Two sides of the same coin – twin perspectives of Death and the Cure’s live show at the Prince of Wales on 5th May.

Not every post-hardcore member has an acoustic side, but Ben Blondel of Death and a Cure certainly has.

Death and a Cure basically consists of Ben Blondel and his guitar. Despite his constant activity and touring with Australian post-hardcore band In League as main vocalist, Ben has stayed true to his acoustic music over the last three years, composing tunes of introspection and heartache in his free time. “It has always been acoustic for me,” he confesses.

Last night, he was spotted at Prince of Wales, an Aussie bar located at Boat Quay, and performed two sets mostly from his debut album Oceans, Lovers & Empires set to be released on 7 May 2012. He dedicated songs such as Hello Morning, Give Up Your Ghost and The Endless Escape, to an intimate crowd of no more than twenty.

It was easy to liken his style and influences to Damien Rice and Bon Iver, but upon closer inspection, his real talent lay in his vocals. He has a natural ability to express aching tender emotions the way he intended, with the use of accidental vocal variations, producing a raw voice that paints imagery.

To the ghost of love, the ghost of love again
Have we chased it home
We chased it to the grave
(Song: Give Up Your Ghost)

Surprisingly, music has never really been his main career. Ben shares that he fulfills his duties as designer to earn money and will later take a break to pursue music for a few months. Like any other struggling musician, he faced similar problems in funding but nothing has stopped him from doing what he loves and in his own terms, what makes him “feel alive”.

Oceans, Lovers & Empires may not be an album that sounds completely exciting or instantly impressionable, but is definitely worth a listen, especially in cold and lonely nights.

(Cheryl Chew)

Cheryl, CJ and Ben

A backpacker’s hostel, tucked in the midst of Singapore’s nightlife bars, and dishonest seafood restaurants awaiting for their foreign prey, I found myself at Prince Of Wales in Boat Quay, the venue for a Saturday (5th May 2012) night gig. Blink and you may miss it, unless the recognisable sign of a dogface against an orange background catches your eye.

Ben Blondel is Death And A Cure, an acoustic / folk singer-songwriter from Perth, Australia. With a musical history that involves providing vocals and playing keys for post-hardcore band In League, Death And A Cure is a side project for Ben, venturing into other different music genres.

He was in town for a tour to celebrate the release of his latest single, The Spin You’ve Got Me In, as well as his new studio album offering of Oceans, Lovers & Empires, which was released on May 7th. Cheryl (our newest Power Of Pop contributing writer, and her first review) and I were informed that responses so far have been positive, from gigs held from various venues such as The Pigeonhole and Home Club, even so that the stash of records he had brought along on this trip were all but snapped up (but fret not, copies are still available for purchase online, and he is in talks to arrange for more copies to be shipped over).

Despite the low turnout (but generally satisfactory for a fine and dandy, small bar that Prince Of Wales offer), Ben managed to pull through and not let it affect him much. Moreover, he was in a foreign land, and doing the things he loved, at least it was what kept him going, he later explained in an interview we arranged with him.

From the audience’s perspective, it felt more like an intimate set, with his focus clearly and carefully shifting amongst us, from one member of the audience to the next, be it near or far. It was a manner of connectivity and engaging with his audience, which he succeeded in doing so well.

Portraying fragments of influences from the likes of Damien Rice, John Mayer and James Morrison, Ben performed songs of his own material, as well as covers of Bon Iver and Death Cab For Cutie. In the process of doing so, he captivated us with his vocals and acoustic guitar playing, and gathered to himself a group of faithful supporters upfront, close to his set near the entrance to the bar. Humbly flattered when we brought up the artistes that came into our minds with his tunes, he gushed about singers with influences in his music and his life – Sufjan Stevens, Dallas Green, John Mayer and Damien Rice (we were quite spot on!). On his songwriting process, he talked about his personal life, journey and the matters close to his heart that aid in his creative composition process. Being away from home and loved ones, especially his girl, also sparked the fireworks in his mind and nerves leading to his hands and fingers to pen down the thoughts, and magically transformed them into songs and melodies of his own.

It was a pity though that we were seated on the first table after the walkway, with its traffic of night patronisers strolling by. It felt slightly strange and after a while, mostly an annoyance, like flies to your eyes and bees to your ears.

He remained optimistic about the music scene in general, from his side of the world to the Asian perspective, citing the opening of opportunities, varieties and more listening ears extended and – literally speaking – thrown in the right direction. A humble and promising musician, I could see the glint in his eyes and feel the thumping heartbeat of a musically passionate lad when we sat down to interview him, and we all knew that we were in the right place, at the right time, with the right amount of hearts shared.

Find out more about Death And A Cure from his official website, If you sign up to his mailing list, you will get a free mp3 download of the catchy single The Spin You’ve Got Me In. Do note there are only limited downloads available, so hurry!