Sometimes, new music finds makes one wonder “wait, this isn’t a famous artist?”. This was exactly my reaction while listening to Budung’s “Lovers” for the first time. Curious about the rest of the songs from the album, I discovered Let’s take a step to a brighter place, a cozy indie rock/R&B creation with immaculate vocals to stir the listeners. The songs feel cozy and inviting, however, the lyrics have a hauntingly sad quality to them, with poetic explorations of love and loss and finding one’s place in the world.
This album is a vast journey, where Budung’s complex storytelling is channeled through a range of genres. Indie rock, R&B, pop, and blues come together to carry the artist’s poetic thoughts on love, relationships, and identity. The opener “First Time” and “MUSE” are fun bangers, echoing city-pop influences, while “Guess Who?” circles back to classic indie rock. In between, there are slow, sad ballads.
For instance, “All My Sadness” uses only simple string instruments to highlight the heart-wrenching vocals. Throughout the album, Budung stays in good command of her voice, easily channeling different emotions. Her vocals range from sad and ethereal to sweet and mischievous. Even though the songs are so different, they all feel connected, as if they were separate chapters of one story.
This versatile approach accounts for the album is engaging from start to finish, without the feeling of there being any “filler” songs included. It is easy to tell that the lyrics and their message are very important for Budung. Though sometimes convoluted and vague, the strong lyricism of all the tracks showcases the artist’s personality, making Let’s take a step to a brighter place feel like an intimate and deep conversation between friends.
The single “Lovers” is the culmination of this versatile album. She puts all the best elements of previous songs together, to create a breathtaking ballad, full of momentum and staggering emotions.
As the artist herself has said, “Budung will continue to grow and leave the process as music for a long time.” She continues her journey with new albums, the latest released in August 2022. As she receives support from fans through successful crowdfunding campaigns, she will surely carry on creating fantastic music for her listeners.