ON the eve of Valentine’s Day, Charlie Lim uploaded “Bitter” on Youtube. His collaboration with Australian visual artist Anita Lester on the music video yielded in a raggedy, Tim Burton-esque aesthetic which gels well with his sound.
The gothic-inspired video, which portrays the connection between star-crossed individuals, marks the second single release from Charlie’s highly-successful new release, TIME/SPACE.
It’s a visually-pleasing work of animation which has gained the praise of fans, but it’s also making Malaysian listeners take proper notice of this Singaporean singer-songwriter.
Written over three years ago, “Bitter” contemplates the “paradox of finding the right person at the wrong time, and being perpetually displaced in reality”.
I’ve been living with this song for some time now, so it’s nice to finally find a home for it in a visual sense. It’s quite a dense arrangement and it spans for a little over 6 minutes, so I wanted a simple but strong narrative –as if you were reading a children’s bedtime story.
— Charlie Lim
Boasting a knack for wordsmithery, Charlie reflects on a love interest with wit, crooning why am I so bitter about you babe, I don’t understand
/ was I trying to cash in the fantasy without the reality check.
It’s one of Charlie’s more popular numbers from the album, with over 94,000 streams on Spotify today.
Based on what we’ve heard from him, we’re in love with his voice and inspired musical sensibilities — he’s brave enough bring out his breathy, delicate voice out for a spin on ambient pop soundscapes, but also humble enough to favour subtlety and restraint over musical drama.
Former The Daily Seni editorial assistant Wendi Sia describes him best, detecting “nuances of soul paired with jazz, folk, and electronic-pop” and claiming his serves as a “sabbatical from overplayed songs on radio”.
You can read more about him from our previous write-up, but it’s worth noting that Charlie is one to follow if you’re keen on local talent. He may cover Damien Rice on radio, but he’s more of our own version of James Vincent McMorrow.
Born and raised in Singapore, Charlie dropped by this side of the causeway for Titian Budaya back in November. TIME/SPACE went all the way up to #1 on iTunes in its home country — a rare feat for most homegrown musicians.
Get Charlie Lim’s TIME/SPACE and “Bitter” on iTunes!