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Jan 282015
 

Sezairi

We’re digging the new Malay single from Sezairi – “Jangan Coba Berlari” (roughly translated as “Don’t try to run”) as it oozes the smooth classic pop-soul vibe that the singer-songwriter has made his name on.

The song was written by well-respected Indonesian pop singer Tulus and was produced in Bandung as well, with the final result reflective of that fact.

The video (directed by Helmindra) is highly watchable — cleverly made up of various long takes — and complements the intimate nature of the song itself. Check it out!

Web: http://www.sezairisezali.net
Instagram/Twitter: @sezairi
YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/subscribetosezairi

 

Jan 272015
 

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Tim De Cotta (Bass/ Vocals), Audrey Tengkey (Piano, Keys and Synth) and Teo Jia Rong (Drums) make up TAJ, bringing forth an exciting new venture, and great contribution to Singapore’s contemporary jazz scene.

Now the above (from the Darker Than Wax press release) sums it up pretty well. 70s jazz fusion lovers (with emphasis on ‘fusion’) will dig TAJ’s debut EP – The Astral Journey – for its grooves, virtuosity and attitude. Followers of old school soul-R&B-funk will thrill to the authentic spirit behind songs like “Taj Yo’self” and “Old Town MOFO”, not to mention the dreamy title track that demonstrates so much emotional resonance, it’s hard not to fall in love with Audrey Tengkey’s fingers… and the sultry vocoder-ized vox on “Daydream”. Too much sexy. Something for everybody here! Get in!! Now!!!

But of course, we wanted to know more about the folk behind the awesome music and so I present to you… TAJ, in their own words…

How did the band get together?

We got together by chance actually. It was 2012 when Tim and Audrey went with the Singapore contingent to MIDEM in Cannes, and through rehearsals for this showcase Audrey and Tim got to know and like their musical styles in their respective bands. So when they came back Audrey invited Tim to an open jam session at LaSalle with other young musicians and students. It was a shed session to just have fun and also to try new things. Drummers, keyboardists, bassists and turntablists even. So JR was one of the drummers there and as the jam went on, it was clear that the chemistry between the 3 of us whenever we were on our instruments together was really strong! We didn’t just jam the songs per se but we moved and evolved them in a matter of minutes. So eventually, we started meeting more and more often, till it became just exclusive to the 3 of us, jamming covers and then eventually writing our own music. It happened very naturally and faster than usual, also because we became great friends. TAJ was born and on 1 Oct 2013, we released our single “The Astral Journey”.

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Jan 262015
 

BrookeFraser

As part of her 2015 Brutal Romantic World Tour, Brooke Fraser will be making her Asian debut in Singapore on 20 March at the Kallang Theatre.

Ticket sales will commence on 27 January 2015, and are priced from $58 to $148. Limited VIP Meet and Greet Passes are available at $40.

Fans can subscribe to Sprout Entertainment’s online newsletter at www.Facebook.com/SproutEntertainment for instant ticketing discounts.

Jan 252015
 
CliffYeo_FutureIslands_005

Future Islands by Cliff Yeo

What was my day like at Laneway SG 2015? Really good fun actually, meeting loads of cool music people (you know who you are!), boozin’ and enjoying pretty useful festival food as well. The people watching was fruitful – looking at the sweet young things in their hipster outfits made me feel like an anthropologist (okay, not really).

I was so comfortable and chilled out that I wasn’t even bothered by the fact that most of the music was average at best. Also, rock bands were showcased in the afternoon (where the audience was smaller) but it all felt like an afterthought.

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Jan 222015
 

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Who says you can’t make any money doing music in Singapore, eh?

But seriously folks, this is indicative of the Singapore public’s interest in music in 2014 and a great way to start the musical calendar. I will covering the festival as usual and am looking forward most to good music and good company.

My personal picks are: –

Hanging Up the Moon (Cloud Stage, 6.35pm)

.gif (Cloud Stage, 5.20pm)

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Jan 212015
 

Re-Wind

The original line up of Miami Power Pop legends, The Wind, are back with their first release in 30 years….Re-Wind!

Singer-songwriters, Lane Steinberg & Steven Katz (aka Steve Barry) have worked together as both the creative force behind The Wind (1981-1988), and as a duo under the name Tan Sleeve (1998-present).

Now that drummer Steve Burdick is back, Re-Wind represents the trio’s first recordings for over 25 years and for power pop fans, it’s good news. Very good, in fact. The moment “Fight Like a Girl” kicks in with its guitar arpeggios and floor toms, it’s obvious that the band has lost none of its chops and sets the tone for the rest of this album. The warm balladry of “Let Me Show You How It’s Done”, the jaunty jollity of “Weak Spot” and the folk-rock of “Yes and No”demonstrate The Wind’s mastery over the melodic rock form, complemented superbly by the high production values. Re-Wind is a great-sounding album and comes with our highest recommendations.

We managed to pick Steve Katz’s brains to talk about the return of The Wind.

What was the impetus to re-form The Wind?

When Lane Steinberg and I look back on all our musical endeavors over the years, both together and separately, the early years of The Wind was the high point, due to the chemistry we had with drummer Steve Burdick. Steve had played drums on several songs on all the Tan Sleeve CDs. So it was almost The Wind, but not quite. Making a whole album as The Wind seemed like a logical step that we should have taken awhile ago.

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Jan 202015
 

CambridgePromo

Aussie punk rockers Cambridge to open for New Found Glory in Singapore. Listen to “Head Over Heels” and “Hit and Run” below.

Event Details
Event Title: New Found Glory Live in Singapore 2015
Date: Thursday 12th February 2015
Venue: SCAPE The Ground Theatre
Time: 8.00PM
Event Hashtag: #NFGSG

Ticketing Details
Ticketing: http://newfoundglory.peatix.com
VIP: $118 (Meet & Greet / Photo Opp with NFG)
Standard: $78
Early Bird: $68 (until 31 December 2359hrs, or until sold-out)
At Door (12 Feb): $98
*All ticket prices includes ticket fee. All prices in SG$

Jan 202015
 

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On January 20th, These Brittle Bones (aka Chris Jones) will be releasing the first part of his double EP, which will be called Hiraeth Part 1: The Bedroom EP, part 2 will be released in February and is called The Studio EP. Part 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Spotify, with each track being released a week apart until the whole EP is available. The EPs will also be accompanied by personal commentary by Chris and various visual aspects which add to the experience.

Check it out on Spotify, where you can now listen to “Remain”, a sparsely atmospheric track that is quite a departure from Jones’ previous works.

Website http://thesebrittlebones.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thesebrittlebones
Twitter https://twitter.com/brittlebonesuk
Instagram http://instagram.com/thesebrittlebones/
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwths3j4dQIjEhqfirWACsA
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/thesebrittlebonesmusic

Jan 192015
 

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“I’m really disappointed to not be able to play these shows. The touring has been so enjoyable for me and the band and the audiences have been great everywhere. If it was about just me just being unwell I would have found a way to continue as I did when I broke my hand last year, but to not be there for one of my family is not right. Thank you to everyone for the kind messages. See you soon. Johnny. X”

Nuff said!

All tickets purchased for February 9th show in Singapore are transferable to the new date on July 30th.

A full refund will be made through Sistic for those who cannot attend rescheduled on July 30th.

“Easy Money” indeed…

… still there’s more … 

Jan 192015
 

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— Press release —

Without music, Dr. Martens would have remained a workwear boot. As part of its deep-rooted relationship with music, subcultures and music icons, Dr. Martens is proud to partner with Laneway Festival for the third time this January 24th, 2015 at The Meadow, Gardens by The Bay.

Dr. Martens not only offers the perfect rain-and-muck-proof boots for stomping festival grounds, it will also provide fun/survival essentials to Laneway Festival 2015.

Here are the highlights:
Dr. Martens Laneway Festival Kit
Dr. Martens Vending Machine of Quintessentially English Snacks: Parma Violets, Marmite Crisps, Walkers Worchester Sauce Crisps, and the like.
Hello Stranger Photo Booth: It didn’t happen if there weren’t photos.
The Best Punk Portaloo This Land Has Seen: for a culturally immersive lavatory experience.

— End of Press Release —

Yes! See you all at Laneway Singapore 2015 this coming Saturday.

Jan 182015
 

Whiplash_poster

Written & directed by Damien Chazelle
Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons & Paul Reiser.

Whiplash – the story of Andrew Neiman (Teller), a young jazz drummer who attends one of the best music schools in the country under the tutelage of Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons), the school’s fearsome maestro of jazz – has been the surprise package for the Academy Awards, garnering Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Simmons.

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Jan 172015
 

stagefright-xvi

I have a dream.

Of a Singapore music scene where the majority of venues feature Singaporean songs. Where Singaporean songs are given the same love as foreign songs. Where Singaporeans are not unduly prejudiced against a song simply because it’s written by a fellow Singaporean.

Yes I am biased. It’s true that I love Singapore music because it’s made by people I know and love. But I love good music even more. For Singapore music to be better, our bands/artists need more opportunities to play their own music. It’s common sense, really.

That’s where platforms like StageFright @ Artistry and the upcoming SGMUSO Songwriters Night come in – to give Singapore bands/artists that opportunity. Nobody is born as an adult – it takes time for a baby to become a child and to be fully matured – so it’s the same with musicians/songwriters.

Here are some of the songwriters that will grace the Artistry stage on Wed, 21st Jan – please come down and support us and help make my dream come true!

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Jan 162015
 

Rundman

The best part about running Power of Pop for over 15 years is the opportunity to interact with artists who are as obsessed about music as I am. Case in point: singer-songwriter Jonathan Rundman whom I first got a review request from, in 1998! Since then, we have remained in contact whenever Rundman had a new release – which I was more than happy to review. So it’s particularly satisfying to write about Rundman’s latest release – LOOK UP!

Rundman is the classic pop-rock singer-songwriter as he combines elements of country-folk in a smart amalgam of 60s and 70s pop and rock influences and certainly fans of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Bruce Cockburn will warm to his music easily. After all, when melodic pleasure meets with clever lyricism, it isn’t too demanding to desire further investigation.

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Jan 152015
 

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Last but not least by any means, Joie Tan will close StageFright XVI @ Artistry on 21st January 2015.

I spoke to Joie late last year mainly about her experience building a fan base on YouTube.

How did you get started on YouTube? How old were you?
I started on YouTube after watching Alyssa Bernal’s covers. She was a big inspiration for me and I felt like I could really relate to her and grew to become a huge fan. Thereafter, I felt inspired to start my own channel and finally did it in 2008. I was 13.

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Jan 152015
 

GarfieldsBirthday

For better or worse, Garfields Birthday is a Power of Pop kind of band. Meaning that the music of Garfields Birthday upholds all the principles that Power of Pop believes must exist in order for music to be vital and powerful. Strong melodies with classic pop-rock arrangements and an uncompromising attitude to make music that is all about… the music.

Since the mid-90s – the height of Britpop – Garfields Birthday has been sporadically releasing EPs and albums that have never failed to adhere to the classic pop-rock aesthetic, even as this kind of music continues to be marginalized in the mainstream pop world.

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Jan 142015
 

SpotifyLogo

What’s new this second week of the year? Let’s check in with Spotify, shall we?

MARK RONSON – UPTOWN SPECIAL

Fairly old school soul in tone from the British famed producer. Actually though the album’s introductory track was a rip off of Stevie Wonder, when it’s the man himself. Doh! Probably the hipster-est release this week.

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Jan 142015
 

stagefright-1-1

Mention the word ‘cadence’ during a music theory class and chances are that panicked students will be racking their brains to recall what that term means (true story!). As highlighted in their bio, #sgindie rock band Cadence explains that it is “a section in a musical piece which creates a sense of resolution, or the measure of a cyclist’s pace”.

Cadence

The bio goes on – “The band’s music runs either fast and loud, or slow and yearning. If it sounds desperate, that’s because it probably is. The sound of five, taking a shot in the dark, hoping to create something to believe in”.

The band consists of Seth Chiam (Vocals, Guitar); Angus Sham (Guitar); Nathan Huang (Guitar); Japheth Ng (Bass) and Dominic Goh (Drums). At StageFright, we have been quite blessed to experience many bands that have delivered stellar performances despite the space constraints at Artistry, using the limitations to their advantage (instead of sulking about them). Stopgap, Catalogue V, Doves & Ravens, Atlas, Enec.e and Sapporo Safaris are just a couple of great examples. So don’t miss Cadence as they open StageFright XVI @ Artistry on 21st January!

Artistry is located at 17 Jalan Pinang.

… still there’s more … 

Jan 132015
 

echodrone

A band that lives up to its name! SF outfit Echodrone finds a nice balance between 90s shoegaze and new millennial electronica, covering the gamut from driving rock to ambient textures with equal intensity. Consisting of Brandon Dudley, Eugene Suh, Jim Hrabak, Mike Funk & Rachel Lopez, the quintet has been active since 2005 and latest album – Five – finds the band in an assured place creatively, bringing together the pleasing elements of soaring guitars, pummeling rhythms and hypnotic motifs to produce a work that hits all the right buttons.

We got in touch with Echodrone to find out more about what the band are about.

What are the records that inspired your sound?

I think you can see a wide variety of influences in our music :)

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Jan 122015
 

POPTV

Music videos of new releases PoP will be covering soon…

JONATHAN RUNDMAN “PRIORITIZE US”

Off upcoming new album Look Up.

FERAL CONSERVATIVES “MISFIRE”

Off upcoming new EP, The Feeling Noise Becomes.

JSMN “MY WAY”

Off the JSMN (Blue Album) out now!

… still there’s more … 

Jan 112015
 

Frank_movie_poster

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Written by Jon Ronson & Peter Straughan
Starring  Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scott McNairy and Michael Fassbender. 

What is music? A business? Yes, certainly but what about art? Of course, but sometimes music is life and there’s nothing more. For Jon (Gleeson), music is the ticket out of his mundanity as he dreams of becoming a professional pop songwriter.

Then rather serendipitously Jon ends up playing keyboards in the experimental outfit Soronprfbs, fronted by the enigmatic Frank (Fassbender) who wears a papier-mâché head 24/7. Despite his seemingly best intentions, Jon attempts to use the Soronprfbs – and especially Frank – to further his own agenda to be a successful musician.

Along the way, manager Don (Scott McNairy) and band colleague Clara (Gyllenhaal) try to dissuade Jon from setting Frank down the road to public acceptance but Jon is undaunted, with predictably disastrous consequences.

Taking inspiration from real life quirky musical geniuses like Captain Beefheart, Daniel Johnston and most of all, Chris Sievey’s Frank Sidebottom persona, Frank is a superbly dark comic take on contemporary pop culture’s need to flatten any unique idiosyncrasy into compliant uniformity.

For everyone who believes that pop music needs to remain strange and magical, this one’s for you.

Jan 102015
 

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Dublin trio No Spill Blood do an excellent job in mixing up various cool influences to produce a visceral sound that fans of progressive metal will thoroughly enjoy. Consisting of Matt Hedigan (bass/vocals), Ruadhan O’Meara (keyboards/vocals) and Ror Conaty (drums), the band have concocted a debut full length that fans of Black Sabbath, Killing Joke, Trans Am & The Melvins will not want to miss. O’Meara’s keyboards is the distinguishing factor and the absence of a guitar does not diminish the immediacy or heaviness one bit. Tracks like the driving “Back to the Earth” & “Now II”, the dark electronic title track, the manic “Thinner”, the punk-ish “El Duurto” and the riff-tastic opener “White Out” bear testimony to the trio’s eclecticism in the midst of its consistent. sonic agenda.

Keyboardist/singer Ruad O’Meara kindly agreed to answer our probing queries via email.

Does the band name have anything to do with Island of Dr Moreau?

It does indeed, or more specifically the film version “The Island of Lost Souls”. Its also the title of an Oingo Boingo song, and its also where DEVO got “Are we not men” from jocko homo etc. It seemed fitting to get a bunch of references in at once!

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