cover] – Alextbh
Slightly lighter and less dancing-in-the-dark than the original, Alextbh‘s first Malay-language track wraps you up in this warm embrace of soft sunrays (especially if you pay attention to the first verse of the song). It feels more like an audacious serenade rather than two lovers whispering into each other’s ears; the vibe in the original song. The fact that Alex made this song his, is an endeavour that deserves credit since most EDM covers are just note-by-note carbon copies. What makes this song ‘happier’, for a lack of a better word, are the tiny samplings of xylophones or bell sounds which makes it cuter and less sexual. Truly a revamp by Alex, and not a mere duplication. That being said, the lyrics could probably be less hollow, although maybe with those dreamy audio atmospheres, verbal poetry would be an interruption, instead of a complement.
2) Consequences – I Lost the Plot
Another walk down memory lane slaps us straight in the face with this alt-rock, pop punk band from Sg. Petani, I Lost the Plot. They are fast & driven.The vocalist packs some solid pipes, reminiscent of rock of the early 2000s – like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco and the rest of the Fueled by Ramen crew. Not to say that they are contrived in any way. Consequences has within it substantial personality even if it is part of this recent resurgence in pop punk in the Malay indie scene. The horns blaring at the end makes this song sound so much bigger, and really jogs up memories of rocking out to old MTV music video clips whilst simultaneously make you wanna jog just to have an excuse to run as well. With Consequences, I Lost the Plot enters into the genre with confidence and excitement, and we can’t wait for what else they could have in store.
3) Menahan Rindu – Wany Hasrita
Wany Hasrita has a beautiful voice which hearkens back to the old nasheed girl groups like Binda. This song’s fervour however is wholly about romance. Menahan Rindu is a simple ballad about repressing your feelings towards someone you shouldn’t fall in love with. Nothing else stands out, except for the flowery Malay poetry in its lyricism. Menahan Rindu since it’s release has been sung along to by countless of ballad-loving women out there, and we are certain, still blares loudly in many karaoke sessions. Although very few would be able to match her soft but sharp vibratos.
4) A Letter to My Younger Self – Paperplane Pursuit
Paperplane Pursuit really brings out their more sentimental side to this track with this sweet message to the childhood they’ve left behind – nay – the childhood we’ve all left behind. From cautioning against heartbreaks to consolations filled with hope, A Letter To My Younger Self is not a shallow acoustic song even if the premise and song structure is simple. The subtle orchestral backing carrying out throughout the song heightens the somber nature of this song, and also makes it different from other, simpler, guitar-laden tracks. The subject matter notwithstanding, Paperplane Pursuit still sticks to what is safe and radio-friendly, although straying a bit further away from their Maroon 5-esque vibe to a more Plain White T’s-esque sound. During our interview with them, they’ve mentioned that their upcoming album, Second Date, would be filled with many surprises in terms of emotional variety, lyricism, and genres as well. Comparing this song to Internet Celebrity is already enough proof of that, so we can’t wait for what else Paperplane Pursuit can provide for us.
5) Perfect//Leanin’ – Kayczar
Kayczar is back with his braggadocio, shutting down rappers after rappers with bars after bars. Although, Kayczar is a good rapper, that line is not necessarily a testament to quality, but more about how the subject matter of his rap tends to be about roasting all the try-hards in the scene. Perfect//Leanin’ diverts slightly away from the first track we reviewed from Kayczar earlier this year, Talk to You//Punctuation. Trimming down on jazzy, soulful vibes for heavier grittier beats, Perfect is a swagger, confrontational song all the way. It is definitely the stronger one among the two tracks in the EP, with Leanin’ inclining slightly to mumble club rapping. Our preference would probably be leaning back slightly to Perfect, since it’s aggressive without any hint of regret (Don’t waste my time, I’m on my grind. If you cross you die). Leanin’ on the other hand is more playful and hedonic (Girls get mabuk off of my lines). Maybe we miss the slightly more calmer, articulate vibes from his previous EP (and also the switch in the tracks ), so are a bit reluctant to really embrace this one. But as a whole EP, Perfect//Leanin is a decent rap list. And if you like your bars and beats harder and grittier, this track only shows that Kayczar is capable of switching up his style. Check him out at Raising the Bar at Urbanscapes!
6) Malaysia Vape Hub – Lawalah Familia
It’s great that we have another counterculture represented by the hip hop industry; more specifically, a vaping anthem for the Malaysian vapers to rally around and chant to. Other than that, this song is actually pretty messy in its production. None of the rappers really stand out, (except for some brilliant lines like Sambil main Pokemon Go, untuk cari nikotina), and it’s just a hodgepodge of rappers with different capabilities. It’s a pity because it starts off pretty strong, with that interesting traditional sample that echoes throughout the entire track. At certain parts it sounds tacky, yet there’s no denying the catchy chorus either.
7) Bleach – Sugar Shrill
In a scene filled with EDM inspired by R&B or more spacey psychedelic auras to a lovelorn dance floor, Sugar Shrill walks into the club unashamedly with kawaii aesthetics. Bleach stretches the boundary slightly of what local EDM can be. It doesn’t always have to be about grinding at the club, lamenting heartbreaks, or sexual passion. Sugar Shrill’s adorable brand of EDM makes you wanna move while appreciating all of the amazing sampling and production quality behind the track. It’s also a good ‘motion’ song, whether you’re cycling down a hill, or cramming your head in at the last minute to study for that final exam. Not to mention that drop at the beginning of the song is a thing of beauty too.
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