Best New Music of the Week: Jasmine Sokko, Justin Bieber, Gentle Bones, and more
Loud and clear
Medusa by Jasmine Sokko
Singapore's Sia, Jasmine Sokko, has been experimenting bridging her unique artistry with the genre of mandopop recently — and while we love her recently released Mandarin EP, we're glad she's finally back with yet another English single, with the edgy electro-pop sound we know and love all too well. But don't mistake Medusa to be "just another one of Jasmine's singles" — the song actually marks a turning point in her career, and as she puts it, "new Song, new me". As for the inspiration behind the track, Jasmine aims to debunk the myth that urban folklore legend Medusa is a villain, and is using her song as an avenue to shed light on her belief that Medusa is an empowering female character.
Hold on by Justin Bieber
Its been a long time since Justin last made music, but hey, guess we no longer have to "hold on" anymore now that the new single is finally out. With emotional lyrics like "You know you can call me if you need someone, I need you to hold on, Heaven is a place not too far away", Bieber has cited that the meaning behind the song is to encourage fans to hang on even in times when they feel like giving up as there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. And prepare tissues when you watch the music video, which feels more like a well-shot heartwrenching melodrama, as Justin plays a boyfriend who gets shot in the process of robbing a bank for money to pay off his cancer-stricken girlfriend's hefty medical bills.
A day at a time by Gentle Bones and Clare Benin
Homegrown soulful singer Gentle Bones has teamed up with Filipino folk singer, Clare Benin, for a melodic tune coupled with a hint of jazz. The relaxing song sounds like something you could easily listen to as you lounge around in a chill cafe reading a book, but as it turns out the production process of the song was equally as chill, as the two talented songwriters penned the lyrics to the song even without meeting up — they did it through video calls whilst in lockdown. And the comforting lyrics, "Honestly I'm tryna take it one day at a time I've been here before, keep me out of my way, cus I'd like to be here tomorrow" rings out a reassurance to us all to live life at our own pace.
Leave the door open by Bruno Mars and Anderson. Paak
Fans have been eagerly waiting for their treat ever since it was announced that the two kings of R&B, Bruno Mars and Anderson. Paak would be teaming up for a new album Silk Sonic together. And yup, the first track from the musically-inclined duo is finally here, and it definitely does not disappoint. Expect a groovy sound and a rhyhmic, upbeat tune that's perfect to chill out to at a jazz bar, coupled with bluesy sounds, and sick harmonies from both musicians. Literally music for the soul. Especially since we're getting retro, vintage vibes from the song, which is a good thing since old music never goes out of style.
Medicine by James Arthur
Yup, the king of emotional ballads is back with a new song to tear your heartstrings out. James' new single, "Medicine is a heartwrenching tune about the darkest demons he's had to battle with, such as suicidal thoughts. Though he's overcome that rough patch in his life now, James hopes that other people who can relate to the same kind of pain will seek solace in his songs, through his honest songwriting, with heavy lyrics that really dig deep like "I feel like you could save me now. When I'm suicidal, don't let me spiral". Couple the raw lyrics with his distinctive vocals, James sure has made a huge comeback after proclaiming to be in his best head space, indeed.