LEW’s album launch for his debut EP Lullacry was definitely a night filled with love – from the cavalcade of romantic tunes to the adoring support from the audience.
Looking overwhelmed from the roar of cheers of the crowd as he stands on the stage of Esplanade’s Annexe Studio with his band, the young singer-songwriter thanked his loyal fans by putting on a dynamic show powered with densely emotional originals written over the past few years.
But before LEW took the stage, another young singer-songwriter named Vivien Yap opened the launch, and "charismatic" is unquestionably the word to describe her.
Even though it was her debut public performance, Vivien already seems confident onstage, speaking comfortably with the sea of barely-seen faces in front of her.
From exclaiming “bless you” halfway through a sentence upon hearing a sneeze, to telling her audience that she is filling her set with banter because she doesn’t have many songs to occupy the entire time, to spelling out her Instagram name (@buttlicks) letter by letter because she was too shy about it - Vivien surprised us with her genuine songcraft and adorable personality.
Aided by a singularly raspy voice and relatable lyricism, her acoustic guitar-based tunes definitely turned up the charm as well.
Vivien presents songs that encapsulate the stories and encounters of her life, while deftly sewing pinches of war, personality into her music as she bravely bears insecurities about her physical appearance and affinity with love.
The man of the hour, LEW, took to the stage next, alongside his ever-capable collaborators.
Admitting that his songs are mostly far from happy, the young singer-songwriter used his soothing voice to serenade his audience with a host of diarist-driven songs that are replete with well-drawn characters, all circling around the idea of love.
Living up to his aim of celebrating the work of local musicians, LEW also invited budding musician Umar Sirhan up on stage to perform a special cover mash-up of his own composition ‘Boy I Knew’ and Charlie Lim’s 'Bitter', bringing waves of sing-alongs from the audiences.
On top of that, LEW performed a duet of ‘Reality’ with “one of his best friends” Joie Tan, who was also part of his supporting band.
Fittingly enough, the song was indeed intended as a a duet, as LEW initially convinced Joie to sing it with him over a Skype call some two years ago. The strong chemistry between the duo is evident throughout, highlighted by their smooth layering and harmonizing within the gorgeous song.
LEW’s performance swamped his supporters with a sense of raw romantic intimacy as his 13 tracks from Lullacry related true to life tales of love and coming of age. Pushing beyond the usual impression of a young troubadour who is mainly accompanied by his guitar, his outstanding EP launch showcased his potential for creating diverse songs that go far beyond just melancholy.