Selected pics from Neon Lights Day One (28th Nov) by Jazreel-Anne.
The new kid on the block, Neon Lights sought to cover as much ground as possible in terms of appealing to the broadest demographics. Presumably, this was deemed necessary by Neon Lights to distinguish itself from the other big-scale music festivals in Singapore viz. Laneway and The Gathering (formerly Hostess Club Weekender).
To that end, Neon Lights featured comedy, arts and children entertainment, possibly in an attempt to encourage families to make it a day (or two) out for the weekend.
I am listening to the Letters to Ubin EP and smiling to myself because I am thinking of how a critic/observer of the local scene slammed iNCH’s music for being ‘soft’ and ‘not edgy’. Fact is that could not be further from the truth. Perhaps that critic was fooled by iNCH’s public persona! Certainly, there are numerous elements of Letters to Ubin that most casual listeners would consider too arty and indulgent — definitely ‘edgy’!
Indie rockers Stopgap have issued a music video for “Nervous” – a track off upcoming new album Totems. Not quite sure if it’s the strongest song the band have ever written but there you go.
… still there’s more …
It begins with a sharp intake of breath before it engages in an almost five minutes examination of arty minimalism. Not exactly a track that jumps out at it but more like a steady grower.
Back in 2011, in a public Facebook note, singer-songwriter iNCH (a.k.a Inch Chua) criticised Singaporean attitudes toward local music. iNCH even moved out of Singapore (to the US) in order to pursue her musical career. Four years later, back in Singapore, as a packed audience demonstrates their hearty approval, iNCH is moved to tears by a post-gig video filled with expressions of congratulations, love, admiration and celebration for the launch of iNCH’s new EP, Letters to Ubin.
Now here’s one that snuck under the radar. Released earlier in the month, this is a three-track EP that contains some of the better pop songs heard this year.
Laneway Singapore 2016 promises to be the music festival all hip music kids need to be seen at – and this was doubly confirmed by the news that British hip rock outfit 1975 will headline the festival when it returns to our shores on 30th January.
We urge the Organisers of Countdown 2016 to recognize and respect the values of the majority of Singapore that has voiced its desire to preserve our nation’s moral fibre.
The above is from a petition to stop American singer Adam Lambert from performing at Countdown 2016. Amongst the objections, are the fact that Lambert is gay and his shows are sexually charged.
Neon Lights Festival is upon us this weekend (28 – 29 Nov) and these are the acts we are most looking forward to.
The state of pop circa 2015. The record-breaking new album from British songstress encapsulates all you need to know about pop music in the here and now. It’s about songwriting collaborations – Adele co-wrote the songs with eleven other songwriters/producers – including Max Martin, Greg Kurstin and Tobias Jesso Jr.
Ian Axel and Chad King of piano pop band A Great Big World (AGBW) seem to have hit on that elusive formula that makes their songs both irresistibly catchy AND strikingly authentic.
A mere 12 hours after hearing their sophomore album When The Morning Comes in its entirety, I was already easily singing along to the big melodic hooks and memorable choruses of every song. At the same time, the unique vulnerability in the words being sung was reeling me in, giving these (otherwise pretty simple) lyrics an emotional depth you wouldn’t normally expect from “happy clappy” pop tunes.
If you’re a fan of classic prog rock and Genesis, then arguably, it is worth noting the role of keyboards maestro Tony Banks in shaping the sound of both. However, if one talks about Genesis, the focus is usually on Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins and maybe at a pinch, Mike Rutherford. I have been obsessed with Banks compositions on Genesis albums for a long time, and this is an opportunity to share this passion with the world!
“I’m a Blackstar”
Two years ago, David Bowie returned to the spotlight with the release of The Next Day, his magnificent comeback album. On 8th January 2016, Bowie drops his new LP, Blackstar.
Some respite for true pop lovers from the onslaught of the prefabricated anti-music dominating the current Billboard charts in the form of a new Squeeze album! Yes! When frontman Glenn Tilbrook was in Singapore last year, he mentioned that the band was recording a new album and here it is – Cradle to the Grave – the band’s first album of new material since 1998!
It’s amazing to consider that a mere decade ago, bands dominated the local indie music landscape. Now, singer-songwriters release music with a frequency that suggests some kind of epoch is upon us. This is a natural development of a maturing music scene. After all, singer-songwriters can express themselves to an audience without a band and thus, in practical terms it’s easier for singer-songwriters to find performance opportunities.
Russian post-rockers Around The World In 80 Days make its performance debut in Singapore on 18th November.
A good song is a good song!
People often think that pop music needs to divided into different genres and generations and never the twain shall meet. But artists never think that way. It would be fair to describe Swedish-born Berlin-based electronic music producer and DJ Axel Willner (aka The Field) as part of the modern day pop scene & fail to appreciate the fact that Willner is inspired and influenced by music from all genres and all generations. Critics may have labelled The Field under the ‘minimal techno’ genre but throughout his career he has resisted been pigeonholed to such an extent that he has utilised different monikers (Eg. Cordouan, James Larsson, Loops of Your Heart, Porte and Hands) to escape the straightjacket of critics’ and fans’ limited expectations.
As part of the effort to promote The Field’s performance at Neon Lights Festival at 6.15pm, we had an email exchange with the forward-thinking artist.
A heartbreaking music video for JAWN’s “Chase Away the Dark”. The story is rooted in the fantastical & the real, simultaneously. Seriously, this is a powerful short film in its own right.
JAWN’s debut EP is available on streaming on both Spotify and Apple Music, and if you want to support him, it’s also available for purchase on iTunes for $6.98.
Cadence formed a year ago & in that one year, they have already played at Baybeats Festival as a Budding Band! Well, that is quite often the ‘be all and end all’ for a local indie-alternative rock band. But at the launch of its debut EP – Heights – at Hood Bar last night, there was evidence that the band might just have the potential to truly make a name for itself, not just in our indie music scene but even beyond our shores.
Polymath – “a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas”.
I am certainly not suggesting that JAWN (aka Jon Chan) is Leonardo Da Vinci but at a superficial level, I found the above definition to be representative of my experience of JAWN.
For most of its first run, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) operated as a band. However, in effect the success of ELO was really down to one person viz. singer-songwriter-musician-producer Jeff Lynne. Thus, this album of new material — the first since 2001’s Zoom — is credited to “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” and perhaps rightly so. Though personally, ELO would have done it for me — I mean ELO fans know who is the force behind those wonderful songs.
LAMC Productions has announced that Sheffield’s Bring Me The Horizon are set to perform in Singapore on Thursday, 28 January, 2016, 8pm at SCAPE* Playspace!