Hailing from the island country of Singapore comes the innovative and intriguing new sound of performer and multi-instrumentalist, Jonny Ong.
Latest track, Isolated is the perfect accompaniment to the surreal state of the world as it is right now. The song is a cry for company and appreciation in the face of a life-altering break-up, but is something we can certainly all relate to right about now. It’s a lamentation of loneliness, but it’s also so much more – an example of the kind of intuitive and impressive songwriting that Ong is capable of.
Isolation is both experimental in instrumentation yet subtle enough to get away with sneaking its way into the mainstream. Ong’s love for and influence by psychedelia can be traced back to his teenage years, becoming obsessed with – who else? – The Beatles. He found it fascinating how unconventional instruments could be layered into the mix to give the songs unusual sounds.
This is something truly reflected in Ong’s own work. He began to play the Handpan after seeing a busker use one in Amsterdam. This rare instrument is used widely in Ong’s own music, with its percussive tone found anywhere in the mix – from hidden deep and giving subtle accents to the songs, to right in the forefront. It’s never off-putting, and instead acts as an intriguing counterpart to Ong’s own impressively strong vocal line and evocative lyrics.
Isolation is a melting point where all of Ong’s influences, practices, research and dedication come together. It’s a song which revels in its unconventionality, presenting it confidently in the form of a topic we can all relate to (even aside from quarantine, that post-breakup loneliness is a universal feeling if ever there was one). This is not a wallowing song, however – instead, it’s a celebration of the range of human emotion, including those emotions which may be painful at times.
Isolation is out now via Sound Portal Studios.