5 Dong Ke – Canh Mat Troi (Wings of the Sun)

5 Dong Ke is apparently a very conceptual group. Its previous record, Tu Tinh Ca, was based around a style of a cappella. Its new released, Canh Mat Troi (Wings of the Sun), is structured in a storytelling experience: Track one tells a tale of a new day, in which all the creatures lilting to the rhythm of life; track two reflects on a childhood memory with the details of the kite flies high in the peaceful sky; and on the stories go.

Even the music arrangements have been conceptualized. Like its contemporary peers, 5DK always explores new sound (acoustic instrumentations and new-age groove). Unlike Tung Duong and Ngoc Khue, the group’s approach is more accessible. My personal favorite is the synthesis between western rhythm and eastern string in “Doc Huyen Cam,” one of the four tracks on the album written and composed by Bao Lan who is one of the members of the group. The plucking monochord sounds eerie and exotic against the space-out groove.

Although the musical production breathes fresh air into the album, what makes 5DK unique is how beautiful the girls sound together. Their tones are flawless on the spellbinding “Ban Mai” (“Morning”) accompanied only by Viet Anh’s arresting piano. And just imagine that somehow all four girls trying to convince you to stay with them—”Nguoi oi nguoi o dung ve”—would you have the heart to walk away? Hell no.

Bonjour Vietnam