Day: September 30, 2015

KEVIN SAYS …KEVIN SAYS …

Having been a recording artist for over 20 years, it’s interesting to observe the changes especially in the area of marketing and promotion of a new release. Signed to Odyssey Records for my first two releases with Watchmen, the label took care of all the marketing and to their credit, did manage to get good press for both Democracy and Love. No internet back then of course, so everything was in print – newspapers & magazines, or over the air – radio & TV. Fair to say, I was featured all over the place back then – not young by any means but still, someone in their early 30s was acceptable to the media.

It was not till the two Popland albums viz. Groovy (1998) and Action! (2001) that one began to see the influence of the internet. Still there were no streaming music or videos, so it was very much text & image based. But this at least allowed me to get media coverage from overseas, in fact, Action! was released by a San Francisco indie label and had US distribution and ads were placed in various indie rock publications of the time, with attendant reviews as well. The good ol’ days.

Ever since I started releasing music in my own name (2013), getting media attention has been really difficult. It doesn’t help that most media (local or otherwise) see you as irrelevant. These journalists tend to be very very young (late teens even) and for them, someone in their 40s/50s making music is difficult for them to comprehend – it’s like asking them to visualise their own parents acting in a ‘childish’ way. This tension and discomfort results in these journalists either (1) totally ignoring someone like me or (2) write reviews that reference my age constantly as evidence of my obsolescence.

But that’s to be expected, I guess and I accept that as part of the deal. After all, it’s entirely my choice to release music at my age and worse, send them to music blogs (etc) for their assessment.

Despite all this, I feel even more challenged to keep making music to the best of my ability and will continue to do so, no matter what. It’s more about the music and less about what people think.

Of course, it is always nice to have people appreciate your music but I am not going to change the way I do things, just because certain people don’t…

… still there’s more …

EP REVIEW: SWEET AND SOUR MORSELS FROM RICECRACKERS’ KOLOHE KIDEP REVIEW: SWEET AND SOUR MORSELS FROM RICECRACKERS’ KOLOHE KID

Ricecrackers

So… I got to know about this Boston outfit as guitarist Huxley Rittman used to play in Singapore band The Cave. But once I began listening to the tracks, my attention was drawn to two things. One, the sheer eclectic spirit of the music and two, the dynamic vocal chops of singer Olivia.

If nothing else, Kolohe Kid reminds me of something an English band might put together during the post-punk era. You know, it’s edgy, cool and doesn’t give a fuck. I mean take “Perspective”, where Olivia wails on the chorus like a Banshee (Siouxsie, of course) – “Riding alone/Not ready to go home/Take all I own/Then leave a message at the tone” whilst the band does their best Nirvana impression.

“Mall Girls” is an observational ditty that overstays its welcome rather quickly. “Fish” is a minute long but contains this rather tasty couplet – You know, you know, this is not how anything should go/You’re just a man, and I’m a bitch”. But save the best for last why don’t you? “My Asian Grandma” fills a punk rock fortune cookie with auto-biographical disses like “My Asian grandma will fuck me up if I get a B/Strange fashion sense but still a mother fucking P.I.M.P.”

So… Ricecrackers, more of the same, please!

Download now from Bandcamp!

SINGLE REVIEW: BROTHERTIGER – WAKESINGLE REVIEW: BROTHERTIGER – WAKE

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The vocals may be dreamy and indistinct but the melodies and hooks are clear enough to make an impact. There is a smooth electro-organic pop vibe about “Wake” that bodes well for Brothertiger’s new album Out of Touch (released on 4th December).  Am digging the way he utilises the electronics to convey a sense of warmth and comfort – the backing vocals are lovingly layered to grant a rather 80s pop sheen. On repeat mode for sure!

 

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