Album Name: Home Sweet Home 宅這
Release Date: 19th June 2020
Music Video Archive
By Jocelle Koh
Over the past few months, while the COVID-19 situation has launched the world into disarray, it has put many of us in unique situations we’ve never before experienced in this lifetime. In a society where so much of our identity and livelihood is centred around our presence in public spaces and physical interaction, staying at home has proved to be a daunting task at times, even for the best of us.
Yet muso Khalil Fong 方大同 has chosen to make light of the situation on his new EP ‘Home Sweet Home‘, illuminating those little moments we often take for granted through his own lens. In the short space of ten minutes, Fong takes us through a day in his homebody life in a way only he can; preserving a unique musical snapshot of our times.
His EP starts off with first single ‘Favorite Stuff’, an ode to being able to immerse himself in music through CDs, records and cassettes as one of his favourite past-times when he was younger. Fong rediscovered his love for doing so during his time in isolation, and memorialised that feeling on this fun little ditty. Starting off with a memorable, bluesy riff accompanied by some low, grungy verses, the bridge transitions us towards a lighter, sweeter melody that transports us to a more innocent time as Fong sings: “This is my favourite, favourite stuff/Don’t give me drugs, just all the things that I love”. The song takes its time in rolling out a comfortable, safe atmosphere within which Soulboy lightly experiments, creating a layered, playful listening experience. And in doing so, fully encompassing his love for music and musical philosophy.
Second track ‘Noodles 麵麵‘ turns out to be the most authentic, cutest bop ever where Fong professes his love for the floury, wheaty dish (something I can definitely get behind). A musical recipe for noodles, this song in particular brings us further into this intimate musical space Khalil has created on the album. Starting off with a spoken life update against simple but groovy keys and beats, this is followed by stream-of-consciousness lyrics which can’t help but make you smile. From going into vivid detail about every type of noodle from Chinese style noodles to Aglio Olio replete with slurping sound effects, Fong covers the topic with quirky finesse and short but sharp melodies that’ll have you on your feet and heading to the kitchen in no time.
The final track on the EP ‘Cut My Hair 頭髮有點長‘ expands on a relatable phrase that has passed through many of our minds; rendering it a clever jumping point to sum up Khalil’s stay-at-home experience. A more subdued, reflective track than the previous two, Fong takes the chance to wax lyrical on his musings during this time; starting with reflections on his current state before moving serenely to his thoughts and hopes for the future whilst also getting nostalgic about his youth and simpler times. Whilst the melody is bluesy and enters melancholic territory (we hear lots of John Mayer influences here!), Fong’s quirky lyrics and little guitar solos keep things from getting too dark, reinforcing the EP’s overall more positive outlook towards the isolation process.
Despite only being three songs long, each track clearly and simply represents what Khalil has to say, and does so in just the right amount of time. Not too fast but not too slow, I love how the EP doesn’t feel like it’s in a rush to go anywhere, which keenly reflects Fong’s mood and attitude towards this time in quarantine. From what we hear in the EP, it seems that for Fong it’s been a period which has given him space to regroup and time to indulge and find new perspectives on his music and journey that wouldn’t have the chance to come out otherwise.
This EP is unpretentious and unpolished in its approach. Here, Fong doesn’t pretend to be in a ‘back-to-normal’ state, nor does he shy away from addressing his new state of mind given the new circumstances; which is rare especially in these confusing times. I love the honesty, the relevance and most of all, the intent to connect that comes through in this extended play. Recorded sound is a medium that Fong finds himself most comfortable with, and I’m glad to hear him playing to his strengths; and in doing so lending others comfort in these unprecedented times.
|01 Favorite Stuff|
|02 Noodles 麵麵|
|03 Cut My Hair 頭髮有點長|
This article is part of Asian Pop Weekly’s ‘Life Goes On’ article series. Click here to learn more about the series.