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Aug 252014
 

Alex Goot (Photo credit: Dawn Chua)

(by Nikita Wong)

A throbbing mass of fans, pulsating with the energy that was carried with a throng of people at the front of the stage. Snaking queues were formed from 6.30pm as fervent fans of Alex Goot and Against The Current rushed to get the best spot to catch a glimpse of their idols. Held on the 21st of August 2014, from 7.30pm – 11pm at Scape The Ground Theatre, Gentle Bones and The Summer State graced the stage as the opening acts for the night.

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Aug 252014
 

Staer

Not only is The Observatory Singapore’s premiere art-rock band, it also provides an avenue by which experimental rock lovers can discover new music. Case in point, this Thursday (28th August) The Observatory presents Norwegian noise-rockers Staer (above) and Black Packers (below) at the Substation Theatre ($15 at the door) promising a night of noise, with an advisory for pundits to be equipped with earplugs. Tis gonna be loud!

Black Packers

Don’t believe me? Check Staer out below…

See you on Thursday night!

Aug 212014
 

As we head into the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence, it does seem that our beloved local indie music scene is slowly gaining increasing general appreciation and acceptance. Last night’s Originals Sing @ Artistry featured two young bands that caught my ear at last year’s Baybeats auditions. It was exciting to witness how far they have come since then. Mannequins possesses a retro vibe that sets them apart from most alternative rock bands here but more importantly, their songs have a melodic vim that resonates with this classic pop lover.

Stopgap has definitely gone from strength to strength since missing out on the Baybeats auditions last year and have been playing gigs everywhere. The band performed at the first STAGEFRIGHT way back in February 2013 and last night at Originals Sing blew everyone away with an impressive set. The boys have a great proactive attitude and I can see them going far if the planets align nicely for them. Fingers crossed!

Pleasantry – “recycling musicians from active as well as inactive bands” – finally releases a full-length album, Synapses, which to these ears is one of the most complete summations of what indie pop offers us in 2014. Since getting a review copy yesterday, it has been on repeat (yeah, the entire album) and I am so impressed at how well it hangs together. But at its core is an understanding of how to emotionally connect with an audience with melody and instrumentation. It is simply gorgeous. The band launches Synapses (with guests galore) at the Esplanade Recital Studio tomorrow night (Friday, 22nd August). Tickets available from SISTIC. In the meantime, check out the lovely new single, “False Realities”.

… still there’s more …

Aug 192014
 

Ralegh Long is a London-based singer-songwriter that Power of Pop recommends highly as he evokes timeless musical references with his original compositions. Catch him at Artistry tonight from 8pm with support from the hugely talented Pixel Apartment. Entry by donation. More details below.

Artist info

Ralegh Long is a Singer-Songwriter from London. After two critically acclaimed E.Ps, his debut album is expected in Spring 2015. This pastoral debut features a cast of collaborators including Tom Dougall of Toy, string-arranger Louis-Philippe, and Jack Hayter (ex-Hefner).

Pixel Apartment is an experimental one man band consisting of electronic musician Jordan Chia. A multi-instrumentalist and visual designer, he links both worlds seamlessly into a unique experience. Get immersed in ultra-sub frequencies and beats from outer space.

 

Aug 172014
 

Pleasantry-Ignite

What did Nikita Wong think of the 2nd day of the Ignite Music Festival 2014? Let’s find out?

Beaming coloured lights, cascading guitar licks and mellifluous vocals attracted the crowd at 5.30pm. The crowd was swaying in the breeze as they crooned away with the band. Concert goers were clad in casual wear to attend the outdoor music festival with beach mats scattered across the ground as they gathered to catch the band performing. Ignite Music Festival is held on an annual basis at Republic Polytechnic (RP). This year it was held from the 15th to the 16th of August 2014 in the evening.

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Aug 132014
 

Amateur Takes Control is pretty active for a nominally dormant band with a compilation record coming out next week and an one-off reunion show this coming Friday, 15th August at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. So if dynamic post-rock instrumentals are your thing, go check them out before ATC go on hiatus…

 

Aug 042014
 

3theshow poster 2 small

Epic Malaysian post-rock band COMA is coming to Singapore to share the stage with sonic pirates In Each Hand A Cutlass, and fusion geniuses of NeoDominatrix at Hood Bar And Cafe on Saturday 6 September 2014. COMA will debut on our shores celebrating its 10th year of music making. Prepare for the onslaught of sensory pleasures induced by an aural blanket tethering on the dark and heavy.

Presenting the show is LivePod, a new indie music promoter, and created as an extension of 4 year old art collective SPORE Art Salon. There are several shows in the pipeline that will introduce international bands to Singapore audiences in the coming months, and it is with hope that this endeavour will create new relationships, connecting local bands with international music scenes.

Early bird tickets and EP-promo bundles are available now – http://3theshow.peatix.com/

Jul 302014
 

HoobaPhoto2

Hoobastank returns to Singapore for a one-night only live concert at the Coliseum Hard Rock Sentosa on the 30th November 2014.

Details:
Event Title: Hoobastank Live In Singapore 2014
Date: 30th November 2014
Venue: The Coliseum Hard Rock Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa
Time: 8.00pm (Doors open at 7.00pm)
Tickets: On sales from 24th July 9am at Sistic website and at all Sistic counters. Also available at Peatix: http://hoobastank.peatix.com 
Ticket Price:
VIP $188 (include free flow of beer and Meet & Greet)
Standard: $98
At Door: $118
Early Bird $78
All ticket prices on Sistic exclusive ticket charges. Peatix all inclusive.

HOOBASTANK_final_poster_normal

 

 

Jul 242014
 

Two for the price of one, you might say. This coming National Day, Nelson Tan and Amanda Tee will be holding a joint launch for their new respective EPs at Hood Bar. CDs will be on sale at the door; $20 for both EPs or $15 each.

Listen to Nelson’s latest single “Time” (ft. Amanda Tee)

Listen to Amanda’s new single “I Can Feel You”

RSVP

Jul 212014
 
Pic by Stevie Da Canay

Pic by Stevie Da Canay

Regular visitors to PoP will know how much I dig Deap Vally. Made up of Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards – guitar, drumkit and two wild voices – it is no exaggeration to suggest that Deap Vally’s sound is a “breed of visceral, heart-churning rock ‘n’ roll”. So imagine my excitement at discovering that the ladies will be playing in Singapore on Friday, 22nd August courtesy of Doc Martens’ #STANDFORSOMETHING event at Beep Studios.

Craziest part of all? It’s FREE. All you need to do is simply visit Dr. Martens stores to pick up a complimentary pair of tickets* to see Deap Vally. (*While stocks last, limited to 2 tickets per person; no purchase necessary; 18 and above only.) Don’t miss this!

DEAP VALLEY Gig Singapore Social poster

Jul 202014
 

Oscilla-AllFormats web

Art-rockers The Observatory return with a new line-up and a new album. Founding members Leslie Low, Vivian Wang and Dharma are joined by SA’s Cheryl Ong on drums and Yuen Chee Wai on electronics/synths for this latest chapter of the band’s amazing journey.

Obs-sm

Oscilla will be released in various formats - a limited colour vinyl release alongside regular black vinyl LPs, CDs and for the very first time, a limited run of cassettes with free download – on 15th August, which will be supported by two performances on 15th and 16th at The Substation.

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at PM 07.28.49

 

 

 

GENTLE BONES: EP LAUNCH

 MUSIC  Comments Off
Jul 202014
 

Online photo

“I aim to satisfy myself musically and if it happens to relate to the masses I cannot be more than ecstatic. because nothing is more fulfilling than to have people adore the songs that you first came to fall in love with.”

Gentle Bones has come a long way since releasing his debut single “Until I Die” in mid-December last year. Steadily building up a loyal fan base through a subsequent follow-up single “Elusive”, well-received music videos, maturing live performances and genuine grass-root buzz, the affable young singer-songwriter has made his mark on the Singapore music scene.

And there’s more to come, as Gentle Bones launches his debut EP at TAB Singapore on 30th August supported by Samantha Rui and Gareth Fernandez. Tickets now available at http://gentlebones.peatix.com/

The EP will be on sale via iTunes on the 19th of August 2014 and limited autographed physical copies will be available online at http://gentlebones.bigcartel.com.

RSVP

Jul 062014
 

[Poster] Spartak in Singapore

Canberra / Sydney outfit Spartak has launched their brand new record Five Points, out now on the esteemed Sydney label Feral Media. DUNCE. and The Lithe Paralogue, are hosting their album launch in Singapore, this coming Saturday, 12th July, at 7pm.

Spartak will be supported by 3 well-loved local acts, comprising of both veteran and up-and-coming artists:

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Jul 012014
 

Nineties alt-rock fans will be thrilled by the news that Scottish band Travis return to Singapore on 1st August at the Star Performing Arts Centre. The band released their comeback album – Where You Stand – last year after a five year hiatus and this concert promises to be a highlight of 2014!

Tickets are priced from SGD58 (excludes booking fee) and are available via SISTIC.

Listen to our playlist of a possible Travis setlist. Enjoy…

Event page

Jul 012014
 

The latest UK indie sensations? Glass Animals have so far released a couple of singles and EPs but it is their excellent debut LP – ZABA – that their tremendous potential is revealed. Again, for me what makes the Oxford quartet distinctive is their ‘classic’ songwriting. Stylistically, the songs might be indie electro-centric but the strong melodies recalls 80s era Depeche Mode and Sting.

For contemporary references, one might think of Bombay Bicycle Club or perhaps Alt-J but the over-arching emphasis on ‘classic’ pop tunes is the clincher for me! I am thoroughly enjoying the eclectic music inflections in the songs like jazz-soul (“Cocoa Hooves”), world music (“Wala Wala”) and straight-up R&B (“Gooey”) – all enveloped with a knowing contemporary indie pop sheen that will have the indie kids grooving in the aisles.

And… thanks to Nick Whitcomb (Light Organ Records), I will have the opportunity to catch Glass Animals live (!) in Vancouver. More info here! Hopefully, someone brings them to Singapore soon as well!

Official Site

BAYBEATS 2014: DAY THREE

 MUSIC  Comments Off
Jun 292014
 

photo-3

 

Inevitably for me, Day Three of most year’s Baybeats tend to be a little anti-climatic. After the hustle and bustle of the first two days, fatigue sets in and it has not been uncommon for me to sometimes entirely miss Day Three. So with that in mind, I decided to focus on the performances going on at the Chillout Stage (the Concourse) and found the experience thoroughly enlightening!

Pitch Feather delivered high gloss renditions of its excellent debut album – Mountains and Tides – singer Alberta Leong has an appealing voice that embellishes the band’s luscious take on 70s folk music that very quickly endeared them to the rapt audience. Considering this was the band’s very first live performance, there were nerves and a couple of errors but nothing fatal. Would love to see Pitch Feather develop further in the local indie scene.

.gif provide a polar opposite to Pitch Feather’s rustic warm tones with an electro-pop set that once again showcased the vocal talents of Weish. It was instructional as usual to see Weish construct ambient sounds from her vocals to utilize backings for the songs. Far from being cold constructs, the songs seemed vaguely personal as colours and shapes filled the room (figuratively, of course).

Pixel Apartment (aka Jordan Chia) was a sheer delight – both soulfully and intellectually. Operating his one man band (complete with video!) with the main focus on grand piano, Jordan provided a pleasing set which showcased his skills with electronics as well as songwriting. That said, perhaps the high point was Jordan’s wonderful cover of “What Sarah Said” (Death Cab for Cutie) sympathetically played on the piano. Yet another local musician with loads of talent!

And that was Day Three for me. Well satisfied with the slate of promising local musicians enough to believe that the future of the Singapore indie music scene is indeed bright! Thanks again to all the cool people I ran into today and once again to the Esplanade for putting together another first rate Baybeats Festival!

… still there’s more … 

Jun 212014
 

Screen shot 2014-06-21 at PM 01.46.06

The Grizzle Grind Crew just released its debut mixtape Leaders Of The New Skool on Thursday 19 June via Spotify. The album will be free for download on 30 June via the GGC website.

The Grizzle Grind Crew will be headlining the YFest, a youth festival tonight at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. Check ‘em out!

Jun 192014
 
Photo by YC Yak

Photo by YC Yak

Nothing quite compares to an intimate club show where one is able to get up close to the artist. In the past, such gigs were fairly scarce in Singapore as promoters tended to favor artists who could draw upwards of a thousand fans. But thankfully of late, these kinds of gigs are becoming more and more common in the live music scene here with recent examples being And So I Watch You From Afar at Zouk, Dirty Beaches at Pink Noize, Deafheaven at Beep Studios and Music Matters Live at various Clarke Quay outlets.

Spanish artist Russian Red (born Lourdes Hernandez) has played on our shores twice before in close quartered environments and it was pretty much the same on her third visit, this time at TAB. Thus, it was easy to make out Hernandez’s fine outfit of the night – a black frilly dress, shiny golden heels and bangs tied up in a bun – which when combined with a stylish Gretsch electric guitar (whom Hernandez referred to as ‘Gretchen’), provided a somewhat incongruous image of the dainty female rocker.

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Jun 172014
 

The intriguing duo of Sean Patrick Maylone & DeAnthony Nelson Jr. (aka Ssighborggg) answers FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014.

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

DeAnthony: They don’t want to miss these beats..
Sean: It’s a pretty, fruity ruckus.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

DeAnthony :We want to see just how wild Singapore can get into our set. “Let it gooooo!”

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

Sean: Sexual favors.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Sean: Two Million Thanks. .gif, to be fair these are two that I got to give a solid listen to — Two Million Thanks actually I heard a few months ago and it seemed so quirky and playful as a take on math rock.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

Sean: We will be talking, and playing here:

28 JUN, SAT
Lecture 3.30PM – 3.50PM
OBSERVATION DECK (LIBRARY @ ESPLANADE)

28 JUN, SAT
Performance 8.15PM – 8.45PM
ARENA (ESPLANADE OUTDOOR THEATRE)

…still there’s more…

 

Jun 172014
 

To get us all ready for Baybeats 2014, we posed FIVE questions to various bands playing at the upcoming festival. First up, Thailand’s Two Million Thanks!

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

We think if it’s possible people should watch every band performs as well as our band because we are the only band from Thailand and we have our own characteristics and uniqueness.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

We are very excited. It is a great opportunity that we do not get often to play abroad. Especially in Singapore where there are many indy music fans. We prepared for the show and would make it best.

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

It could be about the uniquenss of our music. And some of our music might sound strength , new , creative but still easy to listen.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Ssighborggg, MONSTER CAT , .gif
Those are 3 bands that we would like to see because the chance to see foreigner’s band is quite rare. So we would like to watch the bands that really stand out by their styles. We might get inspired or new things to know about.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

We perform at Powerhouse on Friday 27 June , 9.30 PM

Check out Two Million Thanks online.

… still there’s more …

 

 

Jun 132014
 

Those of you who follow Power of Pop will know the name Eileen Chai as belonging to the violinist of my backing band, The Groovy People. But there’s definitely more to Eileen than that! Not only is she an accomplished musician in her own right but she was an athlete that represented Singapore in three different sports viz gymnastics, diving and track & field! Now add author to her list of gifts! Eileen has penned a book chronicling her life journey in sports and music, called “Teach A Life, For Life” which represents her personal philosophy in life. Concurrently, Eileen will be releasing her three-track EP, Spread Your Wings, which includes a track co-written with yours truly (the title track).

Eileen will launch her book this Saturday (14th June) from 6pm – 8pm at Balaclava @ ION where she will perform the three songs from her EP as well as autograph her new book for you. If you haven’t got a copy yet, you can do so at http://www.eileenchai.com/buy-the-book.html.