By Jocelle Koh
After the release of her debut EP earlier this year, Singaporean sweetheart Shelby Wang is on a roll with brand new single ‘Escape 落跑‘. An electro-funk/R&B inspired track that follows in the vein of previous works such as ‘Don’t Say Sorry 別再說對不起‘, the song represents Wang’s rapid growth as an artist, presenting a more cohesive and seamless presentation of what makes her music unique.
Rather than dabbling hesitantly, Wang and her team seem more confident in their exploration of new sounds and textures which I wholeheartedly appreciate. Embracing her quirkiness both in the song’s arrangement and lyrical content, ‘Escape’ is a song through which Shelby lays her fears and insecurities out for all to see in the sweet, unassuming way that only she can.
The song is introduced by a groovy guitar hook that continues throughout; giving it a chill, ‘slice of life’ vibe that undercuts the track’s unique atmosphere. Layering on top of that, the track plays with an array of exciting and whimsical elements that are seamlessly interwoven into each other, from the experimental synths to the cutesy piano and jazzy brass.
We also see a slight maturation of Shelby’s voice and melodies on ‘Escape’. Starting off with an introverted and pondering direction in the verse before transitioning to a soaring chorus, it’s the little things that make Wang’s songwriting stand out in a crowd. I especially love the way the last note of the chorus unexpectedly directs the pop-esque chorus smoothly back into funky vibes with an unconventional slide on the last note.
Going from a lazy stroll to peaking at an exhilarating jog through the course of the song, I found it especially interesting how Wang has managed to put across her message and theme so succinctly; yet from a perspective that is unprecedented.
Starry-eyed and wanderlust-y but with a hint of gumption, the layers of complexity on this single further cement Wang’s USP. This, together with her soothing vocals and brand of meaningful lyricism are more than enough to power her through as she continues evolving as a budding artist.