It does not matter how many social media ‘likes’ Singapore rock bands are able to muster. It does not matter how many Spotify playlists Singapore rock bands are excluded from. It does not matter if Singapore rock bands are not considered hip and cool amongst the local scenesters and hipsters.
All that matters is a love and passion for rock ‘n’ roll! And in that respect, the recent Mannequins Four EP Launch had that in spades – many not in quantity but definitely demonstrated with intensity!
As we head into the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence, it does seem that our beloved local indie music scene is slowly gaining increasing general appreciation and acceptance. Last night’s Originals Sing @ Artistry featured two young bands that caught my ear at last year’s Baybeats auditions. It was exciting to witness how far they have come since then. Mannequins possesses a retro vibe that sets them apart from most alternative rock bands here but more importantly, their songs have a melodic vim that resonates with this classic pop lover.
Stopgap has definitely gone from strength to strength since missing out on the Baybeats auditions last year and have been playing gigs everywhere. The band performed at the first STAGEFRIGHT way back in February 2013 and last night at Originals Sing blew everyone away with an impressive set. The boys have a great proactive attitude and I can see them going far if the planets align nicely for them. Fingers crossed!
Pleasantry – “recycling musicians from active as well as inactive bands” – finally releases a full-length album, Synapses, which to these ears is one of the most complete summations of what indie pop offers us in 2014. Since getting a review copy yesterday, it has been on repeat (yeah, the entire album) and I am so impressed at how well it hangs together. But at its core is an understanding of how to emotionally connect with an audience with melody and instrumentation. It is simply gorgeous. The band launches Synapses (with guests galore) at the Esplanade Recital Studio tomorrow night (Friday, 22nd August). Tickets available from SISTIC. In the meantime, check out the lovely new single, “False Realities”.
I’ll be honest with you (stop laughing!) – I haven’t been pushing this years’ Baybeats Festival as hard as I have in previous years because I think it’s reached a critical mass where it doesn’t need my 2cts worth anymore. Also, with the number of local music blogs that have appeared in the last year or so, I don’t feel that Power of Pop needs to carry that burden any longer. Which is an excellent sign for the S-ROCK scene, of course.
Suffice to say that if you’re a music lover and happen to be in country during those three days – 28, 29 & 30 June – then you cannot miss Baybeats 2013. And…which bands would Power of Pop recommend? Here goes.