Apr 202014


When I spoke to Alex Zhang (aka Dirty Beaches) a couple of weeks ago, he was adamant that his live performances would not consist of reproducing his recorded work but would focus on being more experimental and spontaneous. In fact, halfway through his concert at Pink Noize on Wednesday, 16th April he remarked – “True blue’s for pussies” when a request was shouted out from the audience.

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Apr 152014


By Jeanette Chin

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity of interviewing a very talented new R&B singer-songwriter from Singapore called J. Clement. He worked with Marc Lian from Trick on his latest single, “Body Move”, and it has remained at #1 on the Hot 91.3FM chart for the past month! Wanna know more about him? Read on.

What got you started in music? Give us the lowdown on your musical history.

I started playing the saxophone when I was 12 years old, and as the years went by, I wanted to learn an instrument in which I could play and sing at the same time, and that’s how I got started playing the guitar. Having being influenced by Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, and YouTube sensations like Gabe Bondoc & Tori Kelly, my music tends to lean more towards R&B.

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Apr 122014


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 

Apr 082014


When I told DARKSIDE (Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington) over the phone that I thought new album Psychic sounded like traditional rock, they were rather amused (and bemused, I suspect). And whilst, it is true that their improvisational performance style was somewhat experimental, it was not difficult to hear the echoes of Pink Floyd (Harrington did a fair Gilmour impression) and other psychedelic space-rock acolytes in the duo’s well-received set at the Ground Theatre *SCAPE on Sunday, 6th April.

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Apr 042014

Singapore electro-pop duo Cosmic Armchair has signed with Alfa Matrix, and has become the first Asian band to sign an album deal with Belgium-based in label. This collaboration with Alfa Matrix, home to international electro stars like Front 242, Recoil, Nitzer Ebb and supergroup Bruderschaft, gives the duo better access to audiences everywhere especially in Europe and America.

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Apr 032014

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at AM 11.46.32

Aussie troubadour Gabriel Lynch plays at Hood Bar on 24th April. It’s the first time that Lynch will be bringing a band to the region and he will be playing tunes from his forthcoming album, All of Us. The album was crowdfunded and many of the songs are based on titles and topics suggested by the people who helped Lynch fund the recording, including several from Singapore!

Doors at 7:30 – $15 entry (including free drink)

RSVP | Official | Facebook



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Mar 242014

Photo by Cass Goh


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.


Mar 182014


Over at its Facebook page, US band La Dispute describes its genre as “Blues, Screamo, Soul, Progressive Rock” which basically means they don’t give a fuck! To these ears, the quintet is a raucous & lively bunch with enigmatic lyrics – sometimes hushed sometimes painfully hollered – delivered by singer Jordan Dreyer. Worth investigating.

Tickets available here.

Check out the band’s latest album on Spotify.

Mar 182014

Alarice releases her latest EP The Kingdom in Singapore. This is her second release since Sunday Afternoon was launched in 2011. The Kingdom was recorded and produced in Nashville Tennessee with producer Cody Norris and Executive Producer Ed Cash.

Doors Open 6PM , TAB
Tickets $20 early bird (ends 19th March), $25 standard
Purchase at

Check out the first single from The Kingdom below.

Mar 172014

There are very few music schools in town that can promise to teach you about having a career in writing hit songs for the Mandarin pop market. Funkie Munkies (FM) Pop Music School is definitely one of them! First off, the trainers viz Eric Ng, Xiaohan & Jim Lim are genuine hit songwriters with impressive track records and that is real-life experience for you, not mere theory. More importantly, their passion for the craft is highly infectious and they are wonderful people as well!

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Mar 052014

Photo by Aloysius Lim

Sure, as a music lover based in Singapore, one is currently inundated with big rock concert draws like Eric Clapton & The Rolling Stones and with big rock festivals like St. Jerome’s Laneway & the Hostess Club Weekender. But seriously folks, nothing quite beats the experience of watching a cracking band up close in an intimate venue. Nothing.

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Mar 042014

SRF Band Set Timings


Six rock bands over two nights. Not strictly ‘metal’, more like ‘hard rock’ – the distinction I make is that there is more melodic content in these bands – Alice in Chains even has harmonies! But there’s gonna be speed, riffs and heavy heavy vibes throughout. Hope you’ve got your tickets! See you there!

Horns up!!

Tickets available from SISTIC.



Mar 032014


After the well-received inaugural The Gathering with Empire of the Sun, Forefront Asia has announced that the second edition will bring to our shores musical duo, DARKSIDE on Sunday, 6th April at *SCAPE (The Ground Theatre).

DARKSIDE is the collaboration of electronic musician Nicolas Jaar, and Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington. The duo is known for the intense pulsing baseline beats and hollowed synthesizer accompaniments, coupled with supplementary notes contributed by instruments ranging from a guitar to Harrington’s falsetto.

Tickets priced at SGD65, are now available at Event Clique.

Check out DARKSIDE’s debut LP Psychic.

Feb 252014

Empire of the Sun‘s frontman Luke Steele promised an exciting adventure for his band’s performance for the opening concert in The Gathering series. And from a purely visual perspective, EOTS did not let down the sizable audience on Friday, 21st February gathered outdoor at the Fort Canning Park. An amazing light show and colourfully attired dancing girls guaranteed a feast for the eyes during their hour plus set.


Before that, local champions MONSTER CAT thrilled the early birds with a showcase of songs from new album – The Violet Hour – notably first single “Take Me to Love”. The band was somewhat squeezed to the side of the stage (due to EOTS elaborate setup) and thus, the band seemed a little awkward but that didn’t stop the boys from giving their all and doing their ambitious new numbers justice.

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Feb 252014

Due to popular demand, LA Comedy Live, in association with Adrian Bohm Presents, has announced that An Evening With John Cleese will add a second night to the tour.

The first performance will take place on 4 May 2014, while the second will be on 5 May 2014. Both shows will be held at the University Cultural Centre (UCC), NUS at 8 pm.

Tickets for the second night go on sale this Thursday, 27 February 2014.

More info.

Feb 242014

Picture by Aloysius Lim

Apologies are in order cos this review should have been published at TODAY at least two weeks ago but for some reason – technical hitches etc – the article never appeared. And so, a much belated review of Plainsunset’s triumphant celebration of The Gift’s 10th Anniversary follows.

In 2015, Singapore will celebrate its 50th year of independence. Whilst clearly much has been written about the miraculous economic progress that the country has experienced, it might be argued that this success was achieved at the cost of Singapore’s artistic soul. But slowly but surely, that state of affairs is beginning to witness a sea change. Since the modest revival of Singapore-made rock music in the 1990s, only one band has lasted the course – weathering a break-up in the mid-2000s and the loss of a founding member to come on through the other side still as vibrant as ever and still as relevant to their loyal fans in 2014. That band, of course, is Plainsunset.

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Feb 242014

Don, Fauzo & Sophia

There may be no shortage of instrumental rock bands in the S-ROCK scene but it’s fair to say that Babushka has opted for a different path from your typical ‘Post-rock’ fare. The trio play a combination of jazz, folk and world music that one could imagine being utilized on the appropriate movie soundtrack. On its debut EP, Flights of Fancy, the styles range from Spanish flamenco inflections (“K2″), English folk cum shoegaze references (“Sherpa”), Space Age Bachelor Pad ambience (“Luxury Apartment”), easy listening jazz-folk (“Collide”) and even a Tex-Mex Mariachi vibe (“Pocket Rocket” – which film buffs might imagine in a Quentin Tarantino cowboy flick even!)

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Feb 212014



Latest update: Jason Newsted will not be appearing or performing on all scheduled February and March dates. These include Australia’s Soundwave Festival and the Singapore Rock Festival here on the 6th of March.

So there will be six bands performing over 2 nights at the festival: Korn, Rob Zombie, Black Veil Brides and Five Finger Death Punch will perform on the 5th of March while Alice in Chains and Alter Bridge will perform on the 6th.

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Feb 152014

I am proud to announce that my new EP – and my second official solo release – is now available at Bandcamp. You can buy the EP for US$1 until 14th March, wherein it reverts to full price. I am quite sure that #alpacablues is probably my best recorded music to date and this has been done to the fine work from my collaborators viz. Ray Aziz (percussion), Nelson Tan (upright bass), Eileen Chai (violin) and Pat Chng (recording/mixing). Not forgetting of course, the wondrous cover art from Andy Yang. Recorded in about five sessions, the songs on the EP represent a watershed of sorts for me. I have decided to put behind me the overtly melancholic sentiments evident on both Emo FASCISM and #alpacablues and move ahead to make brighter music. Already, I have in mind an electronic pop project for the latter part of 2014. But in the meantime, I hope you will enjoy #alpacablues.

… still there’s more …

Feb 112014



Now for something completely different!


Comedian John Cleese comes to Singapore to do a stand-up comedy performance for one night only on 4 May 2014, 8 pm, at the University Cultural Centre, NUS.

Tickets go on sale Friday, 14 February 2014 at and all SISTIC outlets.


… still there’s more …


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Feb 042014

Take Me To Love Artwork

What excites me about new music? When my expectations are surpassed and a smile is left on my face gawking at the sheer audacity that caught me by surprise! MONSTER CAT‘s new single – “Take Me to Love” fits the bill perfectly. From it’s atonal opening chord progressions to its funky (?) chorus, “Take Me to Love” comes from left field completely and might possibly be the fucking best new song I’ve heard in 2014 so far. Don’t believe me? Well, listen to the song at Deezer now!

Off the band’s upcoming new album – The Violet Hour – to be released on 3rd March and which you can pre-order now at iTunes. What are you waiting for?

… still there’s more …