Coming off the back of their previous pop anthem ‘Small Lanes’, Singaporean indie quartet M1LDL1FE flexes their songwriting muscle on its follow up effort, ‘Can’t Seem to Get Anything’.

The newest single is a whirlwind of fuzz guitars and eerie synth sounds swirling around its main lyrical motif; a snapshot of what it feels like to be under the mental duress of depression and anxiety.

The mood of the song mirrors our current state of uncertainty. Centred on a catchy riff and chorus, “Can’t Seem to Get Anything” is possibly one of the grittiest tracks M1LDL1FE has released to date. Originally written before the pandemic, the song was finished remotely with Melbourne-based producer Yeo during lockdown.

Also read: INTERVIEW: Then & Now – Ta(L)king the ‘Small Lanes’ with M1LDL1FE

Written as a lament over mental health struggles, the song proves prescient; reflecting the current mood of a generation coming to terms with healing from a global pandemic. In particular, the line “What day is it, now? It’s the same old story…” hits a little too close to home. Channelling the universal feeling of being silenced and paralyzed by anxiety and fear inspired the lyric “foreign objects in my mouth”.

Frontman Paddy Ong shares, 

“The song is a manifestation of some of the low points we have had in our personal lives over the past couple of years – personal losses, relationship issues, mental health struggles, in addition to the stresses of the daily grind. We’re only human and sometimes it just feels like your mind is all seized up when it gets too much; you get paralysed with everything that’s going on and you just can’t do anything and can’t get out of your own head. That’s how the lines for the chorus/refrain came about. The song acts as a sort of cry for help, an acceptance that something doesn’t feel right. Music is a very powerful healing agent, and this was a way for us to express these things we were feeling.”

As the band’s plans to perform gigs on home ground and overseas have been derailed due to the ongoing pandemic, M1LDL1FE has taken to social media to connect with their fans from around the region in various ways, such as guitar tutorials and sneak previews of their upcoming releases. On November 14, the band will be performing for Fredy Perry’s Annual Subculture Live show, they have also confirmed a live stream showcase for Bangkok Music City on November 28-29. 

Cover photo: Chris Sim