The amount of new music releases in 2015 is staggering. And it’s basically impossible to be able to listen to everything out there. But when it comes to Singapore Rock, well then it is possible to almost do just that.
Thus, a justification for this list – our recommendations for those of you who have recently come aboard the S-ROCK train. Welcome to the rest of your life!
An opportunity to watch singer-songwriter Charlie Lim in performance is always one to grasp with both hands. So thanks to Sarah Sim (Riot!) for putting me on the guest list for this wonderful event.
Regular visitors to Power of Pop will be aware that my definition of “pop” is pretty wide. But of course, in the context of modern pop (read: vacuous) , that definition becomes somewhat irrelevant for my purposes. Also, if I say “rock ‘n’ roll”, most people will think of the 50s (read: dated) and so, sometimes I need to be uber-specific and say “country-folk-pop-rock” to describe the type of pop music that I love. Hope that clarifies. From that perspective, I wanted to share very specifically, the bands and artists in Singapore whom I feel fit that particular bill and hope that you’d discover some new music to love as well.
CHEATING SONS – JEFFERSON (LIVE)
Though still unreleased, this country-folk masterpiece always resonates with me whenever the band plays it – which in my view is not often enough!
Pick up the new Cheating Sons album from Bandcamp.
HANGING UP THE MOON – THE DIVERS
Sean Lam (aka Hanging Up the Moon) somewhat resists any attempt to associate his wonderful music with that of the past (which I appreciate) but seriously folks, this gorgeous music is highly evocative of early 70s folk-rock. And what is the problem with that??? Beautiful.
Available at iTunes!
So here’s my TODAY interview with Jaime Wong. Now, I hope you figured out that that headline came from my editor! But to be fair, I chickened out from coming up with one, so….
Check out the article and don’t forget that Jaime launches her EP on May 15, 7.30pm at Lepark, People’s Park Complex rooftop. Tickets from http://jaimewongep.peatix.com. You can buy the EP on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/album/jaime-wong-ep/id979791050)
I first fell in love with the music of Jaime Wong back in 2012 when I mentored her for an afternoon as the winner of the Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter Programme. The song that did the most damage was the atmospheric “Skin” and spending time with this down-to-earth easy-going talent was a pleasure. Thus, it was no surprise to me when Jaime won the Noise Singapore Award a year later because once this unassuming young lady is on stage, she tends to draws everyone watching into her melancholy world of broken hearts and lost love.
So I was thrilled to receive her new EP this morning in the mail and instantly fell in love all over again with her music. I guarantee that this four tracks will be on endless repeat once you get hold of the EP (and I wager you would want to). Apart from the shimmering “Skin”, it’s impossible not to be mesmerised by the luscious “Shame on You,” the slightly bouncy “To Lost Love” and the yearning country-folky “2:32 am”.
Yet another winner in an already grand year for Singapore music. Essential.
Jaime’s debut EP will be available for pre-orders this coming Monday, 13/04/15 on iTunes. Pre-order and get an immediate download of “Skin (Wekkit Remix)”, exclusive for digital release.
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2014 is coming quickly to a close but there’s still one more excellent #sgindie single out there demanding your attention. And it is “Skin” from Jaime Wong. I have waited quite a few years for this talented singer-songwriter to finally record “Skin” and I am glad to report that it is a shimmering thing of beauty. The music video might be a little mystifying (as they tend to be) but enjoy the visuals with that awesome song and then pre-order Jaime’s upcoming debut EP to download “Skin” now. You know you need to.
Don’t forget to come down to Artistry on Wednesday 10th December to catch Jaime Wong live together with The Little Giant, from 8pm. $10 at the door.
SGMUSO is proud to present SONGWRITERS WEEK
Our friend Adam Lyons (Lyon Apprentice/FAIRCHILD, Alumni of Music Matters Live) has informed us that he will be coming to town for a week in October for a songwriting collaboration project with a few Singaporean acts at the amazing Beep Studios! At his request, SGMUSO will be helping to facilitate a couple of side events to open up the opportunity to even more Singaporean musicians to get together, know their community, perform and also encourage cross-collaboration amongst each other locally and internationally.
SONGWRITERS OPEN CIRCLE
7th October 2014, TUESDAY
7PM – 9.30PM
LITHE PARALOGUE STUDIO
We will be kicking off the week with an intimate SONGWRITERS OPEN CIRCLE, a sharing session in which we would like to invite all songwriters, producers and music-makers to join us for a chat and jam. We hope to provide a small creative space for everyone to get together to know their community, discuss and exchange ideas, stories and processes, tips on getting ideas on paper and then in the studio, to collaborate musically – all in an relaxed and improvised setting. The intimate vibe of the songwriter’s circle will allow for a unique discussion and improvised performance. Musicians can choose to bring along their own instruments to share a couple of songs at the open circle. Musicians that attend will be encouraged to sign up for our open jam at the Songwriters Night at Timbre Barbershop at the end of the week. Special guest, Adam Lyons will be present to drive this Open Circle session!
Big shout-out and love to Lithe Paralogue Studio for letting us use their lovely space!
*Limited seats only. Send your RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6th Oct to reserve a seat!
Bring your own food and booze!!
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For me, this year’s Baybeats is all about people. Watching aspiring musicians grow into great bands and artists and getting the response and acclaim that they so richly deserve. Wishing the very best for them on stage as they take another step towards fulfilling their musical dreams.
Last night, I was so happy to see Stopgap open the Powerhouse performances with an assured set. I recall first seeing them at last year’s auditions and rooting for their progress but alas one wrong song choice and they were booted out (yes I was pissed off!). But kudos to the band for learning from that experience, getting onto the Noise Mentorship Programme, making it on the second attempt (YES!) and generally having the best possible attitude in doing their best in our music scene. So yes, their moment in the spotlight was fully deserved! And I believe there’s more in store for these boys!!
Over at the Concourse, DEON did what he did best – deliver sparkling pop-rock with a refreshing honesty – Deon Toh is as real as it gets! Getting to know Deon at the Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriters thingy a few years ago was a genuine blessing and am so pleased at how far he has come since then. Still the same down-to-earth guy, you must really check out his full-length album Antiphobic!
Jaime Wong! What a voice! What great songs! Like Deon, I first met Jaime at the same Noise-Timbre thingy and in her unassuming, deprecating manner she has grown by leaps and bounds. An awesome talent and I really cannot wait to listen to her debut EP when it comes out in the next few months.
Kudos to The Esplanade for giving Singapore bands and artists this amazing showcase! Long may Baybeats run!
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Which bands/artists will Power of Pop be focusing on during the next three nights of Baybeats 2014?
STOPGAP | Powerhouse 7.30pm SPHAERAS | Arena 8.00pm DEON | Chillout Stage 9.15pm
JAIME WONG | Chillout Stage 10.15pm GIANTS MUST FALL | Arena 10.15pm
ENEC.E | Chillout Stage 5.00pm LOST WEEKEND | Arena 6.00pm BANI HIDIR | Chillout Stage 7.00pm
SSIGHBORGGG | Arena 8.15pm LIGHTCRAFT | Arena 9.15pm INCH | Arena 10.30pm
PITCH FEATHER | Chillout Stage 5.45pm .GIF | Chillout Stage 6.45pm
PIXEL APARTMENT | Chillout Stage 7.45pm MONSTER CAT | Arena 9pm
Have a great Baybeats weekend!
First met Ms Wong maybe three years ago as the the first-ever winner of the Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter Programme. She also bagged the $5,000 Noise prize as well! And now she’s playing at Baybeats! Well-deserved. So let’s see how Jaime copes with our FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014.
Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?
I will performing with my band in an acoustic setting with violinist Josh Wei for the first time. Josh and I will be performing as a duo in the second set, so it will be very interesting to hear how my originals will play out in those settings. I will also be performing new songs and tracks off my upcoming EP, Skin!
Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?
Baybeats is probably THE music festival every Singaporean musician dreams of playing at. Although I have played at the Esplanade before, playing alongside established acts such as Inch and MONSTER CAT, and my friends, Atlas and Stopgap is just an absolute honour. It really marks my progress as a musician as I go on to the next stage of releasing my debut EP.
Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?
I think I offer something different as a folkpop-ish female singer-songwriter in Singapore. And my voice is pretty low for a female vocalist.
If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?
Bani Hidir, Sphaeras and Pixel Apartment.
Bani because I’ve known him mostly from his role as the bassist and vocalist of the band 53A, and he is an awesome musician (plays like 16246154 different musical instruments). So I am really looking forward to watch him play his originals as a singer-songwriter.
I first watched Sphaeras’ perform at Atlas’ album launch and they just blew me away with their math-rock instrumental stuff. Their music puts you in an inspirational, ‘revived’ kind of mood/state.
Pixel Apartment because Jordan is pretty much a one-man band. I came across Pixel Apartment’s music on Youtube about 5 years ago and his song “Paper Aeroplane” really stuck with me. I’ve never had a chance to watch him perform live so I am really excited about his set!
When and where are you playing at Baybeats?
27th June, Friday, 7:15pm and 10:15pm at the Chillout Stage (Esplanade Concourse).
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You could say that this event was almost a year in the making. Having spoken to Timbre co-founder Danny Loong about a dedicated programme for Singapore singer-songwriters in March 2010, it was very satisfactory to finally stand on the Timbre stage and host this event. Happy to say that the venue was packed and particularly so to see my RP students (viz Bryan, Linqi, Emily and Peiqi) turn up as well! In addition, the support of Noise Singapore has been invaluable to the cause.
I am counting on all you Power of Pop regulars to be at Timbre @ Substation in force to support this landmark event – let’s show everyone that Singapore songwriting is worth the time, effort and $$$! Not forgetting also the Noise music showcases. A good S-ROCK week, all told!
Come up and say hi – take a photo with me and I will post it here on Power of Pop!
… still there’s more …