These new music releases by local and international musicians are off the charts.
Music fans, listen up! We’ve got a fresh mix of tracks in the local and international music scene that’ll have you hitting the replay button. Get through November and the festive period with our handy playlist of new music releases by local artists and beyond.
New local and international music releases in 2021
1. New single: When It’s Time by Jean Tan
In a sea of breakup songs (we’re looking at you, T Swift!), Singaporean artist Jean Tan’s new single about the blossoming stages of a relationship is refreshing. You know, the uncertainty of not knowing what the other party thinks amidst the butterflies-in-your-tummy moments. The soothing track – produced by Evan Low (Evanturetime) with Leo Goh on electric guitar – feels like a warm hug thanks to Tan’s folksy jazz vocals and reassuring lyrics.
2. New single: WUW by YAØ
Pop singer-songwriter and producer YAØ has released a hard bop titled “WUW” (What U Wanted). If YAØ has a special spot on your playlist, you already know this is gonna be a chartbuster. WUW is a shoutout to all those lost in the rat race towards success. We’re not gonna lie – the track is seriously catchy, exuding a charming rap swagger and beats that’ll take you to the dance floor.
3. New single: At Least I Had You by Gentle Bones and JJ Lin
Singapore’s popular faves Gentle Bones and JJ Lin create magic with “At Least I Had You”. In a world of confusion and insecurities, the uplifting track focuses on gratitude and staying hopeful during tough times. The duet is a highlight for both artists – it’s JJ Lin’s first English collab with a male Singaporean artist. As for Gentle Bones, he’s talked about the surreal experience working with one of his heroes.
4. New single: House of Cards by Naina V
Up-and-coming artist Naina V is back with her second original single. Titled “House of Cards”, the song is a recognition of her own fragility and enforces the message that it’s okay to be vulnerable. It begins strong with the words “don’t mess with a house of cards, my house of cards” and explores how she copes through escapism. Finally, it uncovers layers of her inner truths with the lyrics: “I hope my mom, sister, and my dad can’t see my fear. I never meant to lie, but I ain’t perfect”. Her honest lyrics along with her raw vocals will leave you deeply absorbed in thought.
5. New single: Hong Kong Travel Bubble Freestyle by Andre Frois
Singaporean rapper Andre Frois (one half of the local rap duo Yung Parents) drops a new single about the short-lived Hong Kong travel bubble. The track is heavily influenced by the late British-American music producer and rapper MF Doom. Equally witty and catchy, the song also pays tribute to Hong Kong icons like Samo Hung, traditional dough fritters and popular nightclubs.
6. New single: Jarr by Houg feat. Supergoods
Chillwave artist-producer Houg collaborates with Thai soul funk group Supergoods for a head-bobbing track. Inspired by Houg’s one-year stint in Melbourne where the initial plan was to organically traverse Australia’s music community, “Jarr” explores the concept of time and how it affects us. “My lack of time with that one-year visa pressured me into doing things without sincerity when I met new people, and that made me feel very conflicted on most days. It felt like a big compromise on my personal character,” he says.
7. New single: The Difference by Nathan Hartono
Love is in the air. Nathan Hartono returns with a romantic ballad, The Difference. Expect a different Hartono with this heartfelt single. The track spotlights his vulnerability and versatility as an artist. In fact, it’s a “darker” love song that’ll soon be complemented with a light-hearted track in his forthcoming EP.
8. New single: Our Story by Dru Chen
Singapore-based artist and producer Dru Chen drops two new tracks as part of his EP. We’re all ears for Our Story, a feel-good indie-pop song that’s seemingly carefree at first. But delve into the lyrics and you’ll quickly discover a deeper meaning. The song deals with the yearning for acceptance that we all seek. Albeit short (it runs for a cool two minutes), the track packs a lot with hard-hitting lyrics like, “When the people have gone and left the party, and you’re all alone once again; how do you cope with the emptiness?”
9. New single: Lost In You by Gareth Fernandez
After two years in the making, the final single of Gareth Fernandez’s album is out. Vibe hard to Lost In You, a chill number that’ll have you lost in the local artist’s calming vocals. It’s exactly the kind of song you listen to on a laidback Sunday morning.
10. New single: Trees by inch
We can all agree that the lockdown has taught us many lessons. For inch, it’s about turning to the little things that bring joy – including fixating on the energy of nature. You guessed it right, her new release is all about finding comfort in nature. So leave your dancing shoes aside, put your headphones on and bop your head to the relaxing track.
11. New single: Take My Breath by The Weeknd
Canadian artist The Weeknd is on a roll. Riding on the back of his record-breaking album After Hours, he debuts a new single from his upcoming album. Immerse yourself in the nostalgic beats and synths of the 80s. You just know it’s going to be an instant disco-pop hit that’ll be played to death on TikTok. Hey, we ain’t complaining!
12. New single: Play Pause by Naina V
This dreamy pop-meets-indie rock single calms the senses thanks to soft vocals and lo-fi synths. Created right from her bedroom, indie artist Naina V’s debut single Play Pause is a prelude to sleep of some sort. Y’know how a string of random thoughts pops up in your mind before you fall asleep? This song is a reminder to slow down, block the voices in your head and hit pause.
13. New single: Spice Boy by Yung Raja
After being featured in a segment on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, Yung Raja debuts his new single Spice Boy. Produced by Flightsch, the catchy hip-hop track is peppered with English and Tamil rap verses in true Yung Raja fashion.
14. New single: Singapore by Flanery
We love this year’s National Day theme song but if you’re getting a little tired of it, tune in to Flanery’s new single. Titled Singapore, the breezy track is an ode to the French-Javanese artist’s love for our little red dot. Listen closely to the percussion as it resembles the drums from a lion dance. In fact, wait till the end to hear actual audience reactions to a lion dance performance that was recorded on her phone.
15. New single: California [Acoustic Live Version] by Rich Brian, NIKI feat. Warren Hue
Asian indie artists Rich Brian and Niki, together with Warren Hue, release an acoustic version of their hit single California. Brought to life by 88rising, this fresh number reaffirms the singers’ raw talent. The track follows the journey of moving to a new city and the difficulties that come with the artists’ success. Proceeds from this live rendition will go to the Asian Mental Health Collective.
16. New single: Medusa by Jasmine Sokko
Singaporean singer, songwriter and producer Jasmine Sokko comes through with a single that’ll get you pumped and ready to take on the world. Titled “Medusa”, the tonally dark yet catchy number is all but skin deep. “Medusa is the beginning of a new chapter, a story of renewal and reinvention after an inconvenient and uncomfortable phase of pushing past my own old self. New song, new me,” she says. We’re already jamming to the single, fresh off International Women’s Day…
17. New EP: Ideals by Jason Yu
Jason Yu’s debut EP, “Ideals”, is released today, bringing together his 5 original songs culminating with his latest single, “I Miss You”. Having amassed more than a million streams on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, the singer-songwriter is holding an online concert for his fans, and to celebrate the EP’s launch.
18. New single: Something by Dayglow
Bring on the warm fuzzies ‘cos we’re currently squealing over Dayglow’s feel-good anthem. The uplifting track, “Something” explores how contemporary life can be overwhelming as there are two sides to it – digital and IRL. We also wish this song could last longer. It’s only under two minutes!
19. New single: Team V2 by Josh Makazo
Multi-hyphenate artist Josh Makazo delivers a fresh new sound and it’s far from the usual breakup song. “Team V2” puts the spotlight on the authentic realities of overcoming a difficult breakup. Trust and betrayal take centre stage in this track, as well as the triumphant recovery of a breakup. Bop your heads to this smooth and electrifying track that blends a mix of urban hip-hop, rap and R&B.
20. New single: Leave Me Alone by Amanda Ong
Don’t be fooled by singer-songwriter Amanda Ong’s smooth vocals and upbeat jazz-funk mishmash. For us, “Leave Me Alone” evokes a sense of melancholy and cuts right to the heart with unfiltered lyrics. It gives us a peek inside Amanda’s ambiguous emotions that she struggles to untangle. It’s not all doom and gloom though. The lyrics actually perpetuate the hope for a (literal) better tomorrow amidst sentiments of dejection. Amanda’s also dabbling in multilingual songwriting and a cappella. We hear a Malay version of “Leave Me Alone” will be premiering on 23 April, titled “Biar Ku Bersendiri”.
21. New single: Stay Up Till I Sleep by jaye
Dealing with insomnia is one thing but having your loved one share the burden is another. jaye’s new release “Stay Up Till I Sleep” is the brainchild of the artist’s sleep issues and the effects it had on his wife who stayed up with him. Though he loved spending more time together, he noticed that the lack of sleep took a toll on her. The pop lullaby has poignant lyrics like “don’t want my habits to turn into your kryptonite” and is ultimately a love letter to his wife.
22. New single: I’m Fine by Nathan Hartono
Penned by Nathan Hartono and produced by Myrne, “I’m Fine” takes a different route from Hartono’s usual style as it steps into the electronic sonic realm with ‘80s synth-wave styling. The song is basically an answer to the question “How are you?”, which we get almost everyday and usually reply with an “I’m fine”. “In my head, every time someone asks me this question, I want this song to play for them instead. Because I think it’s such a loaded question, that requires so much context and understanding that just cannot be achieved in a short social exchange. So, we just say ‘I’m Fine,” when there’s always so much more to that story,” Hartono explains.
23. New single: Cowboy by Allison Ponthier
Singer-songwriter Allison Ponthier blows our minds with her latest single “Cowboy”. Blending electro-pop and country genres, the track is wonderfully bizarre but it works. Oh, and the campy music video is literally out of this world – it’s a visual spectacle as the singer alternates between an alien and her human form, meeting a flying saucer, a skeleton on horseback, and a giant carton of cigarettes along the way.
24. New single: Enjoy Enjamii by Dhee ft. Arivu
This new indie track by singer Dhee and rapper Arivu is full of life. Aside from catchy percussion beats and traditional folk art forms that are native to Tamil Nadu, “Enjoy Enjamii” is a celebration of the artists’ roots and ancestors. We also love how the vibrant music video perfectly captures the pulse of traditional and modern music.
25. New song: Oh Boy by Flanery
We’ve swooned over her gorgeous floral arrangements via Ask a French. Now, Aude Giraud has taken on a new avatar as a singer/songwriter, in the form of Flanery. Her first single, Oh Boy was created during her travels across Greece, Singapore and New Zealand. Equal parts whimsical and haunting, the raw and ethereal track will remind you to take a breather and slow down a little.
26. New album: Evermore (Deluxe Edition) by Taylor Swift
Just when we thought we got a decent dose of T-Swift’s magic in 2020 – with the surprise release of Folklore in July – she gifts us another album. The haunting album art in Folklore depicts her being in the woods and Swifties can easily think it’s a reference to her song Out Of The Woods, but it’s actually an indication of what’s to come next.
Five months after Folklore, she sent another shockwave through the internet when she released another album, Evermore. This time, she goes deeper into the woods and explores the depth of indie-folk. It’s safe to say the album lacks sonic cohesiveness but if you look at the tracks individually, they are pure poetry. Evoking a stream-of-consciousness vibe, Taylor puts lyricism first to her stories. Tracks like Willow, No Body No Crime, Coney Island and Champagne Problems are on repeat. For those sceptical about the new albums, we say put them on a rainy day and get lost in the world of Evermore.
– Review by Venkat Gunasellan aka our resident Swifty
27. New song: Better With You feat. Benjamin Kheng by Gentle Bones
Homegrown singer-songwriter Gentle Bones (aka Joel Tan) collabs with fellow contemporary Benjamin Kheng for his latest EP, Better With You. With uplifting lyrics like “take a leap of faith”, “you are stronger than you imagine” and “this world is better with you around”, the track emits major feel-good vibes. Exactly what we need right now.
28. New song: Repack feat. Raina Sum, Chae, Shai by Ihasamic! and Wovensound
Local hip-hop/visual artist Ihasamic! and producer Wovensound have joined hands to produce Repack. The four-track EP explores the struggles of mental health and how life can sometimes fall into a loop. As a result, one experiences the same thoughts and convos with themselves but repackaged into various ways. Though the tracks are quite a bop with foot-tapping beats to vibe to, we can’t ignore the poignant lyrics.
29. New music: Vibez by Zayn
The former One Direction hottie is back with a new album! Ahead of his third studio album’s release, Mr Gigi Hadid drops his single, Vibez. Yes, with a Z for Zayn. The track centrals around sex (in true Zayn fashion) and his relationship with his baby mama. There’s no doubt this is going to stay on the airwaves for a bit.
30. New album: Days to Morning Glory by Shye
Singaporean musician Shye releases her debut album, days to morning glory. The 18-year-old electro-pop artist delivers with a beautiful mishmash of multiple genres. All 14 tracks are absolute treats, with a mix of folk, techno and indie-pop layered with R&B, modern rock and classical elements. We particularly like the haunting once and the catchy I’m fine, no.
31. New song: Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo
17-year-old Disney star Olivia Rodrigo puts her crisp pipes to play in her debut single, driver’s license. Though it’s your typical pop tune about a breakup (sounds like a certain pop star we mentioned here… ), the track garnered over two million views in the first 24 hours. Say what you want about it but we reckon it’s going to be played to death.
Did we miss out on any cool new music releases? Hit us up at [email protected] with your suggestions!