SINGAPORE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: MARICELLE & FORBIDDEN PLANET

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MARICELLE – LUCKY ONES

2nd single release ahead of her EP launch in January, Maricelle’s “Lucky Ones” is a wondrously constructed track with a melody that will twist and turn right into your heart.

Buy now: Amazon | iTunes

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FORBIDDEN PLANET – CAN I BORROW YOUR BASS

Animated video of “Can I Borrow Your Bass” from Forbidden Planet’s debut album, From the Bedroom to Oblivion: Two Decades of Obscurity (2015).

Buy now: Amazon | iTunes

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PoP ROCKS! AN INTRODUCTION

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Once upon a time, pop and rock came together and made a baby, and its name was Pop-Rock. Very strictly speaking, Pop-Rock is a fusion genre that mixes a catchy pop style and light lyrics in its (typically) guitar-based rock songs. Other genres that bear similar traits would be Powerpop, Melodic Rock, Soft Rock, Jangle Pop, Glam Rock, New Wave, Indie Pop and of course, Rock ’n’ Roll.

Continue reading “PoP ROCKS! AN INTRODUCTION”

PoPTV: JAWN – CHASE AWAY THE DARK

Chase Away the Dark

A heartbreaking music video for JAWN’s “Chase Away the Dark”. The story is rooted in the fantastical & the real, simultaneously. Seriously, this is a powerful short film in its own right.

JAWN’s debut EP is available on streaming on both Spotify and Apple Music, and if you want to support him, it’s also available for purchase on iTunes for $6.98.

Official website

SINGLE REVIEW: THELIONCITYBOY’S ALL NIGHT IS A DECEPTIVELY LIGHT-HEARTED ROMP WHICH ON CLOSER INSPECTION REVEALS A DEEPER INTENT

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It’s always intriguing to have two opposing ideas build up to a contrast in a music video. And this is why the music video for THELIONCITYBOY’s new single “All Night Feat Sezairi, Mr Boo” works despite the inevitable clunky acting.

The song itself is quite lightweight pop with local crooner Sezairi providing the sweetness but there is a edgy underbelly when you appreciate where THELIONCITYBOY’s lyrics are coming from. It’s a refreshing take on hip hop’s usual concerns about partying and hooking up with the opposite sex.

The video is altogether a different proposition. Ostensibly, it may seem corny and cliched to come up with a horror story before Halloween but it seems that the zombie motif is really a deep commentary on relationships and it resonates when the actress involved is THELIONCITYBOY’s own better half, Aarika Lee.

A masterstroke!

I mean, that scene where she’s asking her zombie partner why he’s so slow (riding his bicycle at the beach – what a twist on the cliche!) is hilarious. So when the ending comes, it makes so much sense and the viewer is nodding in a knowing agreement. Which is why I have always appreciated THELIONCITYBOY’s work – it lures you in with superficial hip hop tropes but then slays you with a meaningful thought-provoking message.

Kudos!

LIVE NEWS: A DECADE OF SAM, MAS & MATT – DIRT RADICALS LIVE AT HOOD BAR!

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Punk trio Dirt Radicals began life as Pug Jelly and earned a reputation as Singapore favourite “pop punk ang mohs”, became Saw Loser and settled for The Dirt Radicals. Whatever. What matters is the music and in that department, The Dirt Radicals continue to deliver melodious, chirpy punk rock in spades. The Dirt Radicals are set to release their new EP “Duder.” on November 3rd, with pre-orders available now. The debut single “Your Heart” is already circulating on Lush 99.5fm. See music video below.

This October 17th, 2015 the band will be performing a free show at Hood Bar & Café at Bugis Junction, Singapore. Local heroes Caracal will be opening the show. Doors open at 6pm. For more information, log on to www.thedirtradicals.com.

Pre-order now.

SINGLE REVIEW: SLOOM – MAGIC CUP

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If I wasn’t aware that “Magic Cup” was a new song, I would be at a loss to identify which decade it was made in.

The blues riffs, the swampy rhythm section, the distorted vocals and the general shambolic vibe evoke 60s garage rock effortlessly. I would not have been surprised to find out that this was a Sonics or even Blue Cheer track.

But of course, it’s not. It’s Sloom – a rock n roll band from Sydney’s Inner West – with an utterly unoriginal sound that works for the 3 minutes and 33 seconds.

Good dirty fun.

More info.

 

SINGLE REVIEW: THE SAM WILLOWS – FOR LOVE

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Into their second single for Sony Music, it’s clear that The Sam Willows have honed their pop technique to a tight construct with “For Love” – the chorus comes with soaring banks of vocals even if the familiar melody does not move listeners that much.

The song recalls Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters & Men and even the quartet’s own “Glasshouse”. Not quite as incongruous as its predecessor “Take Heart”, this time the electro-pop elements complement the song rather well.

The message behind the video is strong and to the band’s credit maintains a personal emotional connection. It might be too close to the bone for many people but if pop music can be used to touch hearts, minds and souls in this manner then kudos to The Sam Willows for at least, taking their best shot at making a statement!

Pre-order the album Take Heart:
https://SonyMusicSG.lnk.to/TSWTakeHeartAlbum

ROCK HISTORY: JAPAN – QUIET LIFE (1979)

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English band Japan never hid their influences, with The New York Dolls, Roxy Music, David Bowie and The Velvet Underground, readily apparent from their image and music. Consisting of David Sylvian (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Barbieri (synths, keyboards), Mick Karn (bass, sax, flute, backing vocals), Steve Jansen (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Rob Dean (guitar), the band would in turn inspire many of the 80s New Romantics (Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet etc) though the band themselves swore off that label.

Quiet Life, their 3rd LP, is significant as it signalled a shift in style as Japan eschewed the glam-rock of their first two LPs in favour of a more experimental synth-based approach, which bordered on art rock. This allowed the creativity of Karn and Barbieri to shine through in their instrumental work and Sylvian began to step of the shadow of his #1 vocal inspiration, Bryan Ferry. Guitars were no longer used to provide chordal accompaniment and where utilised would be more atmospheric in nature. This change in direction probably led to guitarist Dean leaving, subsequent to the album’s release.

Songs like the dance-rocking title track, the mutant groovy “In Vogue” and the Roxy-channeling “Halloween” provided the album highlights, whilst the sublime cover of the Velvets’ “All Tomorrow’s Parties” would make for a particularly memorable single.

As a quartet, Japan would go on to release the successful Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum albums before splitting up in 1982 to explore even more progressive rock territories individually.

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SINGLE REVIEW: LADY LOW’S HELLO SWEET GOODBYE

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Not sure what describing your band as ‘romance rockers’ does for your profile but there you go. Lady Low are not 80s ‘new romantics’ in case you are wondering. In fact, if nothing else this new single with its insistent beat and heavy strings is somewhat reminiscent of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”. Which might be a good comparison to have actually. In the final analysis, that beat and string hook is quite infectious and it will get stuck in your head, after one listen. Personally, I am thrilled that it’s a pop-rock track that has all the right influences – if that isn’t a recommendation, I don’t know what the hell is!

SINGLE REVIEW: “RISE” BY BRETT RANDELL

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Although it mainly consists of vocals, guitar, strings and a smattering of piano notes, there is a certain dynamism and power that distinguishes Brett Randell’s new single “Rise”. Randell’s voice isn’t too sugary and in fact is rather nasal at times but it conveys the emotion well on this uplifting song of encouragement.  I like how Randell resists the temptation of cluttering up the arrangement and keeps things very spare so that his lyrics shine through. In fact, I almost expect it to break out into a pop-punk anthem but thankfully that never happens. Definitely one to savour, if you are into edgy ballads that carry the weight of a meaningful life message.

NO NEED TO PRETEND – GAYLE NERVA IS BUZZ-WORTHY TALENT YOU SHOULD NOT IGNORE!

Gayle

I will be honest (when am I not?) – I first noticed Gayle Nerva in a tour video of I Hate This Place in Japan  sometime ago and was struck by her effervescent personality. Then, it was her lovely voice and then her heartfelt ballads that got my firm attention. I have always believe that given a chance, her music would appeal to a mainstream pop audience home and abroad.

GayleLive

Well, glad to say that her new single “Pretend” is out – it’s a dark electro-pop number produced by Trick’s Marc Lian – and Gayle will be performing at the Esplanade Recital Studio on Saturday, September 5th. Tickets available from SISTIC. Check out the music video below.

Connect with Gayle at Facebook & Twitter.

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