Chino the Kid paints a somber landscape with his electric organ on “Patience”
If there’s one instrument that’s wildly underutilized in today’s musical landscape, it might just be the electric organ. Often only used sparingly to give certain songs a certain melodramatic flair, the electric organ is very rarely the center of attention in contemporary music. But on Chino the Kid’s debut song “Patience,” it finally gets its chance to shine.
Based in Malmö, Sweden, Malaysian-English musician Chino the Kid (Joshua Ng) is a multi-instrumentalist whose musical arsenal includes the guitar, the guzheng (a Chinese zither), and the charango (an Andean lute). Surprisingly, none of these instruments make an appearance on his debut single. Inspired by the sounds of his childhood which included the Cantopop workings of Priscilla Chan and the Singaporean sitcom “Phua Chu Kang,” “Patience” is instead a gothic bedroom pop song that makes a star out of its singular instrument–a second-hand €20 Technics U-60 electric organ. Powerful, striking, and gaudy, the sounds of the instrument is masterful and haunting, bringing a dusky timbre to the song. Even the subtle drum sounds that are present in the track are none other than the organ’s own drum presets: “Disco” and “Rock II,” to be exact.
Although “Patience” invites true appreciation for haunting vintage electronic equipment, Ng’s allegorical lyrics are something to appreciate as well. At its core, “Patience” is a break-up song. There are lines here that hint towards irritation and general dissonance within a reevaluation of a relationship–eventually leading to an inevitable falling out (“You handed me a loaded gun / And now I’m feeling quite emboldened / Well you’re always on the run / Making maps that lead nowhere” is one such example). But even amidst all of the dissatisfaction, Ng still admits his own shortcomings at track’s conclusion. “I should try another buzzer beater / I should have patience just like you / Just like you / Just like you,” he sings. Despite the song’s tendency for drama, there’s still a levelheadedness here that keeps it grounded in real-life feelings.
By pairing his spacious voice with the nostalgic organ, “Patience” is a phantom-like track that channels slight frustrations and realizations to its fullest degree–making for quite the memorable debut track.
Li-Wei Chu is the chief editor of From the Intercom. When he’s not editing drafts and searching for new artists to cover for the website, he loves watching cult films, cooking, and listening to his ever-growing collection of vinyl records. You can follow him on LetterBoxd and make fun of his taste in movies here!