DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Fusion or jazz fusion or jazz rock is a ‘genre’ that came out of jazz musicians being influenced rock n’ roll music in the late 60s and early 70s. Even more impenetrable than progressive rock (which at least had song melodies and lyrical concepts), fusion concentrated very much on virtuosity and improvisation and thus is sometimes difficult to understand. So, here is an introduction of sorts to the ‘genre’ – hope it helps…

… still there’s more …

ELLIE GOULDING – LIVE IN SINGAPORE [NEWS]

British songstress Ellie Goulding returns to Singapore on Friday 13 June at The Star Theatre. Read Melissa Ng’s review last time out. Tickets available from SISTIC – Friday 7th Feb.

Mark your calendars!

Listen to Goulding’s best selling 2013 album Halcyon Days at Spotify.

DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Sound of Contact

It’s 2014 but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be listening to music from 2013 we might have missed. Especially if said music has nothing whatsoever to do with hipster indie pop. That’s where Spotify comes in handy…

SOUND OF CONTACTDimensionaut

Fronted by Simon Collins (scion of Phil), Sound of Contact is first rate neo-prog that recalls post-Gabriel Genesis, for the most obvious reasons. Dimensionaut is an eminently listenable for prog rock fans who like a high quotient of pop elements in their diet.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

The Flower Kings

Neo-prog. Progressive metal. These are the descendants of the first wave of progressive rock that flowered in the 70s. Check ’em out at Spotify.

THE FLOWER KINGSDesolation Rose

Hailing from Sweden, The Flower Kings have been making symphonic rock (echoing the sound of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson) since 1994.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Electric Light Orchestra

Regular visitors to PoP will be aware that I believe that the 70s was the finest decade for pop and rock music ever. And one excellent resource which allows the avid music fan to access this classic rock music is Spotify (haha you saw that coming!). But seriously folks, I’d like to leave you with introductory playlists I’ve curated of three classic 70s rock bands, which I hope will encourage you to explore more on Spotify.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Besnard Lakes!

As promised, here is the first part of a list of recommended listening of 2013 releases that you have access to on Spotify! Enjoy…

Besnard LakesUntil In Excess, the Imperceptible UFO

Have been loving this Montreal band for a while now, and music fans should take them seriously as an alternative to fellow countrymen Arcade Fire. Their gorgeous mix of Pink Floyd meets mid-60s Beach Boys is enthralling. “Specter” is one of my songs of the year.

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2013: THE YEAR IN MUSIC

DaftPunk

Was 2013 a good year for popular music? It all depends on your definition of a ‘good year’. I believe that since the end of the 90s, the decline in the quality of popular music being written and recorded has been alarming. Compared to the previous 40 years, it’s fair to say that much of the popular music that has come out of the new millennium has been – with some exceptions, of course – largely forgettable.

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HOSTESS CLUB WEEKENDER

HCW7_poster_roughs

Tickets now on sale for next year’s much anticipated Hostess Club Weekender in February over here.

To set the tone, here is a video of the intriguing duo that is Buke and Gase

… and listen to one of the essential albums of 2013, General Dome!

…still there’s more…

DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Yeah, more power pop/pop underground music you should be listening to if you dig sophisticated melodies with crunchy guitars and clever arrangements. Please take notes…

SPLITSVILLE

The last time this wonderful band released new material was 2003 – unsure whether the band still exists as the official site has not been updated since 2004! Tough being a power pop in this current environment. In any case, I need to highlight three essential LPs that need your attention. Enjoy!

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Supertramp will always be remembered as a crucial influence on my music making in my late teens. Formed around the nucleus of two brilliantly gifted singer-songwriters Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, this English quintet managed to come up with a successful blend of prog-rock and pop music sensibilities that resulted in two classic LPs in Crime of the Century (1974) and Breakfast in America (1979) as well as a couple of chart hit singles in “Give a Little Bit”, “It’s Raining Again” and “The Logical Song”.

You can listen to the band’s entire discography at Spotify but of course, check out my playlist for the comprehensive introduction to the delights of this iconic band. Enjoy!

…still there’s more…

BLURB-O-RAMA

BOB

 

 

BUBBLEGUM LEMONADE Some Like It Pop

This is the kind of pop music that inspired Power of Pop to begin with viz. retro-pop-rock that looks back to the 60s with echoes of The Byrds, The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys and The Beatles unashamedly reflected in songs like “This is the New Normal”, “It Must Be Summer” and “Famous Blue Anorak”. Lover-ly.
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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Nowadays with streaming sites like Spotify, it’s a cinch to check out the new albums that music tastemakers (like yours truly) are raving about and then you can decide whether you wanna buy the CD or the vinyl versions, download the digital album or just listen. The choice is yours. Here are a couple of recent albums I gave the thumbs up over for, over at TODAY online.

Throwing MusesPurgatory/Paradise: read review

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Obscure prog!

In the 70s, during the hey day of progressive rock, record labels were looking out for bands that might be the next money-spinner like Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull or Genesis. Thus, numerous second tier prog-rock bands were given the opportunity to become viable recording artists. Not all of these LPs were easily available in Singapore and even if they were, I would be spending my hard-earned allowance on those aforementioned top-tier bands… But thanks to Spotify, I can now listen to these now lesser known outfits. Enjoy…

U.K.

A supergroup in every sense of that word, U.K. originally consisted of John Wetton (vocals/bass), Bill Bruford (drums), Eddie Jobson (keyboards/violin) and Allan Holdsworth (guitar). That lineup recorded a eponymous debut LP which was released in 1978 but the band subsequently imploded. Still, this record remains a wonderful landmark for progressive circa the late 70s.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

More recommended listening @ Spotify! This week we look at obscure post-punk from the late 70s/80s that fans of contemporary revivalist bands might wanna check out…

SOUTHERN DEATH CULT (1981 – 1983)

A early 80s goth rock band that is best remembered for providing singer Ian Astbury the platform from which he would form Death Cult with guitarist Billy Duffy before finding success as The Cult. Listen to its eponymous debut LP below.

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CAMP SYMMETRY

The year is ending and it does seem that the best way to celebrate a fine 12 months of live music in Singapore is to enjoy an indie music festival. Camp Symmetry delivers ten bands and is an ambitious event put together by local outfit Symmetry Entertainment Pte Ltd. Think of Camp Symmetry as being positioned somewhere between Laneway and Rock & Roots and a positive sign for the Singapore music scene overall.

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BLURB-O-RAMA

BOB

Capsule reviews of recently released EPs, LPs & DVDs

ANNA CALVI One Breath (Domino)

There is a melodramatic quality about Calvi’s operatic indie rock that suggests an affinity for Jeff Buckley and PJ Harvey. Epic in musical scope and emotional in lyrical depth, this sophomore effort finds Calvi stretching out her musical range to embrace obtuse angular moments that reveal a strong experimental leaning in songs like “Piece By Piece”. But overall, it is the kind of pleasing arch art-rock (“Suddenly” and “Eliza”) that the kids will go gaga for.

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WHITE LIES: THE INTERVIEW THAT NEVER WAS

In 2011, I interviewed White Lies‘ Jack Lawrence-Brown ahead of the trio’s debut performance in Singapore. However, the concert never happened. Two years later, I will be watching White Lies playing at a private event and thought it would be a good time to dig out the interview that never ran at TODAY for the sake of completeness.

KM: Congrats on the new album (2011’s Rituals), people usually say that 2nd albums are difficult ones, was it true in this case?

JLB: I think it wasn’t really the case. Maybe we were lucky or maybe it’s different for other bands but for us it was a much easier album to make than the first record and also a lot more enjoyable. It was a process we all really enjoyed getting into. And we were really worried about making a 2nd album but it actually happened quite naturally for us.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

… and we’re back! Power pop is the original basis for this webzine’s existence so I thought it’d be appropriate to highlight all you needed to know about the foundations of true-blue original POWER POP. Enjoy…

BADFINGER

Thanks to the Breaking Bad finale, Badfinger is back in vogue. This British band originally consisted of Pete Ham, Ron Griffiths, Mike Gibbins and Tom Evans and were signed by The Beatles to Apple Records in 1968. Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1971: “Come and Get It” (written and produced by Paul McCartney), “No Matter What”, “Day After Day”, and “Baby Blue” (the song featured in that Breaking Bad finale).

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

I have been using Spotify quite a bit since it was officially launched in Singapore. Of course, the streaming music app isn’t perfect (it doesn’t have any Beatles music for instance) but it has certainly helped me to get in touch with obscure music once again and I wanted to take this opportunity to share the same with you in this column.

First off, we have the eponymous debut album of The Waterboys. I remember first hearing this in the early 80s and feeling that it was highly spiritual folk-pop-rock music that was epic and earthy at the same time. Apart from this wonderful debut, one should also check out A Pagan Place and Fisherman’s Blues.

Lloyd Cole & the Commotions was a breath of fresh air when its debut album – Rattlesnakes – was released to critical acclaim in 1984. The band never quite took off despite the success of the debut and Cole eventually went on to a fairly viable solo career.

Finally, Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn has had a 40 year illustrious career but has remained fairly obscure outside of his homeland. His eclectic style has seen Cockburn embrace such genres as folk, jazz, reggae, new wave and rock n’ roll with great aplomb. This playlist is a collection of some of my favourite Cockburn tracks and serves as an excellent introduction.

… still there’s more…