By MC Galang

“If Only,” the latest single from Manila-based music producer LONER, floats delicately like visible motes in daylight. Though faithful to the hallmarks of UK garage—particularly its breakbeat and syncopated, melodic percussions—it’s also flushed with a discernible downtempo strain to it. It is, in a word, fluid.

Its accompanying Dominic Bekaert-directed monochromatic video plays gorgeously with motion, allowing movement to succinctly tell a story. It acts slowly, almost suspended, especially during the track’s more muted moments. This sluggish pace offers its own respite and in some ways, merit: to see details we would otherwise overlooked in the bustle, to take stock in our past through our present, and to reveal the fleetingness of youth. 

“If Only” is both intimate and expansive, in the way it obsessively revisits personal regrets as well as confronts institutional failures—revelatory truths that always present themselves in the end.

Stream on Spotify

HEADER IMAGE: Lean Ordinario/YouTube