IT’S ALL PEACHY
Glistening with artless R&B melodies, Lukpeach’s three-track collection is a quick reminder of her charming stagecraft
Apart from the show’s male winner Rangsan “Songkran” Panyaruen,
The Voice Thailand Season 2 gave us a handful of female vocalists who’d showed strong potential including Violette Wautier and Rapeeporn “Lukpeach” Tantragoon. The former, as you may well be aware, has just started self-releasing her own music to wide acclaim. Lukpeach, on the other hand, found herself snug under the wing of Malama Collective, a co-op record label founded by Bangkok-based indie-music streaming platform Fungjai.
And while Violette has gone down the moody electro-pop route, Lukpeach has kept her love for pop-leaning R&B largely intact. (After all, it was her soulful rendition of Andrea Suarez’s 90s pop ballad Sob
Ta that landed her a spot on coach Jennifer Kim’s team during the blind auditions.) Listening to her 2017 self-titled EP, one could almost pinpoint the musical influences that have shaped her as an artist — from Sade’s quiet storm to Tom Misch’s and Honne’s modern interpretations of R&B.
Her follow-up EP, Judge Me If You Can, further showcases that wide-eyed blend of jazz, soul and R&B with a new English-language single, Judge, alongside its studio live session as well as a live rework of electric. neon.lamp’s Nang Rong. The collection’s centrepiece, Judge, finds the pop upstart pleading over subdued electric guitars: “So please don’t hate me … Come a lil’ closer/ Come a lil’ closer/ Gotta know me know you.”
Apart from the addition of horns, the track’s studio live version stays faithful to the original. And while not yet a seasoned vocalist, Lukpeach more than holds her own here when it comes to singing live. Better still is the “rearranged” treatment of anthemic indie jam Nang Rong, which has been transformed into a jazzy, horn-inflected mid-tempo ballad.
Given its short length of just 13 minutes, Judge Me If You Can feels more like an extended single rather than an EP. Technicalities aside, Lukpeach has shown that she’s as much of a singer as she is a songwriter. Her ability to pen lyrics in both Thai and English gives her the something extra needed to push her music a little further. There’s also a glimpse of self-confidence that didn’t necessarily come across on her previous release, but is on full display here. A sign of (more) good things to come.
LUKPEACH JUDGE ME IF YOU CAN EP