For some, the coming of a new year heralds new beginnings. For others, it is an opportune moment to pause and reflect on the past 365 days with 20/20 hindsight. This week, the Men’s Folio team ruminates about the latter as they present their pick of songs that aptly depict their individual 2018s, succinctly summarised in three minutes (thereabout) of harmonious melodies and catchy tunes.
Seeb & Bastille / Grip
Wilson: 2018 will go down as the most tumultuous year Wilson has ever had, but it was also the most alive he has ever felt. Much like how Bastille lead vocalist Dan Smith sings “We don’t know what’s good for us/ ‘Cause if we did, we might not do it/ Who knows where our limits lie?/ We won’t discover ’til we push it“, Wilson rose to many challenges in both his career and personal lives, never once giving a second thought to whether he had it in him to deal. The battlefield is draining and there are often times when he feels like surrendering, but what is that gripping feeling that causes him to refuse defeat?
Rich Brian / History
Marcus: Some days, Marcus looks back at 2018 wondering what could have been if he had done something different. But today, he is hopeful for the new year as he ponders over other creative outlets he can expand towards with his newfound writing and video-directing skills. With the year coming to an end, he’d like to put the past behind him in an unlabelled box and store it in his archives. Upbeat and hopeful like this song, Marcus plans for his next month-long solo road trip in Iceland, and maybe finds a gig shooting fashion films. Overall, a kinda fun year.
Poppy / Play Destroy feat. Grimes
Wei Jian: The year is pretty much a hot mess if it is represented by a Poppy song. The Internet popstar/performance artist/psycho is embroiled in SO. MUCH. DRAMA. Wei Jian can definitely relate. Despite the hullabaloo, the whole kawaii-metal schtick is still super cute, and what better way to deal with wholesale wretchedness than an anthem about destruction. Wei Jian figures if he feels like dying anyway, might as well make it a Hollywood moment!
Mitski / Nobody
Jeremy: Mitski’s “Nobody” is the perfect soundtrack to Jeremy’s nonexistent life because he is 30, single and living vicariously through Instagram; even the Google Home he got for Christmas thinks it is the only thing he should be listening to in the morning. He jives to the trusty android while doing his hair perfect, all the while dreaming about the puppy he going to get so that it can “Give me one good honest kiss/ And I’ll be alright”.
Khalid / Young Dumb & Broke
Yong Hao: The year hasn’t been the kindest to Yong Hao, and the 19-year old has definitely seen better days. Just like the setting of Khalid’s bop, he realises that he has so much more to learn during his first foray into the fashion industry. Also, he finds his bank account cleaned most of the time for some dubious reason, but at least he has time on his side. That is, until he realises that there is a two-year long hurdle (called National Service) to clear ahead of him, whether he likes it or not.
Ava Max / Sweet but Psycho
Sapphire: It’s not that Sapphire’s a psycho, but people always seem to see her as a “Premium Lian” (a Hokkien term used for low SES ladies who speak bad English). But if you are friends with her, she is actually a riot to be with. The entire of Sapphire’s 2018 can be summed up in one sentence: Don’t let anyone hold you back, be who you are.