Indie-pop/rock band HOAX, consisting of Michael Raj and Frantz Cesar, recently released the ninth and final single from their debut concept album, b?, which explores the inner workings of being versus doing.
Speaking of the song, Michael Raj says, “2021 has been one of the toughest years of my life. It’s probably just confirmation bias, but death came to me in threes. I lost my grandmother, my dog (Luna), then my grandfather. I wanted to express the grief I felt, but through the lens of my grandfather and all the pain he endured before his time finally came. The instrumental for ‘soju’ was written in 2019, but all the lyrics I would write for it carried no weight. Only now, after this year of loss, have the words finally come to give me peace with this.
HOAX’s sound is both contemporary and retro, blending elements of 60s pop, 70s Motown and alternative R&B into stylish music they call “empathy pop”. With a string of hit singles, such as “Beach House”, “Grow”, “Moon Moon Baby” and “more than you know”, HOAX has amassed millions of Spotify streams, as well as over 121,000 monthly listeners.
“soju” opens on percolating keyboards topped with a powerful and whispered voice. When the beat comes in, the melody takes on luscious R&B flavors mixed with flavors of pop coloring. The syncopated rhythm imbues the melody with an angular magnetism as layers of radiant leitmotifs glide overhead.
Although the feel and flow of the song is upbeat, the lyrics delve into the darker subjects of death and grief, times when all seems lost and meaningless. Yet through the shadows, the lyrics urge listeners not to give up on love. When you lose a loved one, rather than regress, grow – love even deeper.
With “soju,” HOAX delivers big flavors of R&B fused with pop, resulting in a seductive song loaded with a meaningful message.
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