This week is a great week for new releases in Malaysian music. From the wonderful world of jangly indie, to some soulful tunes you can (sort of) dance to, to your powerful love ballads – it’s been a pretty great seven days.
1) ‘Rest Now‘ (Album) – Jaggfuzzbeats
Although the format of this article is not based upon ranking, it is more than just a happy coincidence that this jangly indie ensemble tops this list. At the end of the first listen, the urge to write about how great this album was became hard to restrain (especially if you’re a fan of the shoegazing, mellow indie rock genre). Jaggfuzzbeats packs a consistent punch throughout the album with their dreamy, harmonious, and beautiful cacophony. The holy trinity streak for this record is ‘Hours’, ‘Damncouldurban’ and ‘Talk To You’, with each track carrying its own strength and strain of melancholic melody, coupled with simple but chant-worthy lyricism. In Hours, the words “She broke my heart/Right on the table/I guess I’m wrong/I’m just unstable” reverberates on the build-up, after you’re already taken for a ride by the sweet little opening. The opening which makes one think about train rides or other moments worthy of a thoughtful stare through a dusty window. This first full album debut of the band leaves us begging for more. Definitely our album of the week.
2) Kau Jiwaku (ft. Rudye from Killing Me Inside) – Against Infinity
This metal band, Against Infinity, churns out an amazing romantic serenade that starts off with a soft, easy-going, night-time affinity but builds up to a rougher but sweeter rock escapade.
The music video (which can be found below) mirrors the lyrical intent of the song really well. Najmi gave us an insight about the musical motif and motive behind ‘Aku Jiwaku’, quoted by an article from Unite Asia:
“My mom often talks about how she looks forward to meeting her Maker now that she had “completed” her job in raising 5 of her children, teaching us the ropes of life, responsibilities to your Maker, parents, family and friends. Every time she talks about this, I can’t help but feel awfully sad, knowing that one day that time will definitely come. However, I can’t stop her from feeling that way because in my opinion, us going back to meet our Maker is indeed the ultimate goal in life. Our lives in this world is only temporary and how we live it is a test to determine our fate in the Hereafter. So I know, I should be happy for mom to feel that way. “
The music video is simply an accompaniment, rendering a few scenes from a BMW Shorties short film – the Grand Prize winner for 2014 entitled Terbit 23, produced by Taufiq Kamal – yet it seems to live and breathe inextricably with the track. A great poetic love song for the sentimental soul. Check out the band’s Facebook and Twitter if you like their sound.
3) ‘Dark Chocolate’ – Froya
Froya’s back to give us treats with her new single Dark Chocolate! This singer-songwriter, EDM-soul chimera (probably yet another fruitless attempt of a reviewer trying to place her into a genre) has been distinct in her sound and vocals since her eponymous EP, Froya, all the way to her most recent single before the one above, Rosie. Dark Chocolate is another testimony to the consistency of Froya. The song starts off with old-timey vocals with a jazzy milieu apropos a classy pub, but later on breaks into this (almost) ominous drum, bass and synth – taking us to the moon and bringing us back down to gritty, heavy, reality in the span of four minutes. The moment you hear that, you understand almost immediately why this sweet track and its noir undertones is called Dark Chocolate. And as if our own homegrown Froya couldn’t be even more awesome, she’s going to be performing at Laneway in Singapore this Saturday alongside artists such as Chet Faker and Tycho.
4) ‘Rapuh’ – Nastia
As the chorus plays the lyrical poetry that is “Bintang malam setia seperti dirimu/ Tetap pudar menghilang tiada gantimu”, the song stands strong as an unabashedly no-holds-barred serenade of anthemic proportions. It’s composition and production significantly contributed by Faizal Tahir, his characteristic ballad-pop vibe sticks out like a sore thumb in this track. Beyond that there is also a type of Coldplay-esque feeling to the song too in the beginning. The older, pre-Mylo Xyloto Coldplay that is. If you love your ballads drowned in heartfelt poetry, Nastia has never disappointed so far. This OST for upcoming drama series Papa Ricky also leaves us waiting for a whole album soon, after their decent 2014 album, Esok Belum Tiba. Not unique in the overall scheme of things, but still a band worth following. If you love this track follow them on Facebook or Twitter.