The China Blue Experiment describes itself as a “blues/pop fusion band with wide reaching influences, eclectic styles and troublesome personalities”, which demonstrates that if nothing else, the duo of Darren Forster and Gordon Cant has attitude in spades. Should be fun to check ’em out! Words by Darren Forster.
Why is it important for you to play in Singapore? It represents a great opportunity to take our product to an international audience. We would like to the opportunity to (hopefully) impress the wonderful people of Singapore and beyond and would hope that we could establish ourselves in a way that means we can return regular and share our ever evolving musical experience.
These pop-rockers have just the right vibe for Power of Pop! Jake and the Cowboys are the 2nd band to be featured in PoP’s SWAM coverage. Words by Jarred Wall.
Why is it important for you to play in Singapore?
Beerfest Asia 2015 will mark our first international gig, so we are extremely excited to share our music to a market that we feel are going to really enjoy our sound. Jake and the Cowboys are fresh and exciting and provide a live performance which rivals that of the best.
It also proves timely for us as we have just finished completing a successful crowd funding campaign to record our next single ‘She Said’. The response we received from our fans was fantastic and the project itself has really provided us with a new platform to engage our fans and make them feel a part of the band. It also provided us with a chance to give something back to the fans for all their support. For example, fairly soon we will be heading to one of our fans houses to do some gardening and wash their car and then after that, we will be providing an exclusive performance to a group of fans, on top of cooking them a meal! We wanted to give the fans something different and put a personal touch to it. Of course these rewards were some of the more unusual ones, fans also had the opportunity to receive signed CD’s and digital downloads of the new track. It’s now closed but feel free to check out the project at http://www.pozible.com/project/195487
After spending a few days in the studio with Joel Quartermain of well known Australian Act Eskimo Joe, we were extremely happy and proud of the final product. We see the networking opportunities that we will be exposed to in Singapore as a great opportunity to source airplay in the region and ultimately future performances down the track. We will be armed in hand with ‘She Said’ Single’s!
What do you hope to take away from the experience?
We hope to learn a few things about the Singaporean market and what the people like. Eventually our aim would be to have our music receive airplay in the region as we feel our music will be quite well suited to the people and well received.
The networking opportunities are also a great chance for us to make some crucial contacts in the region which we hope will lead to future exposure for Jake and the Cowboys. We want to make the most of the opportunity and what the city has to offer, particularly in the way of music.
Foreign Architects are a Perth based duo featuring singer/songwriter Matt Burke and percussionist Andrew Barnett. The duo will play Beerfest Asia 2015 (together with Singaporean and other Aussie bands) on Sunday 28th June. This is part of the musical exchange between Singapore & Western Australian music scenes which has been ongoing for the last couple of years. Thanks to Timbre Music (Beerfest organisers), we got in touch with Matt Burke/Foreign Architects for a short interview.
Why is it important for you to play in Singapore?
This is an important opportunity for us to gain international exposure and start to build a fan-base outside our home city. Singapore is a country we have always wanted to travel to and getting to bring our music to Singapore is a dream come true for us.
Second EP from these Perth-based smart poppers finds them in the sweet G-spot between British post-punk and American new wave. Simply put – infectious melodies, bouncy rhythms, quirky lyrics and cool vibes overall. Seriously folks, they don’t make pop music like this anymore. This is the kind of pop, Power of Pop was established to drool over!
The title track is a masterwork of tightness and economy, crammed into its 3:31 minutes is more absolutely gorgeous pop (is there a better middle-eight/bridge from anyone else in 2014?) than anything most of the post-punk revivalists will be able to muster in their unreasonably overlong careers (you know who you are!)
Amazingly, the other four tracks do not fall too shy off the pop perfection of the title track. “I Disagree With Myself” is a brilliantly clever pop single that the likes of XTC and Split Enz would be proud to call their own with an irresistible chorus hook to boot – “I don’t wanna be dumb and bored”. No danger of that!
“Far From the Moment” and “Don’t Look at Me” have similarly mellifluous refrains – sweetness perfected in hooks and riffs that dig deeply into the ear. And of course, opener “Uppers and Downers” is a wonderful study in tone – offbeat, sinister and yet funny at the same time. No mean feat.
The Disappointed – check them out cuz believe me, you will not be!
Aysha Amani, the frontperson of infectious Aussie funk-soul-hiphop combo The Amani Consort was so easy and fun to talk to as she (together with keyboards player Gordon Cant) answered my questions about the band – past, present and future. Listen to the audio for the full details! (Sound quality is a little rough but I hope you get the gist of what was going on – lots of laughter!)
We promise to be back with a review of The Amani Consort’s Better Way EP pretty soon! In the meantime, connect with the band over at its Facebook page.
I love The Disappointed! This Perth band reminds me so much of the best late 70s/early 80s new wave smart pop (think: Split Enz, Elvis Costello, XTC) – it’s so refreshing! As part of the Singapore-Western Australian Music Exchange, I got to interview Michael Strong (vocals, guitar) and Mark Neal (guitar) when they were in Singapore and here are the audio clips for your enjoyment & edification! (Sound quality is a little rough but I hope you get the gist of what was going on)
We will be back shortly with a review of Weird Peace, the new EP from The Disappointed.
In the meantime, catch up with the band at its Facebook page.
I love Timbre. It’s been amazing what Danny Loong and Edward Chia have been able to achieve in the last seven years or so. Beginning from the first outlet at Substation, the Timbre Group has expanded to more outlets across the island, organizing popular festivals like Rock & Roots and even providing the backline for the recent completed Music Matters Live.
I know personally that Danny has the best interest of Singapore music in his heart and has always wanted to link the music scenes of Singapore and Western Australia (where he also spent a significant part of his life) together and this weekend’s Beerfest 2014 sees the culmination of that dream with SWAM (Singapore-Western Australian Music Exchange) where three Aussie bands and two Singapore bands (see above) play at Beerfest 2014.
On Sunday 15th, I will be moderating a panel discussion amongst these bands where hopefully there will be a healthy exchange of ideas of how we can – in each respective music scene – help out the other, all for mutual benefit. Believe me, there’s nothing more magical than when musical people come together! So if you’re a local musician and SGMUSO member (natch!) make a date with Beerfest 2014 for Sunday, where the fun begins at 4pm. Please register your interest with SGMUSO at firstname.lastname@example.org and look forward to seeing you there!