Still from “Shallow Water” by Afgan

JoySauce Radio: Songs that have us feeling like spring

Bloom and grow with these hot tracks for your playlist, from new songs to unexpected genre swaps

Words by Anjana Pawa

JoySauce Radio: Consider JoySauce Radio our own personal song recommendations—from the tunes and videos our writers love to DJ-produced mixes of dance floor bangers—all from Asian and Pacific Islander artists around the world. 

This time of year usually boasts a fun and exciting landscape for music: the new year has just begun, artists are beginning to plan their tour schedules and put out new projects, and we have plenty of new tunes to fill our playlists with. February’s picks include some new tracks, including an exciting new project from 88rising, and some unexpected genre swaps from already established artists but also some throwbacks that get us amped up for a warmer, more vibrant, spring.

“STeAKFACe** ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ” by 1999 Write The Future, Phum Viphurit, Masiwei

1999 Write The Future is 88rising’s newest collective. It features multiple artists across various genres and allows them to collaborate with each other. This release is a standout. The track, which features Thai singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit and Masiwei of Higher Brothers, is sung in English and Mandarin, feels nostalgic and retro, but also has fresh elements that make it feel brand new. You’ll definitely want to put this on your playlist.

“Summer went and came around” by Kaz Moon

This throwback by Kaz Moon will get you in your feels during the cold, dreary February days. The Texas native, whose real name is Cody Yao, has a knack for the lo-fi pop genre. “Summer went and came around” is a song that showcases Moon’s signature style: dreamy and upbeat, almost juxtaposing the sad lyrics. This song will put you in a summer mood, even if you’ve still got months of gray.

“Bolo Bolo (Now or Never)” by Vardaan Arora

This upbeat, fun release by India-born, New York-based artist Vardaan Arora will get you off your feet dancing. There are elements of EDM atop a softer lyrical melody that creates a dissonance as you listen. The chorus blends elements of Punjabi music into the pop track, which infuses the tune with a taste of Arora’s background.

“Shallow Water” by Afgan

Indonesian artist Afgan is making a name for himself in the global market. After establishing himself as a name in Jakarta and across Asia, working with the likes of Jackson Wang, the 34-year-old artist is now planning to release an English-language album. “Shallow Water” is his latest release and it’s a departure from his usual sound. The sexy, R&B track is a standout and we’re looking forward to the rest of the project.

“Fill Into Me” by Anju

Anju is the type of artist you come across right when you need them: a friend might put a song on a playlist for you, there might be a recommendation from your favorite streaming app, or maybe you heard a soft, lovely tune on TikTok or Reels and had to go searching for it. The New York-based artist has released many memorable tracks, like “Cicada” and “Cassiopeia,” but “Fill Into Me” is one that keeps you coming back. The soft melody and vulnerable lyrics of the tune, accompanied with lush visuals of nature and family playing carrom board, feels like a warm hug, and you’ll definitely want to add this track to your spring playlist.

Published on February 27, 2024

Words by Anjana Pawa

Anjana Pawa is a Brooklyn-based culture reporter who regularly covers music, entertainment and beauty. You can find her on Twitter at @apawawrites.