Life Listens: New music from Mayday, Jungkook, Kelvin Tan and more

Taiwanese rock band Mayday on tour in Las Vegas, the United States, in November. PHOTO: B'IN MUSIC

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

Stream This Song: Mayday – A Song With You

Taiwanese rock band Mayday has released a new single, A Song With You. PHOTO: B’IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL

If you are rehearsing your Mayday songs in preparation for the Taiwanese rock band’s National Stadium gig on Saturday, do not forget their latest single, A Song With You.

Released on Nov 1, the stirring rock number likens the journey of life to a song, with every person a different melody – and how one should sing one’s tune out loud. And on this ride, the quintet – consisting of Ashin, Monster, Stone, Masa and Guan-you – promise to accompany listeners amid the wind and waves.

Brimming with Mayday’s unbridled positivity, A Song With You’s courageous and forward-looking spirit is reminiscent of their previous mega-hits such as Stubborn (2004) and Fool (2005). A hand-clapping segment and choir of backing vocals add to its everyman appeal, and the number looks set to be a crowd-pleaser this weekend. - Benson Ang

Ace Album: Weyes Blood – And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow

And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is the second in a trilogy of albums by American singer Weyes Blood that started with 2019’s Titanic Rising. PHOTO: SUB POP

A new year may be looming but, like most people, American folk-pop singer, songwriter and musician Weyes Blood is still trying to make sense of the last two years.

And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, her fifth album, comprises songs that touch on human disconnect, distrust of algorithms and ideological turmoil. It is the second in a trilogy of albums that started with 2019’s Titanic Rising.

American singer, songwriter and musician Weyes Blood. PHOTO: NEIL KRUG

“Living in the wake of overwhelming changes/We’ve all become strangers/Even to ourselves,” she sings on It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody. Amid ornate musical arrangements and delicate melodies, there is always a sense that something tragic is about to happen.

Yet, as stated on the album title, there is always hope to be found, even in the face of impending doom. Weyes Blood, whose real name is Natalie Mering, also offers hope that, guided by our hearts, order will arise out of chaos. - Eddino Abdul Hadi

Must-See MV: Jungkook featuring Fahad Al Kubaisi – Dreamers

South Korean singer Jungkook from K-pop band BTS explores Qatar in Dreamers, a song from the Fifa World Cup 2022 soundtrack. PHOTO: FIFA/YOUTUBE

The highlight on the 2022 Qatar World Cup pitch for K-pop fans so far surely has to be BTS member Jungkook’s performance at the Al Bayt Stadium during the opening ceremony.

The International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) has also released the official music video for the song, Dreamers, which the South Korean singer performed with Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi. It can be viewed only on Fifa’s YouTube page (bit.ly/3GWz3cA).

Amid lavish and colourful visuals, the youngest BTS member walks and dances across Qatar’s locations, like the dazzling Souq Waqif market and a helipad on top of a skyscraper. In line with the global nature of the tournament, he is backed by a diverse posse of dancers.

South Korean singer Jungkook from K-pop band BTS explores Qatar in Dreamers, a song from the Fifa World Cup 2022 soundtrack. PHOTO: FIFA/YOUTUBE

There are some surreal computer-generated imagery bits, such as a whale shark flying through the Qatar cityscape. Surprisingly, there are very few shots of football being played, save for one scene of kids kicking a ball around in the desert while camels gather in the background.

Dreamers, released five months after Jungkook’s hit collaboration with American singer Charlie Puth, Left And Right, topped the iTunes song charts in more than 100 regions and is the first Fifa World Cup song to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart. - Eddino Abdul Hadi

Chart Champ: Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You is from her fourth album, Merry Christmas (1994). PHOTO: COLUMBIA

The American pop diva might have lost her bid to trademark the phrase “Queen of Christmas”, but who are we kidding? From now until Christmas, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will not be able to escape repeated playings of her ubiquitous 1994 holiday hit, All I Want For Christmas Is You.

Billboard brought back its Holiday 100 chart that tracks streaming, airplay and sales data of seasonal songs, and to no one’s surprise, Carey’s song went straight to No. 1.

It beat other festive favourites such as Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (1958), Bobby Helms’ Jingle Bell Rock (1957) and Andy Williams’ It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (1963).

There is also a chance that it will reclaim the top spot on the mainstream pop charts, too. Right now, it is already at No. 25 on the Billboard singles charts, alongside contemporary tracks by the likes of Drake and Taylor Swift. - Eddino Abdul Hadi

Singapore Scene: Kelvin Tan – My Mother; My Soul and Off-Tangent Towards Mars – 30 Years Of All Broken Up And Dancing

Singer, songwriter and author Kelvin Tan has released two new albums. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Prolific Singaporean experimental musician Kelvin Tan continues his annual tradition of releasing multiple albums. This year’s release of two albums seems modest, considering he has in the past launched as many as 16 albums simultaneously.

Still, the pair carry a lot of weight, with tunes that mark important milestones in his life.

Singaporean experimental singer-songwriter Kelvin Tan pays tribute to his late mother in new album My Mother; My Soul. PHOTO: KELVIN TAN

In the folk-blues collection My Mother; My Soul, Tan mourns his late mother, who died exactly one year before the album was released on Nov 27.

Sparsely recorded and accompanied mostly by a lone acoustic guitar, one can hear the anguish in the singer’s voice as he grapples with unimaginable loss in the first half of the album (Saddened State, Drowning In The Flood). But there is acceptance towards the end (Nothing Ever Lasts, Now, You Are Free).

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The other album, Off-Tangent Towards Mars – 30 Years Of All Broken Up And Dancing, marks the 30th anniversary of his self-published novel All Broken Up And Dancing (1992).

In new release Off-Tangent Towards Mars – 30 Years Of All Broken Up And Dancing, singer-songwriter Kelvin Tan reads excerpts from his 1992 novel as his The Oddfellows bandmate Patrick Chng plays music in the background. PHOTO: KE:VIN TAN

Over music composed and performed by Patrick Chng, his bandmate from pioneering local indie rock group The Oddfellows, Tan reads 12 of his favourite excerpts from the 400-page book. As he narrates the misadventures of teenage protagonist Brinsley Bivouac, multi-instrumentalist Chng traverses a mish-mash of sounds ranging from ambient soundscapes to ardent alt-rock. - Eddino Abdul Hadi

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