BAYBEATS 2010: BASEMENT IN MY LOFT

Basement In My Loft is a power trio, still trying to find a comfortable genre. Comprising of the vocalist / guitarist Adrian Jones, Bassist Zhong Ren and adding some beat clout is Mr Lightning. Drawing influences from a gamut of bands like Fugazi to Neil Young, Johnny Cash to The Jam summing up their sound as “Beat-writer’s spiritual melodic grunge grind” would come close. Nuff’ said, so Listen. Engage. Change something.

Frontman Jones gives us the skinny on BIML’s method in their madness.

Why make music?

Music has the power to turn the grey to colour. To turn the mundane meaningful. To make the river run from the sea to the mountain. Life is the backdrop to music.

When did you start making music?

Young. Our singer used to sell his songs in the school yard aged 10. Our bassist is an accomplished cellist, guitarist & songwriter and he’s 18 years old now. Our drummer still young has toured most of Asia with a rock band.. But music is ageless timeless and without a care for who should make it and when…

What is the most important thing about making music?

Making sure that the meaning is portrayed through the instruments, the words, the vocals, and the overall band should form a giant boxing glove to hit the audience with, who in turn will hit & shake up parts of their lives with that boxing glove (only taken off), and having listened to change things.

Where is your favorite place to make music?

On the MRT, in the living room, in the studio, on a bike, in a foodcourt, when drinking tea, when drinking beer, music is on the mind at every second. Making music starts with the intention to make it. without that, there is no music to speak of.

How do you keep making music?

Songs are in all our heads each day when we wake up – a gift from the dream writers to us all… how many people do something about the song gifts? only those who see the melody in life and can’t live without it. How can you NOT keep making music? to not make music is to die in mediocrity, to die an empty death of (for lack of a better word) ordinariness…

Catch Basement in my Loft at Baybeats 2010 on 21st August at 8pm at the Arena (Outdoor Theatre).

Myspace | Baybeats

POWER OF POP CONFIDENTIAL

Welcome to the latest instalment of Power of Pop Confidential (formerly S-Rock Confidential) wherein I review music specifically submitted for analysis.

HUMMING KITTEN Fix/Here They Come (Demo)

Reviewing the two submitted tracks from Singapore outfit Humming Kitten, I cannot help but think that if you told me that the two songs were performed by a band from the UK, USA or Iceland, I wouldn’t know any better. Not a judgement just a fact.

Listening without prejudice, I would say that I really dig both Fix and Here They Come. There is a distinctively cool 80s British post-punk vibe about them combined with a very current lo-fi underground outlook. Trawling influences further back I would opine that Fix owes a great debt to the Jesus and Mary Chain and of course, the Velvet Underground whilst Here They Come reminds me stylistically of David Bowie’s “Heroes”.

There is a very knowing use of the “right” references in terms of the arrangements and instrumentation (basically electronics) and minimal guitars. Sorry if I’m being cynical here but if I played Singapore indie fans Fix and Here They Come and claimed that they were either by the xx or Big Pink, both tracks would go down very very well.

Along with The Roses’ Apple of My Eye, Here They Come is one of more exciting new Singapore songs, I’d had the pleasure of listening to in 2010. You read it here first.

Find out more about Humming Kitten at www.myspace.com/hummingkitten.

POWER OF POP CONFIDENTIAL

Welcome to the latest instalment of Power of Pop Confidential (formerly S-Rock Confidential) wherein I review music specifically submitted for analysis.

QUASIMODO And She Said/So Close To Me (Demo)

Quasimodo is a Singapore band that has been around for almost five years. I’ve seen them perform live a few times and they are a band that I’ve always felt show signs of potential but have been let down by poor execution, one too many times.

Both submitted tracks are quite retro, very 60s pop-oriented with strong melodic lines. I mean, either track could be on a Singaporean 60s music compilation and you wouldn’t know any better. This can cut both ways. It’s refreshing and yet arguably also too derivative for comfort.

And She Said is very straight-ahead pop out of the Cliff Richards & the Shadows songbook. A bit too much so perhaps a little bit of variation in the chord structure and a slightly more modern “indie” approach may make it palatable to today’s kids. Yeah, it is arranged in a manner you might expect but a little too predictable and ultimately in danger of becoming boring. The melody is strong and to exploit this, maybe the instrumentation and production could be mucked around with to make it more exciting, for example, elements of electronica?

So Close To Me begins with a cliched Phil Spector beat and is a 60s-styled ballad that the girls back in the day would probably be swooning to. There are excellent dynamics to build dramatic tension and suitable lyrics to boot. Big problem – there is no proper chorus to speak of! There is a nice moody pre-chorus but the song never moves up and on from there, when that would be the perfect opportunity for the song to soar.

To sum up, there is tremendous promise in the tunes here and I really believe that with some work, these songs may become memorable ones. Overall, the vocals would need polishing (especially in the backing vox) and in general, re-writing and re-arrangements may be necessary to bring the songs beyond the ordinary and mundane.

Listen to both tracks at Quasimodo’s Myspace

If you wanna be featured on PoP Confidential, drop me an email <info(at)powerofpop(dot)com> with a song or two for my analysis.

POWER OF POP CONFIDENTIAL

Welcome to the latest instalment of Power of Pop Confidential (formerly S-Rock Confidential) wherein I review music specifically submitted for analysis. This will cover bands/artists without an album or EP for review.

THE ROSES – APPLE OF MY EYE

Every once in a while, you hear a song that basically takes your head off and you’re left wondering what the hell just happened?!!!

Well, Apple of My Eye is one of those songs. Best part yet? This gem comes from three 16 year olds in Singapore! Consisting of Dillon Keshvani (vocals, guitars), Eugene Soh (bass) and Kumarr (drums), the Roses distill the coolest part of late 80s/early 90s alt-rock/grunge in this sub 3 minute instant classic.

Deceptively basic, the song runs through various riffs and patterns that suggest garage punk, jazz-blues and hard rock leanings whilst expressing delicious non sequitur ravings – “Oh my god, this is insane. There’s no balance left, in my brain!” so the chorus goes… Add to that insane changes in time signatures and what you have is a track you need to keep on repeat. Constantly.

Frankly, I’m rather astonished by the control and maturity displayed by a band this young. The potential is mind-boggling – can the Roses live up to all this hype and expectation? I certainly hope so…

Check out the Roses at Reverbnation and a video of Apple of My Eye below.

POWER OF POP CONFIDENTIAL

Well, here we go… the first instalment of Power of Pop Confidential (formerly S-Rock Confidential) wherein I review music specifically submitted for analysis. This will cover bands/artists without an album or EP for review.

MUSICALSIN I Just Wanna Be Myself (Demo)

It took a while longer than I thought but I finally received a submission from Nicholas Wu. Nicholas is a singer songwriter and aspiring musician who is from Singapore (Asia). According to him, he’s been writing music for a long while, and been trying his hand at doing simple production work at home with Logic Pro. He records under the name, Musicial Sin and his music can be found at musicalsin.com

Recently, Nicholas released a song – I Just Wanna Be Myself – which I will now analyse.

The track opens with a guitar (which to these ears sounds out of tune), with an introduction that recalls Deep Purple’s Child In Time! As the verse begins, it has all the trappings of a soft rock ballad, including Nicholas’ hushed vocals. In an interesting twist, there is a jazz-feel to the pre-chorus with a call-and-response vocal arrangement.

However, once the chorus hits, the melody line is cliched and does not offer too much to remember it by. From then on, the song pattern repeats without much variation. From then on, the song would greatly benefit from more arrangements. Due to that, the song seems to wear out its welcome very quickly.

The song has potential with perhaps a better choral tune and a tightening up of the arrangements. Check out the demo below.

Do you agree with my song analysis? Comments, please.

Thanks to Nicholas for having the cajones to make the submission! I hope the analysis is helpful to him and I wish him all the best with his musical endeavours. Is there anyone else who would like his/her/their song analysed in the same manner. If so, please write me – info(at)powerofpop(d0t)com.