Carrying one of the most interesting and heartbreaking artist backstories, the stunningly unique Phildel returns with her third studio album Wave Your Flags.
Phildel Ng was raised in a home where music was forbidden. That’s an odd sentence to read after hearing how incredible her vocals, songwriting and soundscapes meld together. As a child, she was forced to explore her love of music in secret, practising what she could on a piano in her school music room. At home, she was abused by her strict Islamic stepfather. She would eventually leave home, attempting to bring her stepfather to justice, but she unfortunately did not succeed, and her efforts lead to the eventual cut of contact from her family as a whole.
It’s a rough story to read, but Phildel has transformed her weaknesses into strengths, pouring her heart and soul out into her music, making each album an emotional and intimate journey. This is nothing short of inspirational.
‘Lamb’ is a great example of the above at work. A gorgeous, calming and dream-like song that Phildel has defined as “my song to my inner child … It’s saying, no one was there for you then, but I am here for you now, keeping myself safe from destructive relationships”. ‘Lamb’ could be described as an audio representation of the growth of a person overcoming the odds, and it’s a hauntingly good track to boot.
Each song seems to represent a different chapter or short snippet of her life and experiences, and Phildel expertly weaves this into her music not only through the lyrical content, but also in the choice of soundscapes. Every song has a different and refreshing vibe, showing us eleven different sides of the artist throughout the album.
Wave Your Flags is just exceptional – a welcome surprise in the first half of 2019 and, for me personally, it will be tough for any releases this year to top it any time soon. If you’ve stumbled upon this article by chance and not due to Phildel fandom, do yourself a favour – introduce yourself to Wave Your Flags, it’s a hell of a journey.