By Jocelle Koh

Same, but somehow different. Taking us back to a time of pillow forts and make-believe in their new single ‘沙發裡有沙發 radio‘, Taiwanese band Oaeen (formerly known as indie legends Sodagreen 蘇打綠) have successfully launched their new personas and with it, a playful new song.

Previously known for creating immensely rich soundscapes combining extravagant classical-pop influences with beautiful, often natural imagery in their music, we see somewhat of a departure from that sound from the band, whose music now seems to take on a more extroverted, quirky nature. While this was never far below the surface in Sodagreen’s repertoire, here on ‘The Sofa Has A Sofa Radio 沙發裡有沙發 radio‘ it is featured front-and-centre, supported once again by the band’s flair for the dramatique.

An apt release given that the band have in the past few years been embroiled in many a legal and intellectual property battle, it seems that the band has had enough with adult troubles; hence releasing this experimental, childlike single to mark a fresh start for them.

Establishing this sense of internal conflict in their moody verses but throwing it out the window on their ear-worm chorus aided by head-tapping, quirky guitar riffs, the chorus is a burst of rainbow colours which show off frontman Sunrise 日出/Qing Feng’s signature throaty yet airy vocals. This light and dark is further reflected in their lyrics; while the verse refers to clear adult habits, such as drinking beer and wanting to sleep their troubles away, the chorus’ repeats of “The Sofa Has A Sofa Radio” brings a theme of escapism and pure delight to the track.

Playing with various re-imaginings of experimental electronic sounds, here we see the band experiment with different instruments; picking up keytars and keyboards to create their vibrant new sound. Childlike in its experimentation and abandon, this song is a perfect fresh start for the band.

Re-incorporating some well-loved elements of their past sound while leaving themselves space to reinvent and take things in a new direction, this is a pleasant track that could bring a smile to anyone’s face. I very much look forward to what Oaeen comes up with next.

Rating: 3.5/5