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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 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 062014
 

Plesantry-LateNite

Pleasantry is back with a new album – Synapses – and the band will launch the LP on 22nd August at The Esplanade Recital Studio for the Late Nite @ Esplanade series. Tickets are priced at $25 and are available from the Esplanade Box office and SISTIC.

Watch the official trailer.

Mar 192014
 

_inhabit is the new EP from Pleasantry, due for release on 21st March. I was fortunate enough to listen to a sneak preview. Here goes…

“Habit” starts off with a jangly indie-pop vibe but truly resonates as Samantha Teng, Isa Ong and guest singer Weish provide a collective merry vocal jig. An uplifting spectacle.

“Owls” is an enigmatic, atmospheric slow burner built on an intricate rhythm guitar lattice. Josh Wei contributes a heartfelt violin solo during an 80s jazz-folk interlude. A spine-tingling moment.

“Near and Dear” is based on a duet between Samantha & Isa. Twee pop that tugs at your heartstrings. What the Millennials amongst you might describe as a ‘feels’ song. 80s indie pop evocations.

“Spent” is a gorgeous ballad premised on a chord progression the late great Roy Orbison might have utilized. All torch-like and dramatic – constructed to touch souls with guitars that shimmer with reverbs and echoes. Simply beautiful.

You need this EP. We all do. Watch this space.

 

Mar 082013
 
Tiramisu

Tiramisu

(Press release)

Garden   of   Youth   is   a   fun-­filled,   super   dynamic   event,   richly   infused   with   good   clean   fun,   to   excite   and   engage   the   youth   of   our   nation   and   bring   their   vigor   and   energy  into  the  wonderful  Gardens  surroundings  for  a  truly  uplifting  experience.     An  event  bubbling  over  with  the  infectious  vitality  of  youth.     Especially  for  youths  and absolutely  anyone  young  at  heart!     2013   marks   the   inaugural   launch   of   Garden   of   Youth a   youth-­‐centric   annual   event   set   in   the   Gardens,   designed   for   just   about   anyone   ready   for   a   bit   of   irrepressible   fun   &   youth   pop   culture.   This   year,   spanning   three   days   from   15th   to  17th  March,  get  set  for  music  gigs,  bazaar,  and  a  slew  of  other activities  to  get   totally  involved  in.       Come  on  down  and  play!

The  Fantastic  Picnic  Gig: This   event   is   a   must   for   all   music   lovers   out   there.   Curated   by   Tiramisu’s   lead   singer   and   performance   artist   extraordinaire,   Rizman   Putra,   this   wonderful   event   platforms   English,   Mandarin,   indie   Bands,   up   and   coming   young   musical   talents   as   well   as   offer   Acoustic   Sessions.   Visitors   can   take   in   the   music   while   lounging  on  picnic  mats  to  complete  the  experience.  It  will  be  a  great  way  to  take   in  the  music  of  local  talents  and  celebrate  the  joy  of  music  and  life  at  the  Gardens.

The line-up at SuperTree Grove: –

The Fantastic Gig 16 March 2013 Saturday 6pm-11pm

6pm – 6.30pm: Cashew Chemists
7pm – 7.30pm: Pleasantry
8pm – 8.30pm: ANECHOIS
9pm – 9.30pm: Tiramisu
10pm – 10.30pm: MONSTER CAT

The Acoustic Picnic 17 March Sunday 4pm-6pm
weish
Yuji Kumagai
The Freshman

 

 

Dec 162012
 

What is S-ROCK in this new indie rock era? Bands that have risen to prominence since 2010 tend to be post-1988 babies and the sum of their influences seems to be the Post-Punk Revival that was crystalized with the arrival of The Strokes, The Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The White Stripes and others. Based on the 80s post-punk “movement” of the early to mid-80s, this style and sound is now the pre-eminent indie-alternative rock music of our times. In addition, this sound/style has been closely associated with the “hipster” demographic that is beginning to mark and distinguish this generation somewhat, fairly or not. In any case, here’s a bunch of new S-ROCK bands that come into this equation and it should be interesting to see where these bands will be, come 2015.

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Sep 032012
 

FRED PERRY SUBCULTURE AT THE LAWN @ THE FOOTHILLS

If Fred Perry is well remembered for its tennis origins, then it should also be reputed for its involvement with music on a global basis. With the international website portal dedicated in providing a platform for featuring credible and up-and-coming music and artistes alike, the Singapore subsidiary isn’t failing at doing what its parent counterpart is best at. Not even a far shade behind.

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