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Jul 282014
 

Now that was a music weekend to remember! I had been under the weather for a while and it was good to finally catch #sgindie gigs again! But before the gigs, I attended an intriguing (albeit ultimately bewildering) meeting with the local arts community and had a quick chat with Vivian Wang and Leslie Low of The Observatory. I did learn that the proximity of timing between the new Oscilla and Leslie’s own new solo LP was borne out not of design but of circumstances. Not that I am complaining… the more, the merrier…

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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 232014
 

If you’ve been reading Power of Pop, you’d be aware that I fucking HATE the post-punk revival cos it’s overstayed its welcome already – I mean, it’s 2014 already so can we get to the 90s alt-rock revival?!?!?!? So logically, I should get annoyed with the very idea of Take Two – clean cut boys who got that post-punk revival formula down to a science!

But you know what? From the first time ever I heard the band (Paddy, Johnathan, Peng Sing, David, and Jeryl) from outside the hall at SGMUSO’s House Party event – all I could think was – “Fuck, that’s catchy” – seriously folks, it’s pretty difficult to not simply love the music of Take Two and I have heard them live enough times to make a concerted effort to do so but have failed miserably…

So now, I understand that Take Two are opening for Travis come 1st August at the Star Theatre and I could not be any happier. The lads deserve this totally. The band is so entertaining live – assured and comfortable on stage with songs that will get your adrenaline pumping. Believe me when I say, that this is one opening act you should not miss – whether you’re a fan of 90s mope-rock or not!

https://www.facebook.com/taketwo.sg

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.

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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 082014
 

Leslie Low released an instrumental album earlier this year which flew somewhat below the radar for most #sgindie fans. But now Low is back with an album of ‘proper’ songs that absolutely nobody should ignore. Based on the tracks previewed at Bandcamp, the album – No Such Thing as Ghosts – is typical Low fare. Meaning that it is sophisticated indie folk songwriting of the highest order expressed purely via voice and acoustic guitar. The Observatory frontman releases the album in several formats in September. Find out more.

Look out for reviews and interviews related to this release soon…

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 042014
 

After the heady month of local gigs that was June, the #sgindie goodness continues to flow. So heads up on a couple of shows coming your way in the coming weeks. 

Red Kite & Beer Market have earmarked four Sundays in July as Original Sundays with an intriguing lineup of #sgindie bands for your viewing and listening pleasure.

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Jul 022014
 

LostWeekend_140627_Bandcamp

There is always something one can take away from ‘classic’ pop songwriting. Whatever the era or the ‘genre’ classification, somethings do not change viz. memorable melodies, familiar chord progressions, soulful vocals and of course, an indefinably cool vibe.

To have seen Lost Weekend grow from that tentative pop group I had witnessed at last year’s Baybeats auditions to the confident music makers evident on this brand new double-A side single has been eminently satisfying.

“On a Sunday” will appeal to all lovers of indie pop – whether or not they are old enough to know the meaning of “C86″ or simply as a ‘genre’ that gets attached to hipster music festivals – with Rachel’s sultry vocals and Jonny’s Fannies-inspired guitar solo the prominent hooks.

“About Forever” is yet another track that recalls the glorious pop music of the 80s, substantively of the kind that the likes of Elvis Costello & Squeeze would regularly churn out i.e. with enough soul-R&B elements to keep things interesting. There is a groove driven by Mark’s bass work and Zj’s drums that totally underpins the song perfectly.

Two prime examples of matured songwriting that bodes well for fans of well-crafted song-oriented indie pop. Bloody essential! Get the single now from Bandcamp!

Jun 182014
 

 

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I first saw Giants Must Fall at Baybeats 2007. Glad to see that they are still alive and kicking as Jean answers FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014!

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

This will be our first full band performance in four years and after the release of our two EPs.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

We’ve worked really hard to put together a set to really thank everyone who supported us since we first started in 2007. We’ve matured quite a bit since then and hopefully our journey is told through all our songs.

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

Haha not sure, but it’s timely. We started 7 years ago on the Baybeats stage and once again after our hiatus, on the Baybeats stage.

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

Wyd:syd – I really like their arrangements and have an interesting blend of styles.

.gif – weish is insane… I really feel they just upped the level and quality of local music in Singapore. The two paired together create such a really unique and original sound.

Monster cat – they are truly a very hard working band and push the boundaries of genre and songwriting. Technical goodness!

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

27th June 10:15 at the Arena!

CELINA KIMBLE

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Jun 072014
 

CelinaKimble

I have been blessed to have been a part of the Noise Mentorship Programme for the last six years. Always thankful to the National Arts Council (NAC) for their kind invitation (and to Patrick Chng for the recommendation) for the opportunity to give a little helping hand to young artists and bands on their musical journeys.

I remember the first time I saw Celina Kimble during the auditions and being struck by her spunky attitude and chirpy disposition although she was wearing a flannel shirt and singing a dark tune about Kurt Cobain! Her early songs were pretty angsty affairs with a rock flavour which I truly loved. She did very well during the mentorship period – getting to play at the Youth Olympics and even Baybeats 2010, and had a song selected for a special music video as well.

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100 FESTIVAL

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Jun 032014
 

Apart from the flood of local indie music that the 100 Festival promises to deliver, SGMUSO will also be involved in organizing three panel discussions relevant to the music scene. I will be part of a panel talking about legal aspects on 7th June from 4pm or so. Look out for details to be released soon. Heads up!

MUSIC MATTERS LIVE ’14

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May 182014
 

Next up in our recommendation list for Music Matters Live ’14 is SEYRA!

Why did you apply to play at Music Matters Live ’14?

It is a great platform that allows proper, personal interaction between local independent artists and people who are in the big game.  We always wanted to be a part of it the past 2 years and so we’re really glad to be playing this time around!

How do you think playing at the Festival will help you?

Being a part of an event on the scale of MML is both a privilege and opportunity to showcase Singapore’s musical talent. It is also strong recognition of the strides that the band has made in recent years. We will be launching our next EP sometime in the 3rd quarter of this year and we have been planning a regional tour to promote that. It would certainly be helpful meeting all the other regional bands and contacts from the music industry. We are also looking forward to attending some the conferences scheduled through the week.

What are your scheduled slots at MML’14?

23 May, 9 – 9.30pm at China One
24 May, 10.30 – 11pm at Kuro

How are you preparing for MML’14?

We’ll be playing a mixture of popular songs from our existing repertoire as well as a couple of new ones that will be in our upcoming EP. We are rearranging some of the songs, tweaking some parts here and there and trying out some new stuff.

Why should music lovers come and watch you at MML’14?

People should come and watch because we believe our music resonates with a common desire for understanding and connection. The band’s multi-ethnic composition demonstrates this too. We sing about life as it is – fractured yet beautiful.

We also tend to be regarded as an acoustic band known for our stripped down sets. We’ve actually not played at that many public shows with the full band and always have tons of fun rocking out on these rare occasions! It is part of our new sound moving forward as well, so we would love for you to be able to witness it first-hand.

… still there’s more …

 

 

MUSIC MATTERS LIVE ’14

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May 172014
 

 

Yet another band to look out at Music Matters ’14 – the avant-garde rock beast that is sub:shaman!

Why did you apply to play at Music Matters Live ’14?

We’ve grown and evolved a lot as a band in the past couple years, and have new material that we’re very excited to share with as many people as possible! Music Matters being a traditionally great platform to reach out to a diverse and often new profile of listeners, we really wanted to test the waters and see how people outside of our regular, gig-going circles respond to our music.

How do you think playing at the Festival will help you?

Playing this festival helps us to leave some sort of mark, or at least make our existence known to a larger network of people. We are also hoping to make lots of new friends and perhaps, along the way, open ourselves to new opportunities that hopefully extend beyond our shores as well.

What are your scheduled slots at MML’14?

Our set timings / venues are:
[Friday 23rd May] 1120 – 1150PM at AQUANOVA.
[Saturday 24th May] 940 – 1010PM at Fern & Kiwi, and 1 – 130AM at Kuro Bar Restaurant.

How are you preparing for MML’14?

Probably what every other band is doing!–Jamming, writing, etc. We’ve been busy with a host of other projects as well, so it’s been a little tough, but nonetheless extremely fun and fulfilling.

Why should music lovers come and watch you at MML’14?

We would say that we’re a slight deviation from your run-of-the-mill rock band, and judging from some of the response so far, music lovers in particular have really appreciated some of the intricacies we have worked into our music. We can’t promise that you’ll love it, but it’ll definitely be a unique experience and we’re very excited to share our sound!

… still there’s more …

MUSIC MATTERS LIVE ’14

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May 162014
 

Continuing our series on bands you should really check out next week at Music Matters Live ’14. Ladies and gentlemen… The Pinholes!

Why did you apply to play at Music Matters Live ’14?

Since Music Matters Live is being held in Singapore, I will take the opportunity to showcase my group and represent my country to another audience or music moguls that will come from all over the world. It feels like the best time.

How do you think playing at the Festival will help you?

I guess playing in this Music Festival definitely bring connectivity. I will try and make as much contact as I can. As I think that this is really important cause you will never know who you will meet.

What are your scheduled slots at MML’14?

We will be playing on one date which is on 21 May at Paulaner from 9.40pm to 10.10.10pm. This is due to our short tour to Hanoi for another ASEAN Pride Festival the following day.

How are you preparing for MML’14?

We are definitely putting our best of what we can do. We just released our debut album and we are really excited to showcase that to a different audience. And we will try and give our best half n hour show like there’s no tomorrow. Its gonna be just Wham Bam no commercial set.

Why should music lovers come and watch you at MML’14?

Its a music festival, We are all about good vibes, songs and rock n roll. And the chain reaction will be perfect if the music lover are there to have a good time.

Thanks to Famie for the answers!

… still there’s more …

BAYBEATS 2014

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May 152014
 

There was a time when the Baybeats Festival was the only indie rock festival in town. But thankfully, times have changed to such an extent that it’s almost easy to lose sight of the festival’s significance. In that respect, it’s good to know that the Esplanade has pushed to include a big number of Singapore indie bands/artists in the line-up. Looking at the above list, it’s clear that the priority for Baybeats is to give our local bands/artist pride of place! Kudos to the organizers.

… still there’s more …

MUSIC MATTERS LIVE ’14

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May 142014
 

Music Matters Live returns next week for its 2014 edition. We highlight bands we think that Power of Pop readers would want to check out at MML’14! First up, Singapore indie rock outfit wyd:syd!

Why did you apply to play at Music Matters Live ’14?

We caught the 2013 edition of Music Matters and we were thoroughly impressed by the entire setup. We applied this year and thankfully, we were given the opportunity to perform. We want to thank SGMUSO for their kind assistance as well!

How do you think playing at the Festival will help you?

We hope to establish a bigger following after our performances! At the same time, we would like to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere and enjoy the other great acts, both local and abroad! Hopefully, we’ll gain a few tips on how to improve accordingly.

What are your scheduled slots at MML’14?

We will be performing at Aquanova on 23rd May (10:30pm – 11:00pm) and Kuro on 24th May (9:40pm to 10:10pm)

How are you preparing for MML’14?

We are putting in extra work during jamming sessions! Hopefully we would be able to complete our final song and debut it at the event!

Why should music lovers come and watch you at MML’14?

We believe that listeners will enjoy the soundscapes that we’ve painstakingly crafted. If you like ambient or indie rock, we’re the thing for you!

Follow wyd:syd at https://www.facebook.com/wydsyd.

 

… still there’s more …

LISTENING ROOM

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May 022014
 

LISTENINGBOOTH

21st CENTURY S-ROCK

Bandcamp.com is a good place to listen to indie music that is fairly under the radar. No other ‘genre’ can possibly be more marginalized than S-ROCK (or Singapore Rock or Singapore indie or whatever the fuck you wanna call it – don’t get your panties in a twist!) i.e. music made in Singapore. BUT there are numerous indie bands and artists that worth are investigating and these are the ones you can find at Bandcamp.com. Enjoy…

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Apr 122014
 

DEON-2011

Three years ago, I first met Deon Toh (second from left, above) when he was a participant in the Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter Program and I was the resident songwriting mentor. Since then, DEON has gone from strength to strength and has played all over the place, including last years’ Canada Music Week. This year, DEON has extended his overseas stint to include the UK (London and Liverpool) as well and will play at the International Pop Overthrow Festival. Backing him will be Lim Jie (guitar), Mindy Kon (Keyboards), Stasha Wong (bass), and Jovin Lim (drums). Before leaving our shores, DEON will also play a couple of local gigs (see poster below) so make a date with DEON in the next couple of weeks.

Always Take The Scenic Route (Poster)-Small

Look out for DEON’s new album, Antiphobic, to be released in June 2014.

Official Site 

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD

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Mar 242014
 

Photo by Cass Goh

DON’T SPOOK THE ALPACA

Over the course of the last three weeks, The Groovy People and I did a couple of gigs in support of #alpacablues. Overall, I felt that the band was in top form with Eileen Chai on violin providing the distinctive flavour that carried us over the top. Considering how badly Emo FASCISM was received last time out, I kept my expectations for #alpacablues extremely low. This was the best way to approach these bunch of gigs as well and in the final analysis, I had fun. It was great to see friendly faces at Artistry, Hood Bar & the Esplanade. Most of all, it was amazing once again to play with Patrick Chng, Ray Aziz, Nelson Tan & Benjamin Ang - I love them all as friends and respect them all immensely as talented musicians. It is never easy playing live in Singapore where audiences are not as appreciative as you would like them to be especially with music that they are not familiar with (i.e. NOT COVERS) but once you keep that firmly in mind, you can get by fairly well. Managed to get hold of the soundboard recordings from the Esplanade so check them out below.

… still there’s more …

Mar 242014
 

Electrico is back in the saddle and recently posted sneak peeks of new material over at their official Soundcloud page. Three songs – “With You”, “Live in the Night” and “Easy Go” – are reminiscent of the band’s early days, chock full of melodic hooks and powerpop vibes. The band has promised a new release later this year. Personally, I can’t wait. Check them out!

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.