Make some noise for Hush

Taiwanese musician Hush.
Taiwanese musician Hush. PHOTO: ROCK RECORDS SINGAPORE

Taiwanese musician Hush is probably best known in Singapore for writing Mandopop queen Stefanie Sun's shimmery ballad, Kepler.

However, the former frontman of the indie band that bears his performing name is ready to be recognised as a singer in his own right.

Although it was released last year, his synth-driven debut solo album, Monopoly, had made its way to several best-of-2015 lists in Taiwan.

The English title, a nod to the popular capitalist board game, serves as a metaphor for city life and modern living.

The upbeat You're So Different Today brims with optimism, but that is merely a front with which to face the world.

The elegiac Feel Of A City offers this advice: "Weave your thrills then into a rug/To warm the white at the bottom of your heart."

  • ASIAN POP

  • MONOPOLY

    Hush

    Sony Music Entertainment

    4/5 stars

In the track, Island And City, the urban area is personified: "You are a lonely city/The crowds here don't belong to you."

His voice is by turns hushed, fragile and bright, a delicate thing of beauty threading through the sometimes spare music.

At times, the rat race seems futile. As he ponders on the title track: "Never truly know/Who is the final victor?"

But if life is a game, who is the one ultimately controlling the pieces? And what would it be like to play god?

Hush wonders on On The Name List: "If you could control fate/Would you feel supremely bored?"

Not everyone can be triumphant, but Hush, whose real name is Chen Chia-wei, is already a winner with this record.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2016, with the headline 'Make some noise for Hush'. Print Edition | Subscribe