By Ng Su Ann
Lean Ordinario is no stranger to the peripheries of pop music, but it’s as LONER that he’s come into his own, making waves with a slew of singles and 2020’s Manila Dance (in collaboration with fellow Manila-based producer Aries) and Into Midnight EPs.
His music exerts an electric, luminescent pull, and nowhere is it more evident than the title track off of 2021’s Make Noise. The dream duo of LONER and Malaysian electro-pop producer Shelhiel ticks all the boxes, and “Make Noise” is a joyous sonic headrush that’s awash in giddy garage rhythms and chipper synths.
On repeat listens, the chorus “let’s make some noise they can’t avoid” starts becoming a rallying cry for everyone marginalised from the mainstream. A verse later, Shelhiel celebrates the self in a falsetto Mandarin rap: “I’m shining so bright / They said, ‘Always keep your light beaming’”. LONER’s music has always intimately connected the personal with the political, and “Make Noise” is no exception.
The accompanying music video, directed by Jon Olarte with creative direction by LONER and Shelhiel, is somehow both old school and futuristic, and thoroughly optimistic. It’s an ode to the frosted, shiny Y2K aesthetics of the early 2000s, bathed in chrome, platinum, and blue, complete with black leather trousers. I’m here for it. Let’s bring back the future.
- Country; The Philippines
- Label: Locked Down Entertainment
- Year: 2021