Glis­ten­ing with art­less R&B melodies, Luk­peach’s three-track col­lec­tion is a quick re­minder of her charm­ing stage­craft

Bangkok Post - - MUSIC - By Cha­nun Poom­sawai

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.


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