Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Wind Meets West (Tony Nguyen) is ready to go all in for his dream of being a musician. “Gave Up,” his latest single and first venture into the world of indie pop, is a testament to that cause.
With roots in classical and jazz training, Nguyen first found his voice with the release of last year’s aptly named Promising EP—a short three song collection that tested the waters for the artist. Promising EP was an easy enough listen, providing safe pop songs in the vein of adult contemporary music. But what his debut lacked in complexity, it made up in showcasing Nguyen’s stunning, booming voice. Best described as a more polished, stripped back version of Arthur Ashin’s (Autre Ne Veut) strident singing style, Nguyen’s unique vocal abilities are worth getting excited about.
On “Gave Up,” Nguyen rightfully uses that voice as the star of the show. For a song about “leaving a relationship in Boston to pursue being an indie-pop singer-songwriter in New York City,” there’s an unmistakable emotional core that is only brought out by Nguyen’s stirring vocals. After a quiet build up, “Gave Up” explodes with sentiment–hitting its climax right when Nguyen belts out the titular chorus (“I gave you up”). In its very message and core, it’s a song that reflects that emotional push and pull of making a bittersweet decision, and that uncertainty of never really knowing where you’re headed. Topped with personal, intimate lyrics (“There’s poetry in the margins / Of the book that you’ve given to me / To remind me of what we used to be / When love was just a seed”), “Gave Up” is a triumphant rebranding of Nguyen’s sound, and a definitive push in the right direction.
Wind Meets West will release his second EP, Piece of You, in July.
Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think.
He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.