Life Listens: New music from Maneskin, Power Station, Raye, The Teng Company and The Last Rockstars

(Clockwise from top left) Italian rock quartet Maneskin, duo Power Station, British singer Raye and The Last Rockstars. PHOTOS: REUTERS, POWER STATION/FACEBOOK, LAST_ROCKSTARS/TWITTER. NYTIMES

In this weekly column, The Straits Times curates the most buzz-worthy music you need to know about now.

Chart Champ: Maneskin – Rush!

Rush! is the third studio album by Italian rock band Maneskin. PHOTO: EPIC/SONY

Italian rock quartet Maneskin might have lost the Best New Artist award to American jazz singer Samara Joy at the recent Grammy Awards. But they can take comfort in the fact that their latest and third album, Rush!, is doing well across the Atlantic.

The release, which has 17 tracks, topped the charts in various European countries such as Austria, Belgium and Italy. In the United States, it went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums chart.

Unlike many other Eurovision winners – the band gained global fame after winning the European music contest in 2021 – they seem intent to be more than just one-trick ponies.

Their music, and image, might be a pastiche of glam and hard rock bands from the 1970s and 1980s. Still, there is enough youthful exuberance and theatrical swagger to make the songs in Rush! an enjoyable treat for rock fans. – Eddino Abdul Hadi

Stream This Song: Power Station – Let’s Rock

Let’s Rock is by Taiwanese rock duo Power Station. PHOTO: HIM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC

If you have never had the chance to rock it out in a mosh pit with fellow concertgoers, it is hard to imagine the excitement, adrenaline and camaraderie of such an experience.

Perhaps Taiwanese duo Power Station’s new single Let’s Rock can change that. Released on Jan 31, the electrifying track’s Chinese title lyrically translates to the “rock area” of a concert, where one stands shoulder to shoulder with the loudest fans.

Its lyrics hint at the profound life-changing possibilities that being so close to the performers can bring, from the dazzling pyrotechnics to the eager anticipation that the next song performed is the one you have been playing on repeat on Spotify for months.

A promotional song for the group’s Because Of Love world tour encore concerts in Taipei in April, the track was not performed when they stopped in Singapore in August 2022. Clearly, its release is a sign that the duo, comprising Yu Chiu-hsin and Yen Chih-lin, should come back for an encore show here too. Fingers crossed. – Benson Ang

Ace Album: Raye – My 21st Century Blues

My 21st Century Blues is the debut studio album by chart-topping British singer and songwriter Raye. PHOTO: HUMAN RE SOURCES

Rising British singer Raye has a lot in common with her late counterpart Amy Winehouse – both deliver modern interpretations of genres such as jazz, blues and R&B, and write soul-baring songs that address topics like addiction and mental health struggles.

They both also studied at London’s famed Brit School, where another British star, Adele, is also an alumna.

But Raye truly comes into her own with the release of her debut album, My 21st Century Blues, channelling classic soul and R&B through a modern indie and electronic pop lens.

Her album, with songs that touch on issues ranging from dysfunctional relationships to abuse to climate anxiety, is a long time coming.

At 25, she already has close to a decade’s worth of experience as a singer and songwriter. She started out in her teens and has worked with established British acts such as Stormzy and Charli XCX.

And while Raye has had Top 10 hits, the album features her most successful song to date, Escapism, an electropop-tinged track that went to No. 1 on the British charts. – Eddino Abdul Hadi

Singapore Scene: The Teng Company – Music For Mindfulness

Music For Mindfulness by The Teng Company is an album designed to induce calmness and relaxation. PHOTO: THE TENG COMPANY

If you are feeling stressed or looking to wind down, you might want to put on the latest album by The Teng Company, a not-for-profit Singaporean arts company.

Music For Mindfulness comprises instrumentals that fuse Chinese philosophies of music therapy with binaural beats, a type of sound wave therapy.

The result is music designed to induce calmness and relaxation.

As with Teng’s other works, the music incorporates instruments from the East and West, such as the dizi, erhu, guzheng, pipa, guitar and keyboard.

Created with music therapist Evelyn Lee, with research conducted by Assistant Professor Peter Tay from the Singapore Institute of Technology’s Health and Social Sciences Department, the album was made to be listened to in sequence, preferably with headphones.

Music For Mindfulness is available only on iTunes and is priced at $14.80. Individual tracks can be bought at $1.48 each. – Eddino Abdul Hadi

Must-See MV: The Last Rockstars – The Last Rockstars (Paris Mix)

Supergroup The Last Rockstars is made up of Japanese artists Miyavi, Yoshiki, Hyde and Sugizo. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Last Rockstars is an arrogant name, but if anyone in Japan has the right to brag, it is these four men.

The Japanese supergroup The Last Rockstars is formed by drummer and pianist Yoshiki of the legendary J-rock group X Japan. his friends Hyde (frontman of L’Arc-­en-­Ciel), guitarist and violinist Sugizo (from Luna Sea and X Japan) and famed guitarist and singer Miyavi.

Watching these four decorated veterans of visual kei J-rock jam together is enough for any fan who loves the genre. The music video for their eponymous English debut song, which retains an unabashedly old-school J-rock sound with slightly silly English lyrics, wisely keeps most of its attention on the rock stars and their instruments of choice.

The video opens with Yoshiki playing a few balladic notes on his famous crystal grand piano before transitioning into an all-out rock track. Hyde, with his smoky eyes, leather gloves and bleached white hair, is the vocalist, while Miyavi and Sugizo get dramatic scenes as they shred the guitar. – Jan Lee

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