By Ng Su Ann
Hello world, meet Cayenne, the Singaporean future-pop star, also known as Celine Autumn, frontwoman and one-third of dream-pop act Sobs. “I make whatever I want,” Cayenne declares in her Spotify bio, and what she’s made is a dazzling, dizzying debut EP of Autotuned digital pandemonium, with pop vocals pitched all the way up and sugary, plastic fantastic synths. Sobs, this is not.
It sounds like she had fun making this music, despite Cayenne––the alter ego and the record––being conceived and created during that seemingly endless first lockdown. If the lyrics read as superficial, perhaps even simplistic, it’s on purpose; as told to NME, she wrote them as if she were “a jobbing songwriter penning songs for another pop artist”.
“Drivin’ Away” establishes a scene in seconds: “One of these days I’m driving away / All the dates I’ve been on got me bored out my head”, she sings, insouciant, before the facade cracks and she asks, as plaintive as the pitch-shift and filters can make out: “Am I getting on your nerves? It’s been a bad day”. On closer and standout “Centrefold”, she wish-casts an entire narrative arc of “centrefold love”: girl meets boy, they’re “two kids just trying to have fun”, with “bottles of champagne and whiskey on [their] tongues”. It’s Cayenne’s party—and everyone’s invited.
- Country: Singapore
- Label: Self-released
- Year: 2021