SOUNDS OF MY LIFE
Cat owners will be able to identify with the cute track Cat Republic, which has lyrics like "Poop and pee for you, snacks and toys for you/I'm ignoring you now, unless you open up a can" and "You will serve me forever/You will love me forever".
Other slice-of-life songs abound on Taiwanese singer-songwriter William Wei's mostly Mandarin fifth album.
From the chirpy English track See You On Monday and the breezy I Wrote A Song For You (about the pleasure and meaning of music) to the more contemplative At Thirty ("I chase after time, only to realise/Time is chasing me") and Best Meal In The World ("If I could eat away my sadness, digest what I miss"), there is plenty here to relate to and be engaged by.
The musician, who also goes by WeiBird, has dedicated the album to his late grandmother and in the track labelled Credits, one can hear her and his family sweetly cheering him on.
The album can be a little sprawling and unwieldy at times, but then again, so is life.
This is more of an EP as it comprises four Cantonese songs from Hong Kong singer Gigi Leung as well as six audio stories.
It is a welcome offering of soothing vocals and melodic mid-tempo tunes.
Silent Night - there are two versions - could be a lullaby for her five-year-old daughter ("Tired, relax your shoulders, please lie on the bed/Tired, put your feelings down, don't speak").
Also included are the easy-on-the-ear ballads Bye Cinderella and Home, which touches on the simple comforts of home ("A simple home, is lovely/Old chopsticks and bowls, make a dish from an old recipe").
But given its (musical) brevity, Preludio merely feels like a prelude, so I happily revisit my favourite Gigi album, G For Girl (2001).
HUG IN OUR HEARTS
Billkin featuring Jaylerr
Thai actor-singer Billkin's new Thai single, Hug In Our Hearts, starts off as a forlorn ballad as he sings quietly about missing someone ("Open the door for loneliness/Since we haven't seen each other").
It builds to a catchy chorus before fellow actor-singer Jaylerr comes in with a sunny rap which brightens the mood.
It works both as a song about long-distance love as well as relationships in the time of Covid-19. And it ends on an optimistic note as Billkin (My Ambulance, 2019) promises: "We'll meet each other soon."
The 20-year-old's star is set to rise further as BKPP, a Thai romance series he headlines, is slated to premiere later in the year.
Watch the video at str.sg/JdRe
Thanks to the hit Thai romance drama series 2gether (2020), the guitar-propelled ear-worm pop of Scrubb has found a new audience. The Thai duo released their first album, Sound About, independently in 2000 and have a large body of work for new fans to dig into.
Many of their songs revolve around relationships. Their 2005 album Club contains Close ("It is too close to see somebody") and Together ("I don't know, I don't understand/Perhaps it's because we belong together"), both prominently featured on 2gether.
Other choice tracks include See Scape and Only You.
The album is available on platforms such as Spotify and KKBox.
MAYDAY LIVE IN THE SKY
No thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, it seemed as though a promise Taiwanese rock band Mayday made to always hold a concert in May was in peril. But the quintet came through with a concert that was livestreamed on May 31.
The gig could have been pre-recorded given that the banter was subtitled, but so what?
Instead of playing from living rooms, Mayday pulled out all the stops for a show with top-notch production, movingly held in an empty stadium.
They played tracks such as The Apple and Sun Wu Kong and roped in guests, including Chinese singer Li Ronghao, for the ballad Suddenly Missing You.
The only drawback is that it was over all too soon in about an hour.
Watch it at str.sg/JdRm