‘DÉJÀVU’ :Relationships on Replay by Son of A Policeman
Review by Wai Lu Yin


Have you ever been in a relationship and felt a sense of ‘déjà vu’? Déjà vu is the sense of having experienced something before. We often encounter déjà vu in our dreams. In real life, past relationship scenarios and special little moments unexpectedly reoccur right before our eyes, leading us into mixed thoughts and feelings about them because it is difficult for us to let go of the past and move on without pain and regret.

Son of a Policeman

Son of A Policeman - vocalist Josh Ganesan, violin player Nate Tan, guitarist/vocalist Mikha Chan, guitarist Aqmal Shah, bassist/vocalist Zijunn Tan, and drummer Zach Mathaiis - is a Subang-based fusion band with a rock-and-roll attitude. Their music is not limited to just one genre – they have dancey, upbeat tunes such as “It’s All Good” and “Colours of The Skin”, or chill-out sentimental songs like “Sunrise Magic” and “little fires”. From fusion jazz to city pop, filled with impactful messages, each track caters to your particular mood.

Under Singaporean label, Where Are The Fruits?, Son of A Policeman released their latest disco-pop track, “DÉJÀVU”, on Nov 27. It is their second collaboration with Singaporean producer DSML and Kuala-Lumpur based R&B singer-songwriter, SUEHAILA.

To promote the track, the band released a two-part teaser on Instagram which is a snapshot of certain experiences in relationships. The teaser sets the tone for ‘déjà vu’ in relationships, preparing us for what we are about to experience on the track. Each part opens with an audio recording alongside the definition of déjàvu, followed by footage of the band recording their track. Part 1 briefly explains the feeling of not being able to talk to someone or share your favourite things. Part 2 encourages listeners to let go of those you love when they leave you for good.

Lyrics Visualiser #1

The lyrics of “DÉJÀVU” reflect on the conversations you have with a new partner. They are starting a new relationship but are in the process of letting go of the person they loved. The lyrics paint a sentimental picture of the past and present, whether it is with a person, an object, an event, or all of the above. The two choruses, with the line, ‘feels like déjà vu’, gives an idea of going with the flow in a new relationship, while still attached to the past. Verse two, with lines such as “Down the line with our pride and our hurts in the light. Nothing left but the shine and the gleam of the past in disguise” is comforting to read and listen to as it encourages us to continue to shine in the shadows.

Listen to the track a couple of times and you will find its fresh vibes suited to any situation, whether its going for a drive, chilling at home or dancing with your friends. SUEHAILA’s melancholic voice harmonises well with Chan’s, bringing a subtle warmth and comfort to our ears. The bright and groovy strings from the violin, guitar and bass make me smile from ear to ear while dancing along to the tune.

The lyrics video sums up COVID-19 pandemic emotions – the longing to go travelling and missing the vibes of live music events. The video shows snippets of tropical beaches, having drinks with friends and enjoying the nightlife. It ends with a montage of the band making music together, including scenes filmed outdoors (while social distancing) for the “little fires” music video. The footage reflects how the band misses performing live and interacting with the audience.

It was tough for the band to create and produce music during the movement control order. Josh’s rap-like verse - “Remember the fun nights. Cruising in bright lights...but damn why you gotta bring it down crashed my muses on repeat till I had no sound” jives well with the nu-disco sound. It highlights the wonderful memories of live performances and making music and how the restrictions stifled their creative process and motivation.

Lyrics Visualiser #2

“DÉJÀVU” not only talks about the sense of sadness and loneliness in relationships; it is also about being comfortable with ourselves and surrounding ourselves with people who help us become better. When you are in a state of déjà vu, where the past replays in the present, you find yourself laughing and crying as these moments become a part of your story. Son of a Policeman’s timing in releasing the track is perfect, providing a little relief after a particularly rough year. This track lets you give yourself the time to heal and let go of negativity so you can move forward and do your best in living life to the fullest.

Son of A Policeman is not afraid of expanding their creativity, producing a song with eclectic influences and timeless vibes. “DÉJÀVU” evokes moments of reflection and adds a little enjoyment to our everyday lives. Word-by-word and note-by-note, their music connects the band and its listeners through relatable experiences. The band is working on an unnamed concept EP which is set for release later this year. For now, you can listen to ‘DÉJÀVU’ and reflect on the good and bad times in 2020 before starting anew.

Listen to Son of A Policeman’s “DÉJÀVU” on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and other streaming platforms.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the author's own and do not reflect those of CENDANA. CENDANA reserves the right to be excluded from any liabilities, losses, damages, defaults, and/or intellectual property infringements caused by the views and opinions expressed by the author in this article at all times, during or after publication, whether on this website or any other platforms hosted by CENDANA or if said opinions/views are republished on third party platforms.

Wai Lu Yin is a participant of the CENDANA - ASWARA Arts Writing Mentorship Programme 2020-2021.

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