Tag: Baybeats 2014

BAYBEATS 2014: DAY THREEBAYBEATS 2014: DAY THREE

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Inevitably for me, Day Three of most year’s Baybeats tend to be a little anti-climatic. After the hustle and bustle of the first two days, fatigue sets in and it has not been uncommon for me to sometimes entirely miss Day Three. So with that in mind, I decided to focus on the performances going on at the Chillout Stage (the Concourse) and found the experience thoroughly enlightening!

Pitch Feather delivered high gloss renditions of its excellent debut album – Mountains and Tides – singer Alberta Leong has an appealing voice that embellishes the band’s luscious take on 70s folk music that very quickly endeared them to the rapt audience. Considering this was the band’s very first live performance, there were nerves and a couple of errors but nothing fatal. Would love to see Pitch Feather develop further in the local indie scene.

.gif provide a polar opposite to Pitch Feather’s rustic warm tones with an electro-pop set that once again showcased the vocal talents of Weish. It was instructional as usual to see Weish construct ambient sounds from her vocals to utilize backings for the songs. Far from being cold constructs, the songs seemed vaguely personal as colours and shapes filled the room (figuratively, of course).

Pixel Apartment (aka Jordan Chia) was a sheer delight – both soulfully and intellectually. Operating his one man band (complete with video!) with the main focus on grand piano, Jordan provided a pleasing set which showcased his skills with electronics as well as songwriting. That said, perhaps the high point was Jordan’s wonderful cover of “What Sarah Said” (Death Cab for Cutie) sympathetically played on the piano. Yet another local musician with loads of talent!

And that was Day Three for me. Well satisfied with the slate of promising local musicians enough to believe that the future of the Singapore indie music scene is indeed bright! Thanks again to all the cool people I ran into today and once again to the Esplanade for putting together another first rate Baybeats Festival!

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BAYBEATS 2014: DAY TWOBAYBEATS 2014: DAY TWO

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Typically, I find that the second day of Baybeats is the best of the Festival. I guess it’s part of the programming being on a Saturday and all that. But for me personally, it was day of discovery as well as pride in our local musicians (now, that’s a cause I really get behind!)

It began with lunch with Sean and Dee from Ssighborggg – two expat Americans making a name for themselves in the Seoul indie scene. As always, with music people there is an inexplicable connection that I never take for granted. Fun-loving and humble the duo might be but dead serious when it comes to their music as proven with their distinctive set later that night. One of the most unique aural experiences I have ever had. Kudos!

The absolute highlight for me was the performance of my former NOISE mentees ENEC.E at the Concourse and naturally I was emotionally invested. Just so you know, it was love at first sight with the songs and sisterly harmonies of Lisa and Michelle when I heard them at Thunder Band Slam and I have been a fan since. The stripped down environment suited them somewhat with more emphasis on vocals and ‘feels’ (as the kids like to say) – I must confess that I welled up quite a few times during their spine-tingling set (“Ghost”, “Satellite” & “Crystallized” OMG). Magic!

Lost Weekend – like a few budding bands – had to handle rejection the first time it tried out but the group never gave up and came back stronger. I liked the eclecticism within the band’s early 90s alt-rock vibe and certainly Rachel did her best to capture the crowd’s attention – which she did. Some of the banter was a little awkward, and the band could have been tighter but my feeling is that Lost Weekend is a work-in-progress and that once they hit their stride, they are going to take some stopping. Mark my words!!

Now what can I say about Bani Hidir? I still remember marveling at his drumming skills with the immortal B-Quartet back in 2007-2008 (barely 20 years old) and then falling in love with Page (wherein he sang and played crunching power chords) but last night he impressed the Concourse audience with a set that showcased sophisticated songwriting, mad skills and a boyish confidence that charmed us all! Backed only by the impeccable Naz on piano, Hidir blew everyone away with his seemingly effortless display! So glad that he will be releasing an EP of his new material very soon. Best!

One regional band I was really looking forward to was lightcraft (Indonesia) and they certainly did not disappoint. It was basically unadulterated 90s shoegaze with a hint of the post-punk revival peeping over the reverb-drenched soundscapes. Heavenly! Frontman Imam was intense and driving the band forward with 150% commitment – some of his banter was really emotional and despite the odd technical hitches, the band melted my face many times over. With an epic new song – “The Art of Acceptance” – sweeping me away with waves of white noise I was hypnotized! Best part was that after the show, Imam came up to me and passed me the band’s latest CD – Colours of Joy – humbled! (Glowing review to come…)

Somehow it all came full circle with Inch. My very first Baybeats in 2007 was spent very much hanging out with Allura and living the experience through the eyes of someone like Inch. Hard to imagine how much she has grown up to become the very person she said she would be way back then. Amazing. PoP readers will know how much I loved her sophomore solo effort Bumfuzzle, and “Dear Paramour” had me in tears with the chills running down my spine (not to mention, new song “California”). With a crack band of musicians behind her, Inch ruled the roost and had the audience eating out of her hands – again all I could feel was pride and gratitude for being given the best view in the house for the ongoing development of our indie music scene!

Once again, this post has been personal and confessional and well, nostalgic but honestly I don’t give a fuck. It’s my website and I’ll cry if I want to…

My final word on Day Two goes to Leonard Soosay. Again, I recall chatting with him at that 2007 Baybeats Festival and regret certainly not spending more time with the man since then – he is truly one of the leading legends of our indie music scene when you consider the sheer number of bands and artists he has shepherded in his time as one of our top producers and I really enjoyed our short but insightful chat last night. Something I hope to rectify in the near future – what say you, Leo???

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BAYBEATS 2014: DAY ONEBAYBEATS 2014: DAY ONE

For me, this year’s Baybeats is all about people. Watching aspiring musicians grow into great bands and artists and getting the response and acclaim that they so richly deserve. Wishing the very best for them on stage as they take another step towards fulfilling their musical dreams.

Last night, I was so happy to see Stopgap open the Powerhouse performances with an assured set. I recall first seeing them at last year’s auditions and rooting for their progress but alas one wrong song choice and they were booted out (yes I was pissed off!). But kudos to the band for learning from that experience, getting onto the Noise Mentorship Programme, making it on the second attempt (YES!) and generally having the best possible attitude in doing their best in our music scene. So yes, their moment in the spotlight was fully deserved! And I believe there’s more in store for these boys!!

Over at the Concourse, DEON did what he did best – deliver sparkling pop-rock with a refreshing honesty – Deon Toh is as real as it gets! Getting to know Deon at the Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriters thingy a few years ago was a genuine blessing and am so pleased at how far he has come since then. Still the same down-to-earth guy, you must really check out his full-length album Antiphobic!

Jaime Wong! What a voice! What great songs! Like Deon, I first met Jaime at the same Noise-Timbre thingy and in her unassuming, deprecating manner she has grown by leaps and bounds. An awesome talent and I really cannot wait to listen to her debut EP when it comes out in the next few months.

Kudos to The Esplanade for giving Singapore bands and artists this amazing showcase! Long may Baybeats run!

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BAYBEATS 2014: PoP RECOMMENDATIONSBAYBEATS 2014: PoP RECOMMENDATIONS

Which bands/artists will Power of Pop be focusing on during the next three nights of Baybeats 2014?

Friday 27th

STOPGAP | Powerhouse 7.30pm SPHAERAS | Arena 8.00pm DEON | Chillout Stage 9.15pm

JAIME WONG | Chillout Stage 10.15pm GIANTS MUST FALL | Arena 10.15pm

Saturday 28th

ENEC.E | Chillout Stage 5.00pm LOST WEEKEND | Arena 6.00pm BANI HIDIR | Chillout Stage 7.00pm

SSIGHBORGGG | Arena 8.15pm LIGHTCRAFT | Arena 9.15pm INCH | Arena 10.30pm

Sunday 29th

PITCH FEATHER | Chillout Stage 5.45pm .GIF | Chillout Stage 6.45pm

PIXEL APARTMENT | Chillout Stage 7.45pm MONSTER CAT | Arena 9pm

Have a great Baybeats weekend!

 

 

 

 

BAYBEATS 2014 – SPHAERASBAYBEATS 2014 – SPHAERAS

“A sphere is an ultimate expression of unity, completeness, and integrity” – so begins Sphaeras’ self-description! So it’s certain that its responses to our FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014 should be a hoot!

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

We are the only instrumental band to have made it through the auditions; we offer an entirely different brand of music that (we hope) will reshape your opinion on instrumental music. Our live performance on the big stage is guaranteed to be full of energy, emotions and spontaneity. Words often inadequately encapsulate how we sound live, so check us out at Baybeats, (best of all) for free!

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

As an event that we have attended religiously, we have seen many great bands/artists grace the stage over the years. It is exhilarating to have been privileged with this opportunity to introduce our music to an audience of a size we typically wouldn’t reach. Additionally, we get to watch and play alongside fantastic bands that include fellow budding acts Stopgap and False Plaintiff.

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

From what we have gathered, the judges were especially impressed with our display of music technicality and also our ability to deliver complexity in a natural, seamless form. The judges were also impressed with our standard of performance during the outdoor audition – remarking that we had ‘set a high bar’ – considering that it was actually our first time playing in front of a live ‘audience’. Interestingly, Zakhran Khan, in all his glory, was ceremoniously compared to Bani Hidir (B Quartet, 53A, Youthwreck) repeatedly for his unmistakable prowess.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

1. Giants Must Fall: It has been ages since we’ve seen them play and we really dig their Leprosy and Anchor EP. Can’t wait to hear them live.
2. Earthmover: Our friends from Anechois and Bandwagon gave some great reviews of them from their trip to the Philippines. We weren’t disappointed with their material online and are sure they will be awesome at this year’s Baybeats.
3. Two Million Thanks: They have their own twist of the math rock genre and a kickass music video. It would be interesting to witness them live.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

We’ll be playing on Friday, the 27th of June, 8 – 830pm at the Arena (Esplanade Outdoor Theater).

BAYBEATS 2014: ENEC.EBAYBEATS 2014: ENEC.E

I remember the first time I saw Enec.e (pronounced “Enecdote”) in performance, I thought to myself that they were the perfect fit for Baybeats. So I am pleased as punch to see that that my instincts were spot-on! But then again, I am slightly biased, as Lisa, Michelle, Alek and Shafiq were my Noise mentees in 2013 and so am righteously stoked for them and for the people lucky enough to listen to their wonderful music at Baybeats 2014!

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

Alek: Because we have new material and even we are really excited to share them with you guys!

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

Shafiq: It’s our first time playing in such a big music showcase so it’ll be fun to see how much we freeze up on stage between songs. Haha!

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

Michelle: ENEC.E has an inverse exuberance in it’s music, portraying dark vibes in lyrical proses to give our listeners a slight push off the edge of their seat as they find relations with the songs. I guess that’s why we were selected?

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Lisa: To be honest, that is a really difficult question because there are so many bands that I want to watch! But if I were to narrow it down to 3, then I would say Monster Cat, Stopgap and Wyd:Syd! I tend to prefer big sounds and full-band arrangements, so, as these guys are going to play at the bigger stage with highly professional crews and topnotch sound system, I’m pretty sure the experience would be a lot more memorable than what I have had!

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

We will be playing on 28 June at 5pm and 8pm at the Chillout Stage! See you guys!

 

BAYBEATS 2014: THEY WILL KILL US ALLBAYBEATS 2014: THEY WILL KILL US ALL

The Malaysian band with the enigmatic name returns to our shores for Baybeats. Amir Shazlan braves our FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014 on behalf of They Will Kill Us All.

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

We always have fond memories when playing Singapore. All the time, it manages to bring out the best in us. This is the main reason why people should check us out. Then afterwards, they are entitled to form their own opinions.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

Baybeats have always been a festival that heavily supports the independents. Other festival maybe cooler, but none has the staying power like Baybeats due to its mission. So to us it is an honour to play Baybeats and we pledge to give a kick ass show, like we always do everytime.

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

To be honest, we have no idea at all but I’d like to think its all about the music!

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Indonesian bands are always killer, so we plan to catch Seringai and Lightcraft. Especially Seringai, cause their brand of rock really brings out the metalheads in us. But The Full Pledge Munkees are really must watch.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

We will be playing on Friday 27th at 10.45PM. Hope those catching our show to come up and have a chat with us afterwards!

BAYBEATS 2014: LIGHTCRAFTBAYBEATS 2014: LIGHTCRAFT

How can you not be intrigued by a band that describes itself as “an antidote for rainy days, sleepless nights, mournful moments, lovelorn phases and sleepy mornings”.  With that in mind, let’s see how lightcraft dealt with our FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014 (via Imam).

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

Because most people don’t know us from Adam! We’re very much an unknown quantity in Singapore (we’ve only played there twice, and they were aeons ago), but we might just tickle someone’s fancy in one way or another. Besides the obligatory songs from our latest album that we’re currently promoting, “Colours Of Joy”, we’ll also be debuting a few brand-new songs too. Expect 45 minutes of melodic, anthemic songs that are peppered with melancholy; perfect to soothe your weary heart and soul.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

Without wanting to give off the slightest hint of sounding cheesy, it honestly has been a dream of ours to play Baybeats – ever since our days in KL – so it’s amazing to be invited at last after fantasizing about it for more than six years. We’ve been buzzing ever since we got the call. We’re looking forward to meeting and making new friends, and to share our music to everybody over there. We can’t wait!

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

Well, we’d like to think that the hard work that we have put in all these years have finally paid off, and our progress has impressed someone out there. Nobody knows for sure, but either way, we’re just over the moon that we’re given this opportunity.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Only three? This is a tough one!

They Will Kill Us All would be one, because we’ve played with them a number of times back in the day in KL, and they’ve always been an awesome band, even with the line-up changes and slight shift in musical direction.

Pitch Feather, because they’re curious about us, and we’re curious about them as well.

Can we cheat and lump in both Inch and Monster Cat together as a package? They’ve been at the forefront of the Singaporean indie music scene, they produce music of the highest quality and we’ve never seen them live before.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

We’ll be playing on Saturday, June 28, at 9.15pm (our compatriots, the hard-as-nails Seringai, will also be playing on the same evening), over at the Arena stage (Esplanade Outdoor Theatre).

 

BAYBEATS 2014: PITCH FEATHERBAYBEATS 2014: PITCH FEATHER

The first proper musical performance to be given by Pitch Feather! That’s just so special!! Let’s see what the band has to say about our FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014 – via Alberta Leong.

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

It will be our very first live appearance as Pitch Feather. Fans can come experience the special night with us. Also, it’s a great chance for our supporters to get to know us a little better, on a more personal level. We will be playing unplugged sets supported by a band of very talented musician friends, so they can expect to hear delicate, chillout versions of our songs with different arrangements, which is something you won’t be able to hear on our record.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

Chuan and I have been attending Baybeats almost every year and we’re always excited to discover promising emerging artisit/bands. As motivation to become better musicians, we tell ourselves that we have to play there someday. This dream is finally coming true, and it feels great to be part of the Baybeats family. We hope to make some new friends and share our music with more people through this experience. It will be a great start to our live performances too.

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

Maybe some kind soul recommended us. Maybe they liked our recorded music and were curious to see how we sound like live? We can’t be sure but we felt very honoured and grateful when we were given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?
This is tough, there are so many acts we want to catch, but if we have to choose only three, we’d probably choose those that we can’t see often or have never seen before.

Lightcraft – they sound really melodic and full in their recordings. Curious to hear how they sound like live.

Giants Must Fall – we love it that they are also self-funded, self-produced indie folks like us. They also haven’t been performing in a while, so we’re keen to catch them live.

ENEC.E – we’re looking forward to hearing the soothing vocal harmonies and alluring melodies.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

We’ll playing on the 3rd day of Baybeats (29 Jun, Sunday) at the Chillout Stage (Esplanade Concourse). We’ll be playing two sets – 5.45pm and 8.45pm.

 

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BAYBEATS 2014: JAIME WONGBAYBEATS 2014: JAIME WONG

First met Ms Wong maybe three years ago as the the first-ever winner of the Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter Programme. She also bagged the $5,000 Noise prize as well! And now she’s playing at Baybeats! Well-deserved. So let’s see how Jaime copes with our FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014.

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

I will performing with my band in an acoustic setting with violinist Josh Wei for the first time. Josh and I will be performing as a duo in the second set, so it will be very interesting to hear how my originals will play out in those settings. I will also be performing new songs and tracks off my upcoming EP, Skin!

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

Baybeats is probably THE music festival every Singaporean musician dreams of playing at. Although I have played at the Esplanade before, playing alongside established acts such as Inch and MONSTER CAT, and my friends, Atlas and Stopgap is just an absolute honour. It really marks my progress as a musician as I go on to the next stage of releasing my debut EP.

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

I think I offer something different as a folkpop-ish female singer-songwriter in Singapore. And my voice is pretty low for a female vocalist.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Bani Hidir, Sphaeras and Pixel Apartment.

Bani because I’ve known him mostly from his role as the bassist and vocalist of the band 53A, and he is an awesome musician (plays like 16246154 different musical instruments). So I am really looking forward to watch him play his originals as a singer-songwriter.

I first watched Sphaeras’ perform at Atlas’ album launch and they just blew me away with their math-rock instrumental stuff. Their music puts you in an inspirational, ‘revived’ kind of mood/state.

Pixel Apartment because Jordan is pretty much a one-man band. I came across Pixel Apartment’s music on Youtube about 5 years ago and his song “Paper Aeroplane” really stuck with me. I’ve never had a chance to watch him perform live so I am really excited about his set!

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

27th June, Friday, 7:15pm and 10:15pm at the Chillout Stage (Esplanade Concourse).

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BAYBEATS 2014: GIANTS MUST FALLBAYBEATS 2014: GIANTS MUST FALL

 

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I first saw Giants Must Fall at Baybeats 2007. Glad to see that they are still alive and kicking as Jean answers FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014!

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

This will be our first full band performance in four years and after the release of our two EPs.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

We’ve worked really hard to put together a set to really thank everyone who supported us since we first started in 2007. We’ve matured quite a bit since then and hopefully our journey is told through all our songs.

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

Haha not sure, but it’s timely. We started 7 years ago on the Baybeats stage and once again after our hiatus, on the Baybeats stage.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Wyd:syd – I really like their arrangements and have an interesting blend of styles.

.gif – weish is insane… I really feel they just upped the level and quality of local music in Singapore. The two paired together create such a really unique and original sound.

Monster cat – they are truly a very hard working band and push the boundaries of genre and songwriting. Technical goodness!

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

27th June 10:15 at the Arena!

BAYBEATS 2014: SSIGHBORGGGBAYBEATS 2014: SSIGHBORGGG

The intriguing duo of Sean Patrick Maylone & DeAnthony Nelson Jr. (aka Ssighborggg) answers FIVE questions about Baybeats 2014.

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

DeAnthony: They don’t want to miss these beats..
Sean: It’s a pretty, fruity ruckus.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

DeAnthony :We want to see just how wild Singapore can get into our set. “Let it gooooo!”

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

Sean: Sexual favors.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Sean: Two Million Thanks. .gif, to be fair these are two that I got to give a solid listen to — Two Million Thanks actually I heard a few months ago and it seemed so quirky and playful as a take on math rock.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

Sean: We will be talking, and playing here:

28 JUN, SAT
Lecture 3.30PM – 3.50PM
OBSERVATION DECK (LIBRARY @ ESPLANADE)

28 JUN, SAT
Performance 8.15PM – 8.45PM
ARENA (ESPLANADE OUTDOOR THEATRE)

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BAYBEATS 2014: TWO MILLION THANKSBAYBEATS 2014: TWO MILLION THANKS

To get us all ready for Baybeats 2014, we posed FIVE questions to various bands playing at the upcoming festival. First up, Thailand’s Two Million Thanks!

Why should fans check out your performance at Baybeats?

We think if it’s possible people should watch every band performs as well as our band because we are the only band from Thailand and we have our own characteristics and uniqueness.

Why are you excited about playing at Baybeats?

We are very excited. It is a great opportunity that we do not get often to play abroad. Especially in Singapore where there are many indy music fans. We prepared for the show and would make it best.

Why do you think you were selected to play for Baybeats?

It could be about the uniquenss of our music. And some of our music might sound strength , new , creative but still easy to listen.

If you had to choose just three bands to watch at Baybeats, which bands would they be and why?

Ssighborggg, MONSTER CAT , .gif
Those are 3 bands that we would like to see because the chance to see foreigner’s band is quite rare. So we would like to watch the bands that really stand out by their styles. We might get inspired or new things to know about.

When and where are you playing at Baybeats?

We perform at Powerhouse on Friday 27 June , 9.30 PM

Check out Two Million Thanks online.

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BAYBEATS 2014BAYBEATS 2014

There was a time when the Baybeats Festival was the only indie rock festival in town. But thankfully, times have changed to such an extent that it’s almost easy to lose sight of the festival’s significance. In that respect, it’s good to know that the Esplanade has pushed to include a big number of Singapore indie bands/artists in the line-up. Looking at the above list, it’s clear that the priority for Baybeats is to give our local bands/artist pride of place! Kudos to the organizers.

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