It’s pretty rare that a song in the current musical landscape makes use of a Handpan, amongst other unusual instruments, successfully managing to sound unlike anything else around right now. But that’s exactly what Singapore-born, London-based artist Jonny Ong has done with latest track, ‘Isolation’.
A remarkably relatable song for the current moment, Ong’s voice acts on behalf of us all, lamenting the loneliness we all feel at the moment. But it’s not just the vocals which turn heads. The instrumentation of this song signifies that Ong is not just another faceless male performer in the middle of a sea of Ed Sheeran-alikes. The use of brass, cello and other strings, as well as a host of evocative soundscaping effects, places Ong firmly in the world-psychedelic scene, alongside acts such as Kikagaku Moyo and House of Waters.
Ong has been drawn to music since early childhood, singing Sinatra covers at birthday parties before discovering The Beatles, and therefore, guitar-playing, during high school. His interest in psychedelia specifically was piqued during his teenage years, when he developed a love for unconventional instrumentation and musicality.
‘Isolation’ in particular is a beautiful rendition of post-breakup pain and loneliness. It speaks to a world shut away in their houses, isolated themselves, but instead of wallowing, it instead celebrates the exquisite poignancy of the emotion. Aren’t we lucky to be able to feel something this deeply?
‘Isolation’ was released on the 3rd of April via Sound Portal Studios and can be streamed and downloaded here.