Fuck me! This might well be the best thing seen and heard so far in 2016.
Happy days are here again cuz The Coral is back! Psych-pop at its best!!
Rock ‘n’ roll might not have the same commercial or cultural impact it used to have but we promise to keep the flag flying.
Here are videos of new music you should be listening to that expresses the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. Enjoy!
Thankfully, the flood of made-in-Singapore releases continues unabated even though we have uncomfortably transitioned to 2016. Here is a sampling of what is to come in the coming year for Singapore music fans. Reviews to come.
Bowie in his element – as captured by his 1977 hit single – and as usual, in full control of what he wants his audience to see and hear.
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.
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.
“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.
Paul Weller’s new album Saturns Pattern is a revelation! Here is one of my favourite tracks, the infectious “Pick It Up” with an equally memorable music video, starring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock etc) as a sad bloke going through a mid-life crisis of sorts. True blue pop lovers, don’t miss this!
So The Little Giant (aka Hilary Yang) was one of my last NAC Noise mentees last year and the problem with listening to a song in its embryonic form is sometimes it’s hard to accept a radically different version. Thus it’s the case with “You Got Some” which in typical Hilary fashion has something to do with the male obsession with sex. This first single from Hilary’s debut EP – “Let’s Just Be Honest” is now a bit of a rockabilly number which I have an issue with – Hilary’s vocal delivery becomes quite garbled with the increased tempo and God knows it’s all about her lyrics. But the saving grace is this wonderful lyric video (by Annie Hung – well done with the male sexual metaphors!) which sets out the lyrics before your very eyes whilst you hear the song and voila! Problem solved.
The Little Giant “Let’s Just be Honest” EP Launch
Friday, 4th September 7pm
BluJaz Cafe (3rd Floor) 11 Bali Lane, Historic Kampong Glam, Singapore 189848
(With special guests, The MadHatter Project & Anise SG!)
$15 advanced tickets available at : thelittlegiantEP.peatix.com
$20 tickets at the door (subject to availability)
$30 ticket + EP at the door (subject to availability)
Physical EP: $14
Stefan Reyners hails from Wellington, N.Z. and makes the kind of time-honoured smart & quirky pop that recalls the likes of Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Split Enz.
Reyners is getting a new EP ready and “Saturday Afternoon” provides a good taster of what to expect. Check it out below.
The national celebration of Singapore’s independence has brought out many diverse items, music wise. But singer-songwriter Jude Young’s “Wave of Tomorrow” and accompanying video may be the most heartfelt and straightforward thus far. The video – directed & shot by Jeremy Kieran Ng – is not fancy and lacks frills but gets the job done effectively but it is in the competent songwriting that the emotional resonance of what it means to be Singaporean in this special year is shared. No mean feat!
“Ride on this tide/We’ll fly side by side/On the waves of tomorrow/The chase starts today/With these guiding stars and/The shine from the moon so bright/So you can count on me/To keep you free
Yeah you can shout your name across the shores/Singapore”
Kudos to all involved!
“Old soul” is probably an apt description of singer-songwriter Theodora’s muse.
This 18 year old has a perceptive creativity beyond her tender years with an artistic sensibility that reflects a subtle maturity. This is already painfully obvious when listening to her debut single “Lines”, written about the loss about a loved one – “I sit in silence in the memory of you”.
Now here’s a thoughtful video – lovingly crafted by director Leonard Soosay – that represents visually the emotions that “Lines” evokes, with style and finesse.
Theodora’s debut EP is planned for the end of the year – keep a close watch on that, dear readers.
In the meantime, check out the gorgeous video for “Lines”.
Purchase “Lines” from iTunes.
I am sick of the post-punk revival – it is one of the worst aspects of millennial pop culture – and it’s already been 15 years. C’mon!
This is compounded by the fact that I absolutely loved the original 80s post-punk scene. Thus, to hear the works of Joy Division, Bauhaus and Echo & the Bunnymen being constantly dragged through the mud by inferior bands like Editors is painful. Listen to the new doom-laden single “Marching Orders” to fully understand my disdain for this kind of derivative drivel. This must end!
When oh when will the 90s rock revival (and therefore retro-60s) begin?
Let’s say it plain, LOVE LOVE LOVE Dru Chen’s songwriting. He seems to come up with these soul-inflected pop ditties so effortlessly that it’s almost criminal!
“You Got It Babe” finds Dru once again putting together yet another winner. Trust me when I say that once this groovin’ earworm hooks you, it is not gonna let go too easily. Diggin’ Dru’s old skool soul vibe once more! Check it out!!
Pick up “You Got It Babe” at iTunes.
During a discussion with a student about pop music – which revolved mainly around me dissing modern pop – Raj (that’s his name) challenged me to cite worthy music from the new millennium (he was born in the late 90s, after all) and so, here are ten examples (and yes, many of these artists started before the year 2000, but why should that matter?). Enjoy.
BECK – THE GOLDEN AGE (2002)
The new Cheating Sons single “Honeymoon” has an official music video. Directed by Frankie Pan, it’s otherworldliness contrasts intriguingly with the retro vibe of the song itself. Check it out!
Get the track from Bandcamp!
… still there’s more …
My favourite new artist of 2015! No contest.
Max releases a video of “Home”, off his upcoming highly anticipated debut album.
To these ears, the inspirations of John Lennon, ELO, Gram Parsons, Wilco and Ryan Adams come together nicely with Max’s melancholy sweet larynx to produce yet another instant classic.
Check out the video directed by Christophe Rihet.
Max is headed out on a USA and Canada tour in April 2015
… still there’s more …
Love X Stereo‘s “We Love, We Leave” gets a music video that visualises its conceptual thrust perfectly. The video itself is ambitious, arty and yes, sexy – leaving a throbbing mess that usually comes as a result of conjugal action. The song, already a powerfully appealing single in its own right lifts off when set to these tempting visuals. Kudos to all involved. Don’t feel guilty if you enjoy it too much…
… still there’s more …
KAMCO Music will re-issue The Crowd’s Pop album this coming Friday, 10th April. So I was thinking – what could I do to raise awareness about this event? Well, as you all know, a lyric video of one of the songs might do the trick. And so, I put together my first ever lyric video on iMovie and it only took this old fart of an amateur to get it done! The song I chose was “Pasir Ris Sunrise” which seems to have resonated with some folks despite being 18 years old. Hope you enjoy!
… still there’s more …
Regular visitors to Power of Pop will be aware that I am always harping on there not being enough bands/artists parlaying classic pop-rock styles into modern rock. Well actually, that’s not entirely true. I mean, in the sense that there certainly are bands/artists who like me are rather besotted with the pop-rock music of the 60s/70s, it’s just a question of discovering them. And discovering these bands/artists I have been in the last couple of days (thanks in part to Ed Khoo’s recommendation of Tobias Jesso Jr). So, of course, I’d like to share just some of these discoveries with you, kind reader.