SINGAPORE - Taiwan has long been considered the creative hub of Mandopop. Here are 10 new works by Taiwanese musicians, which are available on music streaming platforms such as KKBox, Spotify and Apple Music.
WHERE IS SHI?
After clinching the Best Mandarin Album prize at the Golden Melody Awards for her last album Shi's Journey (2018), Taiwanese-Korean singer-songwriter Sun Shengxi, also known as Shi Shi, is not resting on her laurels.
Indeed, her fifth album, Where Is Shi?, is about surpassing oneself . She sings about the endless quest for success in Not Enough, a hunger for passion in Give It To Me and a yen for companionship in Realer Love.
Deservedly dubbed the "king of the lovelorn people" by the Taiwanese media, singer-songwriter Eric Chou is known for his heart-breaking ballads such as How Have You Been? and The Distance Of Love.
He can add Fortunate, a lovely, string orchestra-backed number which uses a ring as a symbol for happiness, to that list. The poetic work is also the theme song for the romantic comedy series Adventure Of The Ring (2020 to 2021).
3. R&B / Rap
To many, rapper-singer Alex Chou is the lesser known but more in-your-face older brother of Eric Chou.
His new song Magnifier is a critique against the hurtful cynicism found online and argues for more love and tolerance in cyberspace.
IF ONLY YOU COULD LOVE ME
The debut album of singer-songwriter Yo Lee, who won Taiwanese reality singing competition Jungle Voice in 2019, features themes such as self-doubt, finding purpose and dealing with everyday stresses.
Several of the songs, such as Until I Met You, are best enjoyed with their music videos, which have imaginative story-telling concepts.
The video for the title track, which depicts a hostage situation, appearsto be like a climatic scene from a crime thriller movie.
EASY COME, EASY GO
The trio of Accusefive - consisting of Che Chien, Chuan Ching and Pan Yun-an - will release their much-anticipated second album onDec 31.
The first single from it, the title track, is a breezy, happy-go-lucky tune that embraces all of life's ups and downs, and is bound to get listeners snapping their fingers and whistling along.
DAWNED ON ME
Balladeer Where Chou's forte in delivering tender, wistful love songs saves her latest EP Dawned On Me.
Her dabbling in other genres, such as disco funk in Don't Fake It! and R&B in Moonlight, comes across as rather awkward.
But give her a ballad and she is in her element. Her ethereal, feather-light voice shines in tracks such as Where and Everything Is Fine But Alone.
7. Pop / Folk
With many thoughtful, soulful compositions, singer-songwriter Misi Ke's latest album is both enchantingand contemplative.
The languid melody of Illusion, which Ke composed, mesmerises, while the lyrics of Cast Away, which she co-wrote, are tinged with regret over one's past actions.
Best known as an actress and television host, Sharon Lee was also a contestant on the first season of Taiwanese singing competition One Million Star.
Thirteen years later,she has released her debut solo album. Although the many soft ballads grow tiresome after a while, Lee's honeyed pipes make for a soothing listen.
Despite the song's title, Lala Hsu's performance is anything but colourless.
In this theme song for the gender-themed filmMiss Andy (2020), about a 55-year-old transgender woman, her restrained and nuanced delivery perfectly captures the movie's tension between conforming to societal norms and being true to one's self.
This new song about travelling overseas, hiding in distant cities and visiting remote islands will scratch your travel itch even more.
Three-member band Cosmos People, made up of FunQ, Jade and A-Kui, belt out: "Oh please let me go / Change to another time zone / Replace the pain that I can't let go."