You know, but how? This is a very serious, very official guide.
It has been over a week since The Sam Willows released their sophomore album, I Know, But Where. It has also been over a week since I left home and had a social life. You make the connection.
For one, the album is no sophomore slump, which is a relief. It hasn’t been an easy couple of months for us pop music lovers, with the artists we were rooting for consistently dropping disappointing music (looking at you, Justin Timberlake).
But when it comes to Singapore’s biggest pop band’s latest release, there is thankfully no such concern.
The album, while short at 11 tracks, is packed with single-quality songs. There’s truly a song for everyone, from Sentimental Samantha to Party Girl Patricia. Which ones should you add to your personal Spotify playlist, and what are the best situations to listen to them?
Track 01: Baby Don’t Shy
This song is about hooking up with a cutie of choice at Zouk. No, like, actually. It even references the club’s famous sour plum shots. I gasped when I first heard the lyrics, because I’m a prude. Then I replayed the song, because I’m a naughty prude. ‘Baby Don’t Shy’ has the same grooviness of Michael Jackson and JT’s ‘Love Never Felt So Good’, which makes it a banger of a tune to open the album with.
When to listen: When you’re pre-drinking at your friend’s place on a Friday night before heading out to party. No worries, this is a no-judgment zone – alcohol is just too expensive in Singapore. You should be saving that money for post-party nuggets at McDonald’s. Optimal allocation of resources, y’all.
Track 02: Keep Me Jealous
Over a year has passed since the lead single of this album was released, but ‘Keep Me Jealous’ is still a major BOP. No one can hold me back from belting out Sandra’s iconic “KEEEEP MEEE JEAAAALOUSSSS” line (at 2:17, in case you were wondering). Great song, great music video, just all-round greatness. Ugh, so good.
When to listen: When you’re about to Insta-stalk your ex (again).
Track 03: Lie Like a Lover
Total single material. Try not snapping your fingers to this song. I dare you. It was also a pleasant surprise having Jon open the song – more Jon Chua is always welcome, thank you very much.
When to listen: When you low key miss your ex but high key want them to regret breaking up with you, so you make sure you look cute while lip-syncing to this song on your Instagram Story, then check every five minutes hoping your ex watched it. Don’t do it tho, it’s unhealthy, okay?
Track 04: Thirsty
Yes, this song is exactly what you think it is about. It’s also the most-streamed non-single on Spotify. You guys are so predictable.
When to listen: When you’re feeling a little, you know, thirsty.
Track 05: Say So
If you’re one of those annoying fans who constantly whine about how much you miss the “old Sam Willows”, may this track finally shut you up. The band channels their old-school numbers with this tear-jerker about the turmoils of breaking up. ‘Say So’ is another inevitable single – you just know the general public will lap it up.
When to listen: When it’s three in the morning and you’re in bed, alone, staring at the ceiling, feeling like utter crap about your pathetic love life and need a song to cry your eyes out to. Um, definitely not speaking from experience, of course. Just saying.
Track 06: Papa Money
Love the song. Love the message. Narelle revealed during the album release press conference that ‘Papa Money’ was somewhat of a diss track, which immediately made this song an instant CLASSIC. Who knew the usually goody-goody Willows had this much spunk in them? Squelching nepotism while throwing shade is a big mood. Now the question is who exactly were they referring to?!
When to listen: When that narcissistic, rude, snobby classmate with a rich Dad is being his typical narcissistic, rude, snobby self and you’re like, “You know what, I’m going to make it on my own one day, Markus with a K. Watch me.”
Track 07: Need Your Number
For the record, I would give any of the Willows my number any day – just hit me up whenever. Call me thanks xo. Please.
When to listen: When you’re plucking up the courage to slide into your
stalking victim eye candy’s DMs.
Track 08: Save Myself
I’m totally not saying that I started tearing up when I listened to this song but yeah, this is an emotional one. One of the band’s strongest songs in their repertoire.
When to listen: When you’re sick and tired of always being the caretaker, and need to be the care–taken.
Track 09: Robot
Still one of my favourites. Still brings all the feels. Still serving moody sci-fi realness.
When to listen: When you decide to ~dramatically leave Instagram (*for two weeks), because #DisconnectToConnect.
Track 10: Time We Try
Another song reminiscent of old-school Willows music. Not the strongest song on the album, but not one I would skip either.
When to listen: When you’re riding your ofo bike and need a nice song for the #vibes.
Track 11: Drive
Best 👏 Song 👏 Of 👏 The 👏 Album. Hands down. Pretty much. No questions asked. Also, nothing is more soothing than hearing Benjamin Kheng singing the f-word. He somehow makes it sound… sweet? That is just maximum level ASMR. Also, just in case we need more reasons to love ‘Drive’, the band also revealed that the song was inspired by both a meme (!!) and a particular nursery rhyme. Um, I don’t know about you, but that makes this my favourite song of theirs, ever. Like, ever. And that’s saying a lot.
Side note: ‘Drive’ is the album’s least-streamed song on Spotify, which is just all sorts of WRONG. Please join me as we start trending #JusticeforDrive, thank you.
When to listen: Anytime, anywhere. Should be on repeat 24/7 if possible.
I Know, But Where is available on Spotify.