Best New Music of the Week: Gentle Bones and Benjamin Kheng, JJ Lin and Jackson Wang and Why Don't We
Loud and clear
Better With You by Gentle Bones and Benjamin Kheng
Seems like Gentle Bones (aka Joel Tan) is on a collaboration high for 2020. After multiple partnerships with the likes of other popular artists such as Charlie Lim and Tay Kewei, he decides to make his final comeback of the year with an old friend, Benjamin Kheng, by releasing Better With You. This will be the fourth EP for the homegrown singer-songwriter, who frequently relays an overwhelming sense of authenticity through his heartfelt lyrics and uniquely soothing voice. And Better With You is no stranger to his sincerity. "Writing Better With You with Ben was such a journey — much of the lyrics was inspired by how much Ben has inspired me in life. He is such a bright light in this world and every time I am reminded of my troubles with pursuing a career like music in this side of the world, I have the pillar of Benjamin's strength in his own journey to seek comfort from", Joel chimes as he discusses the title track. That's what we call bromance right there — and we love them for it.
Should've Let Go by Jackson Wang and JJ Lin
Emotions are running high for this one. Local pride JJ Lin has teamed up with GOT7's Jackson Wang to belt out their sorrows about how they should've let go of a relationship earlier than they actually did. The entirety of the track flows in the true essence of a collaboration — by showcasing the distinct sounds of both artists, yet having them come together in harmony. The Mandopop singer's mellow and oft heartbreaking sentiment is clearly relayed through both the lyrics and piano backtrack, whilst the famed K-pop star sees a return to his Chinese roots whilst maintaining his deep, husky voice for the track. The music video visually tells the stories of their (supposed) past lovers or failed relationships as they sing their hearts out in a rainy backdrop. Looks like we've got ourselves some lonely, brooding men in this video but honestly? We can't say we mind.
Slow Down by Why Don't We
Teasing yet another single from their upcoming album The Good Times and The Bad Ones, heartthrob American boyband Why Don't We is reminding us of the need to Slow Down when we first start a romantic relationship with someone. The single is a poppy feel good track, as the five band members sing about how a relationship is changing too fast, and things used to be a lot simpler in the past. The track samples The Smashing Pumpkins' 1996 track 1979, most prominently in the intro, right in line with their yearning for the slower pace of romance back in the day. The track was teased by the band multiple times over both Instagram and TikTok and the excitement has been high for fans who thought they'd have to replay the 15-second reel for longer as they waited on the album. Little did they know, because the band dropped the single just two days after, and the fans went absolutely wild. No complaints from us though, the track's an absolute vibe.
What Do I Call You by Taeyeon
Releasing an album right before Christmas? Nothing less to expect from the queen of K-pop herself: Taeyeon, the famed leader of Girls' Generation. The solo artist is commonly known for her extremely strong and deep voice, that seems almost too effortless to be true. For the title track this time around, Taeyeon asks the big yet pertinent question post-breakup: What Do I Call You? She sings of the sweet words and names she used to call her ex-lover, but now she wonders if it's easiest to just refer to him by their name. The accompanying music video showcases her sweetheart visual appeal, and like just about most K-pop music videos, is cinematically stunning as it tells a well-directed narrative. Although it's not an outwardly Christmas tune, the video is filled with references to the holidays and well that time of year when we start reminiscing our past relationships and remnant feelings. Whatever her intentions, it's breakup anthem worthy for sure.
Better Off Dead by jxdn
TikTok star Jaden Hossler is truly hustling this year, going into full swing as his musical career takes off alongside his social media fame. His latest release talks about how he feels like he'd be Better Off Dead rather than grapple with the negative mindset of a toxic relationship as his lover toys with his feelings. The pop beat has a catchy and addictive sort of chorus — and totally fits the bill of the brand new singer's Internet persona as he forays into a pop-rock sound. Charming everyone with his soft boi vibes, the music video is a little edgy in terms of production using alternative font subtitles and a phone filter to play with the message of the song. And the fans? They're convinced Jaden can't make a bad song. Seems like there's a lot to anticipate from him, so we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for the next big thing.
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