2015: TOP TEN SINGAPORE RELEASES

S-ROCK

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!

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SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL: DIMENSIONS & DEMONS – DAREN SHIAU + RIOT !N MAGENTA

SWF DD

As promised, we present to you thoughts of the collaborative artists behind Dimensions & Demons, to be performed at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 5th November.

“Daren Shiau and Riot !n Magenta explore the surreal terrain in Lucid Dreams, where memory, regret and release intersect through a collision of beats, words, loops and phrases.”

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LIVE NEWS: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL 2015 – WRITING FOR THE EARS

IEHAC
In Each Hand a Cutlass

An excellent sign that Singapore music is slowly (but surely) permeating the mainstream consciousness is the clutch of music events to be held in the upcoming Singapore Writers Festival, from October 30th to November 8th 2015, organised by the National Arts Council. 

Kicking off is Island of Dreams, an instrumental rock concert at the Victoria Theatre on 30th October, featuring In Each Hand a Cutlass and I Am David Sparkle, two heavyweights in the local indie scene.

From epic rock bombast, the music gets all stripped down and fragile with Story Songs by Tiny Ruins. Kiwi Hollie Fullbrook returns to Singapore on 1st November at the Chamber, the Arts House.

Finally, we have Dimensions and Demons, with artists from literary and musical disciplines collaborating on works to be presented on 5th November at the Esplanade Recital Studios. Writers Dave Chua, Daren Shiau and Stephanie Ye have been rehearsing with musicians weish (.gif), Riot !n Magenta and Ferry (Giants Must Fall) for the past few months for this co-presentation with The Esplanade.

Power of Pop will be in the thick of the action with reviews and interviews but so can you. The Festival organisers have kindly offered a pair of tickets to each of the above events to lucky PoP visitors.

Now, you can only select one of these events to apply to – simply write in to kamcomusic@gmail.com with a 5o-word note on why you love Power of Pop so much! (Also include your full name and NRIC No., please) Oh and let us know which event you would like to attend and voilà (!) you could be on your way. (Winning entries will be published here! Be warned!!)

First come, first served and all that jazz. The decision of Power of Pop regarding the identity of the lucky recipients shall be final & conclusive. Closing date is 27th October.

More info at https://www.singaporewritersfestival.com/nacswf/nacswf.html

LIVE NEWS: LANEWAY FESTIVAL SINGAPORE – FULL LINEUP ANNOUNCED!

TobiasJesso

Battles – Beach House – Big Scary – Cashew Chemists – Cheats – CHVRCHES – DIIV – East India Youth – Flume – GDJYB – Grimes – Hermitude – Hudson Mohawke – Intriguant – METZ – Purity Ring – Riot !n Magenta – Shamir – The Internet – Thundercat – Tobias Jesso Jr. – Violent Soho

Apart from Singapore artists Cashew Chemists, Intriguant and Riot !n Magenta, the only other act that is of any interest to Power of Pop is pop-rock revivalist Tobias Jesso Jr. Beach House, CHVRCHES and Grimes are repeats & the rest – other than Battles and Flume – are of an unknown quality. But that’s the whole point of the Laneway Festival innit? Stay tuned as Power of Pop gives these artists its discovery quotient in the next few days, weeks and months.

Official Site

Tickets available from SISTIC.

MUSIC NEWS: DR. MARTENS ANNOUNCE HOME-CITY BANDS FOR STAND FOR SOMETHING TOUR – S.E.A 2015

Photo credit: Teck Io

(Photo credit: Teck Io)

Dr. Martens has announced the homegrown bands in its first South East Asia edition of the Stand For Something Tour 2015. Headlined by British indie-rock band CIRCA WAVES, the Stand For Something Tour will be joined by respective home-city bands: Riot !n Magenta in Singapore, Elephant Kind in Jakarta, and Up Dharma Down in Manila.

I love R!M to death but it does seem like an odd choice to me. After all, CIRCA WAVES isn’t an electro-pop outfit and in fact, are quite possibly the opposite spectrum seeing how they play retro Britpop music. To me, it would make more sense to get Cashew Chemists or Stopgap to open… but that’s just me.

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HERE COME THE LADIES ABOUT TO GIVE A LITTLE SHOW

04 - RIOT - J03 - RIOT -- J

I have always been passionate about having more female artists/musicians in our local scene. Certainly, one of the signs of a progressive music scene would be the number of talented and creative women operating within the same. Well, in very recent times, you basically cannot keep the women out of the local music scene even if you tried and the rise to prominence of Eugenia Yip (a.k.a. Ginny Bloop) is one significant milestone, for sure.

The enigmatic vocalist is making a name for herself fronting TWO critically acclaimed acts viz. The Steve McQueens and Riot !n Magenta, and whilst there is no denying the strong musicianship of the men behind her in both bands – there is also little doubt that Ginny is the star of the show whenever she steps up on stage. Fresh from a triumphant Japanese tour with The Steve McQueens, Ginny lit up the proceedings at the Ignite Music Festival 2015 with her idiosyncratic stylings. With her aviator shades and tie-dyed top, Ginny looked (and sounded) like a rock star – the consummate stage performer holding court. Considering how Singaporean musicians are generally awkward on stage, Ginny is a rarity and utterly mesmerising in performance – once you are hypnotised by the Ginny Bloop experience, it’s never enough. Seriously, folks.

06 - GLP - J

Has been a while since I have seen The Good Life Project in action and the presence of three ladies in the septet (singer Pamela, bassist Stasha and violinist Kim)  has always spiced things up. Not that the guys are slouches in the instrumental department with Sano, Naz, Intriguant (Lewis) and Ritz (subbing for Boey) more than able to pull their own weight. Considering the sheer amount of talent that resides in this group, I am still mystified at the fact that they remain somewhat obscure in the scheme of things in the local scene. Their pleasing blend of sophisticated jazz-funk-R&B-pop-rock is a recipe for mainstream success, with as much as potential for overseas acceptance as that currently received by The Steve McQueens. At Ignite last evening, they owned the stage, oozing class and dynamism from start to finish – they deserve so much more! Here’s hoping we will see and hear more from the band in the months ahead.

Connect!

Riot !n Magenta

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The Good Life Project

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Photographs courtesy of Jazreel-Anne.

SO HAPPY: 50 YEARS OF SINGAPORE ROCK – OPENING

SOHAPPYGIG

 

I know when this exhibition was first announced, there was some criticism about the ’50 years’ bit, considering that: –

1. The Quests‘ “Shanty”, the first ever local pop hit, was released in 1964 (!) and

2. when you subtract most of the 70s and the early 80s (when rock music was suppressed by the authorities) fifty years become a stretch

BUT you will appreciate that in order for the exhibition to get the appropriate funding some concessions needed to be made towards the whole SG5o business. Whatever it was called, the fact remains that the funding has allowed the organisers to put together a fitting tribute to Singapore rock, such as it is. Well, this is Singapore so the ends will justify the means.

In any case, the exhibition opens tomorrow (8th April) at the Substation Theatre with three S-ROCK bands viz. The Oddfellows, THE PINHOLES and Riot !n Magenta performing from 8pm.

Support local!

POWER OF POP INTERVIEW: EUGENIA YIP (RIOT !N MAGENTA + THE STEVE MCQUEENS)

Photo by Fandy Razak
Photo by Fandy Razak

I remember the first time Eugenia Yip caught my eye. This is what I wrote in a live review in TODAY, a few years back.

Riot !n Magenta is a relatively new duo consisting of singer/songwriter Eugenia Yip and keyboardist/producer Hayashida Ken and proved to be a totally different proposition. Yip is a dynamic soulful vocalist and managed to coax members of the audience to come to the front of the stage to groove to Ken’s contemporary-sounding beats. What the songs lacked in terms of conventional tunes, Yip make the most of with the range of her voice and her sultry on-stage persona. Certainly, the duo holds much promise for the future.

Now a quintet, Riot !n Magenta have a new EP out – Voices (I reviewed it here) – and will be playing at the So Happy: 50 Years of Singapore Rock exhibition opening at the Substation Theatre on the 8th April alongside The Oddfellows and Pinholes.

But Ginny (as she likes to be called) is at the centre of attention – whether it be fronting R!M or her other amazing band, The Steve McQueens. So I thought it would be awesome to get Ginny to respond to some of my queries and she obliged! Enjoy…

Are the new songs about relationships? Even damaged ones? 

They’re mostly about personal realizations, or things I experience and feel for very strongly. I wrote “Voices”, inspired by the strength of three women I look up to very much. Nothing inspires me more than the giving of unconditional love, even through the toughest of times. The new songs are a little darker, a little older. “Running” was written about the process of letting go of a past made up of regrets, or even happier times that you struggle to forget, because they tend to remind you of what you’ve lost, but in an insanely more painful way. It is about finding happiness from forgiveness, both given and received.

Continue reading “POWER OF POP INTERVIEW: EUGENIA YIP (RIOT !N MAGENTA + THE STEVE MCQUEENS)”

RIOT !N MAGENTA – A SOUND REVOLUTION

Photo credit: Teck Io
Photo credit: Teck

Whatever the genre, nothing gets more attention in a song than a powerful, distinctive female voice. Dedicated music fans should be familiar with Eugenia Yip from her vocal antics with jazz-rockers The Steve McQueens. However, Ginny (as she likes to be called), also fronts electro-outfit Riot !n Magenta, ably backed by Hayashida Ken (synths), Khairyl Hashim (guitar), Sulaiman Supian (bass) and Ritz Ang (drums).

R!M have been somewhat under the radar despite having played Baybeats 2011, launched a debut EP – R3B007 – at Esplanade Recital Studio in 2013 and even opening for CHVRCHES last year. But no doubt that will all change with the release of the new EP, Voices.

The four tracks available on Voices reveals a mature sonic agenda that continues to channel a strong trip-hop-soul vibe that highlights Ginny’s idiosyncratic vocal stylings and melancholy lyrics that emphasise the damage that relationships inflict on humans.

“Love is not supposed to be a chore” (“CTRL”) and “I can’t unhear the things but you said it” (“Told You So”) – words that put the songs in perspective, heartfelt emotions hard to ignore. Supported by pristine electronic beats and ambience, it is so easy to be swept away by the music on this EP. Not to be missed.

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Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/riot-n-magenta