“Maybe you won’t even recognize me.”

“Black Jeans” by Lucie Silvas | Let’s do some accidental book-ending. One of the first songs I wrote about on this blog is Lucie Silvas’ “Breathe In”, originally released in 2004 and a relatively big hit in her native UK. I wondered then what she was up to, since she more or less fell out of the radar in the eight years since; turns out she went to the US to do some songwriting, settling down in New York, but primarily in Nashville. Good to know, I thought, and then forgot about her again as I endeavored to write about all these other songs I am still losing track of. Which brings us to last year, when, as it turns out, Lucie released an album, E.G.O. – an album that’s getting a fair amount of airplay in the American radio stations I monitor. I’ll admit a shallow read. I only really listened to that song. Here she sounds fuller, more confident, more accomplished, more authentic. Yes, I can hear a bit of Nashville in there, but it isn’t really the part that screams out at you, but rather, how fresh it all sounds. And realizing all this, well, it makes for a nice book-end to this blog. Sort of. [NB]


“When I think about you, my heart doesn’t glow.”

“Dodged A Bullet” by Alice Jemima | Now, a song I found because I decided to listen to FIP again, and you know what gems they turn up ever so often. This one’s from a few years ago, from British artist Alice Jemima, whose musical trajectory saw her go from classical guitar to this sort of quiet, aesthetically-pleasing (really, look at the album art) music that’s at home on both the dance floor and the living room. And, again, here’s me commenting about how nice it all sounds because it’s FIP who played it. Also, I can’t help but feel this is all applicable these days, this song’s sentiment… [NB]

“I see forever when I look in your eyes.”

“When I Look Into Your Eyes” by FireHouse | I switched to Singaporean radio last week because my mother is flying there with her friends today. (By the time you read this, she’s probably taking off.) If you’ve listened to European radio for months on end, and suddenly switch to ones in Southeast Asia, you’ll realize there are songs that are only hits in certain parts of the world. Michael Learns to Rock, for instance, have a huge following here. American band FireHouse is another example: while they scored some hits in their home country, their popularity endured in this side of the world, although interestingly I don’t think I have ever come across them. Either that, or their rock ballads has gotten lost in the generic mulch. That said, nothing beats that sense of place. Last week, when I hear this song (I did three times, I believe) I flash back to me getting on a taxi from Changi leading to the hotel, getting slightly stuck on the ECP (just as the traffic report goes on about the PIE and the BKE) and conversing with the taxi driver about politics where I come from. This did happen. I’m no Noynoy supporter and I had to not get riled up in a foreign country. Imagine that happening now… [NB]

“Deus me imunize do seu veneno.”

“Reza” by Rita Lee | I’m going to repeat myself: I’m not a fan of the new Monocle 24 music policy because it all seems more repetitive now. (I’ve actually stopped listening, except for those really few occasions.) Curiously, this comes just as they decide to play some older songs. Take this one from Rita Lee, also known as Brazil’s “queen of rock” for both her long career – initially with the legendary Os Mutantes, and then solo – and her uncompromising takes on things. It’s been a while since she released an album; this song was from her most recent record, released in 2012. So this counts as old, yeah? But one, it’s got a nice sound, the sort of sound legends can get away with, and two, the lyrics are actually a work of art. Simple yet really biting. I felt that. I think I’m at the receiving end of all those prayers at some point. Soon, you’ll get your wish. [NB]

“It just makes me feel so silly.”

“Dum Dum Dum” by Renée | Still on the Belgian lane, but this time, a song in English. Also, this time, a six-year-old song. My radio geekery means I stumbled upon Renée’s “Dum Dum Dum” when I’m not supposed to – I was watching, not listening to, a studio feed – and it kind of helped me fall asleep; it was eleven o’clock at night, after all. But more importantly, it’s the honesty and simplicity of this song that wins you over. Interesting, because you will also tend to think of how well-crafted this song is. Not bad for a debut song (again, from six year ago) from the Flemish singer-songwriter. Wish I found her sooner. [NB]