Singaporean rock band The Oddfellows have announced their first album in decades, ‘What’s Yours And Mine’.
The record will arrive on September 24, nearly 30 years after their sophomore album, 1992’s ‘Carnival’.
The veteran four-piece announced the album today (September 10) with the release of new single, ‘Silent Worlds’.
The song came about after the band debuted a new song, ‘New Future’, in their two-set performance at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre last December. Written by guitarist Kelvin Tan, it sparked a productive period earlier this year that resulted in ‘What’s Yours And Mine’.
‘Silent Worlds’ charges out of the gate with muscular rock bluster and melancholy. Tan handles vocals for the first time in the band’s recorded history, taking over from vocalist and guitarist Patrick Chng.
“I’m gonna leave this troubled year behind / Gonna take what’s good and gonna bring it back to life,” Tan sings in its opening verse.
Listen to ‘Silent Worlds’ below.
In a press statement, Tan explained that ‘Silent Worlds’ addresses the pandemic, albeit with a cosmic bent. Though it draws musically on The Beach Boys, the song’s lyrical themes were inspired by reading up on string theory and the fourth dimension.
“I wanted to write a song about not letting the virus get us down, to cut our losses, learn meaningful lessons from it, to roll with the punches, and to rise above all that,” Tan said. “To transcend above that, if you will.”
Chng added that the overall album shares similar themes about “living through the pandemic”.
“It’s hard on some people, which could lead to loneliness, isolation, helplessness and mental health issues, not to even mention the loss of jobs or livelihoods,” he said. “As such, I wanted the songs to be life-affirming.”
While most of the songs on the new album were written this year, one of them, ‘A Lullaby (For You)’, has been with the band since the late 1990s. Its lyrics have since been largely rewritten for the recording, Chng told NME, while another, ‘Where’s Your Heart’, was written eight years ago.
‘What’s Yours And Mine’ will arrive on streaming platforms on September 24, with physical editions arriving at an undisclosed later date.
The new material comes after The Oddfellows’ aborted attempt in the late 1990s to record a third album. Work on the album stalled when their label, Springroll, closed following the Asian financial crisis in 1997. To add to the band’s misfortune, the master reels for their recordings were lost, with only a handful of rough mixes on cassette tapes left.
The new album “is a labour of love and a miracle to us,” added Tan, “and I’m so grateful that through the years, we have evolved our sound and songwriting as a band, as well as our relationship with each other as friends and fellow brothers.”
Formed in 1988, The Oddfellows consist of Chng and Tan, along with Vincent Lee (bass) and Johnny Ong (drums). They self-released their first demo EP, ‘Mild’, the same year before releasing two full-length albums: 1991’s ‘Teenage Head’ and 1992’s ‘Carnival’.
The Oddfellows are best known for their 1991 single ‘So Happy’, which earned them critical acclaim and a fanbase alongside ‘Your Smiling Face’ and ‘Unity Song’.
Last month, the band released ‘Up in the Clouds: The Best of the Oddfellows (For Now)’, a retrospective compilation that saw their songs hit streaming platforms for the first time. The band also released the original music videos for ‘So Happy’ and other singles on their YouTube account.