Three awesome indie gigs tomorrow (6th September) and this is the one I will be attending. See you there!
If you missed instrumental rock duo Sighborgggg at Baybeats 2014, here’s your chance!
4.10pm – 5.50pm Hollow Threat
5.50pm – 6.30pm Cultures
6.30pm – 7.10pm False Plaintiff
7.10pm – 7.50pm Straight Forward
7.50pm – 8.30pm 7 Nights At Sea
8.30pm – 9.10pm Tell Lie Vision
9.10pm – 9.50pm Exhibitors
By Nikita Wong
The usual hustle and bustle filled the streets along Orchard Road, by 6.30 pm approximately 400 fans were embracing the heat as they queued to catch the Gentle Bones (aka Joel Tan) Ep launch. As the doors opened, avid shutterbugs and fervent fans scouted for perfect vantage points to catch a glimpse of their idol. Held on the 30th of August 2014, TAB was teeming with mostly school girls who were die-hard fans of Gentle Bones. The crowd huddled together with approximately 700 over people within the room.
Gracing the stage was none other than Samantha Rui, the audience was certainly deceived by her reserved and shy composure. Being captivated by her soulful voice that held a great semblance to Ellie Goulding everyone was left awe inspired. The forested graphics complimented the acoustic set up, often exuding a magical feel through her voice. It was an intimate performance as the crowd amassed together at the front of stage, and Samantha drew the audience towards her as she crooned to “All I Want” by Kodaline and “Blue” which was one of her originals. Despite the thick crowd, the vibe was generally relaxed.
Known as Singapore’s version of Justin Timberlake, Gareth Fernandez had the girls bouncing off their feet as he interacted with them throughout his set. He sashayed, cooed and pouted coquettishly as he reminisced on his inspirations which dawned upon him for a few of his original songs such as “Subliminal Love”. Taking on Top 40 hits such as “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse and “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, it was a reflex action for the crowd to groove to the sunny beats as they sang along with Gareth. His flawless runs and falsetto was spot on without any room for errors and it was phenomenal for a live performance.
Banners were being raised in the air as the crowd chanted Gentle Bones, starting off strongly the crowd echoed to “Settle Down”. Shattering the atmosphere with the remarkable guitar parts played by Wai Huin and thumping beats by Ritz Ang, Joel’s backing band complemented him. A mellow approach was taken too with his solo performance as he interacted with the crowd through his acoustic showcase occasionally inviting guest singers to join him for a song such as Joie Tan and Samantha. The duets were simply stunning as both singers harmonized for covers such as “Poison and Wine” by The Civil Wars and on “Undecided” which is an original song composed by Joel and Samantha.
Leaving the stage half way, many thought that it was an end. Encore was being echoed throughout the room as they sang in unison to “Until We Die” to beckon the band to perform once again which they did. The ending brought a tear within most fans as the band ended with “Elusive”, fans whipped out their hand phones as they waved the torches in the air and swayed away.
As the concert drew to an end, beelines were made by eager fans as they anticipated the meet and greet session with Gentle Bones and other musicians. Local bands are certainly on the rise and more people are willing to pay for local acts! Joel has journeyed a long way from where he first started out, his humble approach also draws his fans closer to him.
This is taken verbatim from the promo email: –
Ahead of Leslie Low‘s highly anticipated solo release No Such Thing As Ghosts, The Diarists are putting together a series of small, personal shows to promote the album.
Cozy up in a living room, an independent venue or a workspace, in Singapore and Malaysia, Leslie Low will perform songs from the new album up close, as it’s meant to be heard. These performances create an emotional experience for both musician and listener, bringing music to fans and audiences in the purest, most intimate way.
Besides material from No Such Thing As Ghosts, Leslie will also be playing songs from his earlier releases.
If you would like to be part of this initiative, please contact us via email at email@example.com and in the meantime, enjoy this video as Leslie performs “Despair”.
Stay tuned for more info
MUSIC… OR NOTHING
Being involved in the music scene in Singapore is all about what one makes of the situation. Compared to a mere five years ago, there are many opportunities to fill your time with life-enriching activities. You just know where to look…
On Thursday (21st August) I met up and interview Julie Edwards (above, left) and Lindsey Troy of LA-based blues-rockers Deap Vally and found them to be intelligent, beautiful women who knew exactly what they wanted out of life. Mightily impressed with them in that short space of time we chatted.
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 …
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.
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…
Glass Silver Lining is metalcore outfit Avalanche‘s commendable debut album and the band will be having its release show on Saturday, 16th August at Aliwal Arts Centre. Moshing allowed!
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.
We have been hearing a lot about Gentle Bones (aka Joel Tan) in the last nine months or so. I am digging the way Joel’s music has captured the imagination of our young people. It’s so exciting to witness! Joel himself is such a humble, self-effacing young man but dead serious about his music. I feel like I am living the dream vicariously though him! Truly amazing.
Well, more good news as the pre-orders for Joel’s upcoming debut EP has placed the release at #1 on the iTunes charts (release date – 19th August)! If you haven’t already, pre-order now! Get your tickets for the EP launch here. In the meantime, watch the music video for the new single – “Save Me”. It’s a good time to be a #sgindie fan!
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…
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”
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!
In Each Hand A Cutlass (IEHAC) – together with The Observatory – is probably one of Singapore’s premier progressive art-rock bands and thus, not only is it exciting news that IEHAC is currently recording a new album with legendary producer Brad Wood but in fact, has made available a two-track EP to whet appetites for the awesome new music to come.
These two tracks viz. the psych-folky “All We Are Left With Is A Memory Of A Memory” and the post-metallic “Appetite for Dysfunction” certainly do the job, especially if you love prog rock! And when you consider that the EP is going for a buck, then a purchase is simply a no-brainer, my friends.
Not only that but the band collaborated with comic artist Troy Chin for his online interactive comic, called Forgetting, which the song “All We Are Left With Is A Memory Of A Memory” is the soundtrack to. His excellent noir-style comic is at www.drearyweary.com/Forgetting – go forth and choose your own adventure.
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.
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.
“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.
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…
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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
Yet another reason to consider June the month of Singapore rock!