Music scene: New Mandopop releases by Taiwanese acts

Cover of the album Where Is Shi? by Taiwanese-Korean singer Sun Shengxi.
Cover of the album Where Is Shi? by Taiwanese-Korean singer Sun Shengxi.PHOTO: ROCK RECORDS

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.

1. R&B

WHERE IS SHI?

Sun Shengxi

Watch it here.

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.

2. Pop

FORTUNATE

Eric Chou


Cover of the song Fortunate by Taiwanese singer Eric Chou. PHOTO: M.STAR ENTERTAINMENT

Watch it here.

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

MAGNIFIER

Alex Chou


Cover of the song Magnifier by Taiwanese singer Alex Chou. PHOTO: M.STAR ENTERTAINMENT

Watch it here.

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.

4. Pop

IF ONLY YOU COULD LOVE ME

Yo Lee


Cover of the album If Only You Could Love Me by Taiwanese singer Yo Lee. PHOTO: HIM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC

Watch it here.

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.

5. Pop

EASY COME, EASY GO

Accusefive


Members of Taiwanese band Accusefive, (from left) Che Chien, Chuan Ching and Pan Yun-an. PHOTO: ACCUSEFIVE/FACEBOOK

Watch it here.

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.

6. Pop

DAWNED ON ME

Where Chou


Cover of the EP Dawned On Me by Taiwanese singer Where Chou. PHOTO: HIM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC

Watch it here.

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

DRAWING DIALOGUE

Misi Ke


Cover of the album Drawing Dialogue by Taiwanese singer Misi Ke. ALL EARS MUSIC

Watch it here.

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.

8. Pop

LOVE WELL

Sharon Lee


Cover of the album Love Well by Taiwanese singer Sharon Lee. PHOTO: LINFAIR RECORDS

Watch it here.

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.

9. Pop

COLORLESS FLOWER

Lala Hsu


Cover of the song Colorless Flower by Taiwanese singer Lala Hsu. PHOTO: NEW CENTURY SOUTHWARD DEVELOPMENT

Watch it here. 

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.

10. Pop

TOMORROW

Cosmos People


Cover of the song Tomorrow by Taiwanese band Cosmos People. PHOTO: B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL

Watch it here.

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."