Jan 112012

Lunarin’s spanking new album – The Midas Sessions – has been on heavy rotation here at Power of Pop central and we got in touch with singer-bassist Linda Ong to get her thoughts on the new album…

Why an acoustic album?

Few people know this, but playing acoustic has always been a part of our repertoire. We have always made it a point to play acoustic gigs alongside our usual electric ones ever since forming Lunarin in 2003. I remember playing an acoustic show organized by Double Yellow Line at Yusof Ishak House in NUS before the Chrysalis was released. During the time when we released the Chrysalis, we played an acoustic show at Earshot at the Arts House (one of the songs appeared on our EP “Little Pieces”). After we released Duae, we played an acoustic show with you at the library at Esplanade.

Nothing gives us more joy than to watch bands and songwriters that we love play stripped down, acoustic sets. There is something very heartbreaking and sincere in listening to a well written song stripped down to its barest elements, with only raw emotions and pure musicianship in support. I never thought of going acoustic as a “step down” or a sign that we have mellowed. It is just a different direction that is worth exploring and developing.

Having our own home studio gave us the luxury of deciding to record these songs instead of just leaving them as material for acoustic gigs. This was a luxury we didn’t have previously! 

What were the major differences between recording Midas Sessions as compared to Duae?

Well this time we had Natalie and Victor playing on the album. So we had to figure out how to record violins and cello properly with our limited equipment and space. That took a fair bit of trial and error, because when it came to dealing with violins and cello, it was important to try and capture their natural organic sound. It was very different from recording an electric album when we could just run the bass and guitars through effects. Lucky for us both Natalie and Victor were two very patient people. So after the initial teething problems were sorted and a modus operandi was established, recording them was a breeze.

Because of our experience recording Duae, recording the rest of the instruments (guitars, bass, piano, drums) was relatively painless. Personally for me, recording vocals was the highlight of the recording process. Going acoustic enabled me to explore a wide range of styles vocally. I must confess to being a tad over indulgent. I did far too many vocal overdubs and far too many different vocal harmonies than I would have liked!

Kah Wye was away for quite a bit of 2011 due to overseas work commitments. Because of this, I had to assume a greater role in recording this album than I did in Duae.  Quite a far bit of the cello and violins on the album were recorded with just me, Natalie and Victor, which was fun. 

Lunarin is very much a D-I-Y operation – what keeps you going (recording and performing) despite the pressures of everyday life?

A love for music. It isn’t really that difficult! (Good answer! KM)

What are your promotional plans for Midas Sessions?

We are planning an album launch at The Pigeonhole on Sunday 15 Jan 2012 8pm, which is also the official release date of the album. After that we have a remix of Right of Sleep, done by someone we hugely respect, that we plan to release shortly after the album is out. We’re looking forward to that! 

It took you 4 years to record Duae and 2 to finish Midas Sessions, will the next album surface in 2013?

Unfortunately no. The Midas Sessions consisted of B Sides and songs from our earlier albums, so the songs were already written when Duae was released.  The time spent after the release of Duae to work on this album was purely spent on recording. This however, can’t be said of any subsequent album to this one. After this album is out, we will need to go back and start writing new material again. At the rate we are going, we’ll see you in five years’ time!

Check out the excellent music video of Right of Sleep. The Midas Sessions will be launched this Sunday, 15 Jan at 8pm at the Pigeonhole. Admission is FREE.

Right of Sleep from lunarin on Vimeo.

Official Site


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Jan 072012

The Midas Sessions

Let me put a personal perspective on this review. I was fortunate enough to open for Lunarin (Linda Ong, Ho Kah Wye & Loo Eng Teck) last year at an acoustic performance at The Library @ Esplanade. The trio was augmented by Natalie Soh (violin) and Victor Ong (cello) and the set list included new songs and re-interpretation of tracks from Chrysalis and Duae and in truth I was enthralled by how gorgeous and magnificent these chamber pop songs turned out to be. After the gig, the band mentioned an intention to record an EP of these acoustic songs and I was so enthused that I almost felt that I had to bully them into recording a full-length album.

So… it is really a special feeling to finally be listening to this wondrous album. Not as hodge-podge as its origins might suggest as the old and new material blend together as a coherent whole. The organic sounds and timbre of the acoustic instruments mesh so well together that one would never imagine that Lunarin was equally deft at loud metallic noises! Certainly the success of this album indicates the breadth and depth of Lunarin as songwriters and artists. Shorn of the wall of metallic sound, these songs breathe and shine so brightly that anyone listening in cannot fail but be engaged.

Amongst the new material, the likes of Ghost, Right of Sleep and Wednesday cut right through to catch the listener’s attention with Right of Sleep’s hook-laden approach making it the perfect choice for lead single. If only Singapore radio would shake off its irrational prejudice against local music, I am certain that Right of Sleep would soon become a staple. Anyone familiar with the two previous albums would be rather astonished to hear the fresh incarnations of Zero Point Red, Midas and Coralline as almost independent entities distinct from their metallic cousins. In fact, Zero Point Red clearly stands a fair chance of being the second single off The Midas Sessions. A definite highlight is the live version of the acoustic rendition of the epic Serpentine which retains its majestic quality whilst adding hitherto unknown deeper layers to its widescreen ambitions.

A breathtaking achievement that belies the hard work and effort behind the scenes, The Midas Sessions is a worthy addition to the burgeoning Singapore rock canon.

Check out the music video of Right of Sleep below.

Right of Sleep from lunarin on Vimeo.

Lunarin launch The Midas Sessions on Sunday 15th January 2012 at 8pm at the Pigeonhole. Admission is FREE.

Official Site


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Aug 262011

Here’s a local music initiative that will hopefully take off as Invasion Online presents The Acoustic Sessions at Jurong Regional Library on 10th/11th September, which brings together several well known S-ROCK bands and artists. If the response is good enough, there may be an opportunity for The Acoustic Sessions to be a regularly monthly event. Come on S-ROCK fans, you know what to do.

More info at the Facebook page.

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