Last year marked a special chapter for singer-songwriter Amanda Ong as she released Amanda, her self-titled debut EP. The six-track EP serenades listeners with indie-pop and folk beats while chronicling her story as a late teen to being in her early 20s; touching upon family, friendship, self-doubt, love, and conflict.
And the singer is back again this year to introduce her second EP — About Me. About Me references the thoughts and experiences of Amanda’s time in university overseas, a period where the feeling of home was a stranger. The six songs off her EP delve deeper into this, evoking themes of loneliness, fear and nostalgia.
Influenced by the likes of dodie, Us The Duo, and Taylor Swift, among others, the new EP combines Amanda’s gentle vocals with sanguine tunes as the backdrop, such as with her single Leave Me Alone.
The lyrics from Leave Me Alone actually tell a darker tale than what its jazzy musical tones might evoke, narrating a story of being in a personal struggle. And Amanda explains the decision behind its design to be intentional.
“A lot of my songs have downhearted lyrics hidden by upbeat sound design, and that’s not meant to hide away any negative feelings. Instead, songwriting helps me to leave these emotions in sort of a box and look at certain issues from a different perspective,” says Amanda.
A Malay version of the song, Biar Ku Bersendiri, was also conceived for the Wisma Geylang Serai’s Gala Laga 2020 and was featured over at The O Show on Ria 89.7FM; the single has been included in the EP as well.
Another song that forms part of the EP is Square, which was recently released last September. The single goes into imperfection and the normalisation of mistakes as an aspect of life itself. Its promo and cover art hint at this too, using triangles, which brings a nod to a line in the chorus and cheekily goes against the song’s title.
Turbulence is the latest song from Amanda to be included in her EP. The title stems from her experience on a flight undergoing turbulence, with the song written during the same period to avoid the fear she had.
“Even though I haven’t been on a plane in almost two years, singing Turbulence always brings me back to the exact moment I decided to write a song as a coping mechanism for my fear,” says Amanda on the experience, “singing my own songs is almost like being in a time machine.”
There will also be a premiere for the music video for Turbulence on 3 November too, and you can catch it directly from Amanda’s official YouTube channel.
While you’re waiting for the music video, be sure to check out Amanda’s new EP About Me, which is available on major listening services like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Deezer. You can also follow any updates from Amanda through her social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram.
Visuals courtesy of Amanda Ong, Shaun Spencer and Curie Kiwi.