I presume you must be questioning my objectivity concerning this review especially when I have been a Noise mentor for the past three years and two of my apprentices viz Vanessa Faith and Age of Sinfonia have contributed to this CD. So in the interests of fairness, I recuse myself from commenting on both Vanessa Faith and Age of Sinfonia. I believe I have said enough about them on Power of Pop for any regular visitor to know how I feel about them.

Continue reading “NOISE SINGAPORE 2011”


VARIOUS ARTISTS Postrockology (Deep Elm)

In the gospel according to Deep Elm Records, you have the corporate sell-out pseudo indie labels who work hand in hand with major record companies for distribution and publicity, and then you have the keepers of the true faith, as exemplified by Deep Elm Records themselves: untainted by commercial interests, true indie labels undyingly devoted to the music with a singular passion.

Continue reading “POSTROCKOLOGY”


Wanna win tickets to Big Night Out? Then send an email to info (at) powerofpop (dot) com with the answer to the following question.

What is the name of the band that both Slash and STP’s Scott Weiland were members of?

Winners will be notified by email. What are you waiting for?


“My third Noise Showcase!”, as I remarked to Tse Wei (Noise) and probably the best so far in my experience. Van was scheduled to perform at 7.15pm (at the Concourse) and so before that I met her at Tiffany’s Cafe located at the Library @ The Esplanade as she prepared her little extra gifts for her audience. I got to help her “crafting” her special gifts (rather badly though) and meet her good friends Queena and Frannie, with whom I had fun chats with!

Continue reading “MAKING NOISE IN 2011”


It’s been a while since the last Talkin’ the Line installment – so this one’s overdue. Pat and I went down to Van’s place and I think captured a very casual interview with this talented young songwriter. I guess the fact that I am her mentor as well made the interview a bit more looser than usual! Pat also recorded Van singing Good Things for an upcoming S-Indie TV, so look out for that.

In the meantime, don’t forget that Van performs (with her friends Jeremy, Jon & Elsa) at the Esplanade Concourse for the Noise music showcase on Sat, 7.15pm and Sun, 5.15pm. Check out the other bands/artists during the Noise music showcase over this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Talkin’ the Line is brought to you by Walk On Music and PoPTV.


Press release from the kind folks at Sargent House.

Iconoclast Japanese trio Boris have released the first single from Attention Please — one of TWO all-new full length Boris albums to be released on the same day via Sargent House this spring. The song, “Hope” premiered today via Pitchfork and is available HERE.

Continue reading “BORIS”


JUSTIN BIEBER Never Say Never The Remixes (Universal)

Seriously I sometimes wonder why this boy (who is the same age as my youngest son) engenders such polarized opinion. I mean, all he really is, is a singer, a teen idol. To be honest, (if I had to) I’d rather listen to him than any of the American Idols out there, at least, Bieber was ‘discovered’ (on youtube), mentored (by Usher) and rather fortuitously, has become one of the biggest pop singers on the planet (and not prefabricated over the course of a reality TV show). As someone who has seen teen idols come and go (does anyone even remember Sean Cassidy or Aaron Carter?), I do not quite understand the obsession or antipathy that this teenager generates.

Continue reading “JUSTIN BIEBER”


You could say that this event was almost a year in the making. Having spoken to Timbre co-founder Danny Loong about a dedicated programme for Singapore singer-songwriters in March 2010, it was very satisfactory to finally stand on the Timbre stage and host this event. Happy to say that the venue was packed and particularly so to see my RP students (viz Bryan, Linqi, Emily and Peiqi) turn up as well! In addition, the support of Noise Singapore has been invaluable to the cause.



Bani Haykal (B-Quartet) has something to share with you

after rounds of deliberations, i would like to present a new body of work, an experiment and an exercise based on recent developments.this is ‘ergophobia’.

Good old fashioned avant garde experimental noise-art. Performed live without overdubs! Listen without prejudice…



Here we go! Top of the must-see musical events coming up in the schedule packed months ahead is the Timbre Rock & Roots festival to be held on April 15th & 16th at the Marina Promenade. Co-organized by Timbre Music and Bluesfest, the lineup is probably one of the most credible for true-blue music lovers ever seen on our shores – Bob Dylan, John Legend, Imogen Heap, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Toots and the Maytal, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (and our very own Raw Earth) – *whew*!

As you might expect, Power of Pop will be there in the trenches to bring you the lowdown on the festival, interviews with artists and perhaps a couple of choice reasons why you should be attending. First up, we will be talking to British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap soon, so look out for that interview at the Power of Pop.

…still there’s more…

Official Site


More 80s synth-pop channeling in the shape and form of British duo Summer Camp, who have a debut album due. 80s fans will no doubt hear references to Roxy Music and The Police in this lead single from the upcoming album.

I Want You by Summer Camp



Press release

Stardust is an annual nationwide talent-search competition organized by the National University of Singapore Student’s Business Club (also known as the NUS Bizad Club).

Since its inception in 1990, Stardust has been a flagship project for the NUS Bizad club. What began as a singing competition based within the faculty has, over the years, grown steadily into what it is today — A nationwide talent search competition. Stardust aims to be a platform for budding youths to showcase their talents and gain the recognition that they deserve.

With attractive prizes of up to $10,000 for each category to be won, awesome performance opportunities at *SCAPE Warehouse and University Cultural Centre and with famous judges Amanda Ling (Electrico’s ex-keyboardist), Kevin Mathews (Baybeats judge) etc, Stardust promises to be a blast and we want YOU to join us in this extravaganza!

Continue reading “STARDUST 2011”


RUN WITH THE WANTED Self-titled (Panic)

At first glance, the self-titled album released by Phoenix hardcore quintet Run With The Wanted (yes, Bukowski reference there) seems like your run-of-the-mill genre record.

Dig a little deeper than the cursory listen, though, and there is much to credit the band with on this debut full length album.

Continue reading “RUN WITH THE WANTED”


RADIOHEAD King of Limbs (Self-released)

This is part review, part commentary. Finally liberated from record label deals, Radiohead released it’s premier self-released album, In Rainbows (2007) to great critical and commercial success. The LP itself was viewed by many as a return to the rock-ist sentiments of The Bends and OK Computer after the experimental veneer of subsequent releases.

Continue reading “RADIOHEAD”


Just passing along the message from Mr Adrian Jones…

Join BIML for a Friday evening of cello, geetar & drums with brushes for an acoustic show with an edge, on the waterfront at Singapore Boat Quay: There’s lovely innit!! We got some Neil Young , obscure Radiohead songs, and of course the entire batch of original songs – including some brand new – that make us what we are… Dying to see you there, come down & say hello!

Date: 25th Feb 11

Time: 10pm

Place: Prince Of Wales Boat Quay 51 Boay Quay Singapore



The most eagerly anticipated S-ROCK album in recent memory was finally launched last night at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre as Cheating Sons played two thrilling sets to announce the arrival of its debut LP, Masters, Wives, Daughter. The packed audience certainly enjoyed every guitar lick from Cheez, vocal growl from Renyi, change of instrument from Don and intricate drum pattern from Andy!

Continue reading “CHEATING SONS”


I first came across Age of Sinfonia at the auditions for Baybeats Festival 2010 and was intrigued by their brand of progressive-symphonic rock – a blend of classical and metal styles, which of course has been evident in rock music since the 70s (I am a big fan of Genesis, King Crimson, Kansas, and Rush…). So, when the band applied for the Noise Apprenticeship Programme, I had pretty much decided that I wanted to mentor them. It has been a rewarding experience for me personally as I have become good friends with Savvia, Rasen, Didi, Jack, Jun and Elfie. As a band, they have always been quick to listen to whatever I had to share with them and put into practice as well. They are a diverse group of musicians, coming from different backgrounds but they gel well as friends and as a band. They are ambitious too and hope that their music can travel beyond our shores.

Continue reading “AGE OF SINFONIA”


I am counting on all you Power of Pop regulars to be at Timbre @ Substation in force to support this landmark event – let’s show everyone that Singapore songwriting is worth the time, effort and $$$! Not forgetting also the Noise music showcases. A good S-ROCK week, all told!

Come up and say hi – take a photo with me and I will post it here on Power of Pop!

… still there’s more …


Interview with The Wanted

I met up with The Wanted together with representatives from other media outlets for a roundtable interview, with the band very relaxed (not a trace of jetlag) and munching on Skittles, even offering some to us. We took turns to ask questions throughout the interview, which resulted in a great variety. Tom and Jay were clearly the chatty ones in the group, especially Tom. The youngest, Nathan, seemed the most shy, staying in the back most of the time.

What’s your impression of Singapore so far?

Tom: Beautiful!

Max: The people are so nice.

Tom: We came out of the restaurant this morning, and five people were saying “thank you very much” and they queued up to say “have a nice day”!

Jay: In UK you think “Where are all the trees? Where’s the sun? Where are the smiles?”

Continue reading “THE WANTED”


I met up with three of the Cheating Sons (Reny, Don & Cheez) in January to talk about music and their new album, Masters, Wives, Daughter. This was the result which I turned into the feature you can read at TODAY. And yes, some alcohol was involved…

How and when did the band form?

Renyi – The band formed in 2008 and consisted originally of me, Chee San and Jeremy, our original drummer. We played music in school. We were big fans of grunge so we listened to a lot of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots. So that’s how we started playing as amateurs and played our first performances in school. Later on, we all went our separate ways for studies and when we came back for good in 2007, I’d started writing a bunch of songs in UK and I wanted us to work on them. We were missing a bassist and I met Don at our current workplace. I never knew him in school, we only met when we started and we realized that we have a lot of common ground in terms of music so I proposed to Don – why don’t you play with us? Don wasn’t really a bassist, he played guitar. He was playing with a friend at that time doing the gigging circuit playing old school covers. Finally he agreed and we got together. By this time, the three of us – Jem, Chee San and me – had already started working on the songs. So I asked Don to just come in and see what he could do and it just got off from there.



As a musician and writer, it is often difficult to separate the roles when making an assessment of a fellow musician in writing. In popularity terms, American singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata scores high with young Singaporean women, having easily sold out two shows at the Esplanade Recital Studio (seating around 245). Outnumbering the men by two to one, there was little doubt that Yamagata’s appeal lay in her confessional relationship-based lyrics and her engaging live banter, rather than her musicianship.