Lion City Rock is a podcast dedicated to the Singapore music scene, the first of its kind. The podcast commenced streaming in September 2021 and is hosted by Chris Toh and Kevin Mathews (our founder!). Currently the podcast is into its 2nd season, having posted 27 episodes.(more…)
Tag: Singapore Rock
What’s Yours and Mine is the long awaited and much anticipated third album from seminal Singapore indie rock band, The Oddfellows. Released thirty years on from Teenage Head, the band’s landmark debut album, What’s Yours and Mine is an excellent comeback which while keeping everything The Oddfellows are beloved for but adding also a layer of maturity and confidence to the mix as well.(more…)
Subtitled the Best of the Oddfellows (For Now), Up in the Clouds is the long-awaited appearance of the Oddfellows’ music on streaming platforms. The Singapore indie rockers – which formed around singer-songwriter Patrick Chng – first came to prominence in the local music scene 40 years ago, with its debut album, Teenage Head.(more…)
Yes, I know it’s a corny cliché but with this National Day weekend comes an opportunity to share my own thoughts about the best Singapore rock songs of all time! Hopefully, these selections will inspire you, kind reader, to discover more Singapore rock music. If so, then the effort would have been worth it!(more…)
SINGLE REVIEW: SAYING GOODBYE TO ANOTHER SUNDAY AFTERNOON WITH NO WORD NO BOND ROW ONSINGLE REVIEW: SAYING GOODBYE TO ANOTHER SUNDAY AFTERNOON WITH NO WORD NO BOND ROW ON
Well, that’s it for S-ROCK trio Another Sunday Afternoon (left to right above: Zhiwei Xu, Caleb Lye & Kamal Yacob), they have released their final single, “No Word No Bond Row On”, a chilled out instrumental rock beauty. We caught up with frontman Caleb Lye, for the last word on Another Sunday Afternoon.
What has the band been up to since The Bookmark?
Since releasing The Bookmark (2012), we’ve been playing some shows, with the highlight probably coming when we opened for Biffy Clyro in 2014.
No Word No Bond Row On is an instrumental track. Why?
Honestly, I think we kind of ran out of interesting things to talk about, to sing about. Our music has always been primarily about telling good stories, and I guess when you run out of good stories to tell, you lose your voice. We also thought it would be cool to explore instrumentals and soundscapes. I’ve always been a fan of layering and this seemed like a good time to get into that.
Is this a new direction or just a minor detour?
I think it’s neither really. It would be cool to do something like this as part of your traditional Another Sunday Afternoon album, as a segue, to connect the rest of the tracks to each other.
What does the title signify?
This is where it gets really interesting. We asked our friend Charlie, who came up with the title for our first album (“The Uncanny Tree of Fractured Hearts: featuring the Peculiar Case of Janet Leno and other short stories”), to help us out for what could possibly end up as our last effort. She came up with this because, after listening to a demo of the song, she thought it would be cool for the title to be a palindrome (even though the song, in itself, isn’t). We’re also very lucky to have Boon, who designed the album art for “The Bookmark”, come up with an ambigram, which was really cool. So if you actually flip the album art upside down it says exactly the same thing!
What were the feelings and ideas you wanted to convey?
When we let some of our friends listen to it, a lot of them mentioned that this sounded like a perfect song to say goodbye. Maybe it’s something like this – something different (and free!) to remember us by, till we see you all again.
It’s not really goodbye to Another Sunday Afternoon, is it?
Well truth be told, I think in its current incarnation, this is sadly, probably it. We do need some time to go away, rediscover ourselves, think about what kind of music we really want to bring to the table the next time – so it’s something like a soft reset if you like. Probably play with other bands, expand our music palette, evolve and come back in the not-too-distant future. I think that’s the key word for us: evolution – because we certainly don’t want to be doing that same thing over and over again!
And there you have it – pick up your copy of “No Word No Bond Row On” from Bandcamp now, and if you have not done so before, do check out the band’s other releases as well.
SINGAPORE ROCK HAS COME OF AGE? IT IS STILL ONLY IN ITS INFANCY!SINGAPORE ROCK HAS COME OF AGE? IT IS STILL ONLY IN ITS INFANCY!
It has been said so often now that it’s almost become a cliché – “the Singapore indie music scene is growing” or even “Singapore’s indie music scene is on the cusp of a new golden age”. But how true is that statement and what do we mean when we say that the scene is ‘growing’?
This weekend (July 10th – 12th) witnessed a slew of Singapore indie music events that seemed to suggest that if nothing else, the number of events being organised within the scene is increasing. But is this a result of funding from SG50 celebrations or a genuine improvement in the manner in which Singaporeans appreciate local music.
Well, let’s take the examples of two very recent album launches viz. DEON’s Oceans and The Steve McQueens’ Seamonster. Both events were sold out registering between 100 – 200 paying attendees, with good sales on CDs and merch as well. Both artists have excellent reputations with track records of performing at overseas festivals. Is this an indicator of success?
Late in June, Baybeats Festival 2015 once more delivered three days of mostly Singapore indie music, spotlighting a bunch of ‘budding’ bands that for some, meant a dream achievement. Is playing at Baybeats an indicator of success, as well?
To put things into context, I came across a poster for Baybeats 2008, which introduced 11 ‘budding’ bands to the festival. However, none of those 11 bands exist anymore, seven years later.
So is that all? Playing at Baybeats and selling out your album launch? If so, then these are mere baby steps still for our perpetually teething indie music scene.
What is the measure of true success for our indie music scene?
I have been reading about the origins of Nirvana and the Seattle music scene in the late 80s and early 90s. Before the Seattle music scene exploded with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains etc, the city had little to shout about in that respect. But of course, once it did, first amongst its own local audiences, the Seattle music scene became world famous, with record labels rushing down to sign anyone in a flannel shirt with greasy hair and Seattle became synonymous with ‘grunge’ (a meaningless label) that branded Seattle as the place to be for at least five years. Though ‘grunge’ eventually died out, many of the first wave of aforementioned Seattle bands managed to make a mark on rock history.
And at the end of the day, shouldn’t that be the ultimate indicator of success for our indie music scene? Music that is appreciated in Singapore first, before being appreciated overseas? Music that is written about in glowing terms by the popular indie music influencers online, invited by popular indie music festivals overseas and drawing international visitors to experience Singapore indie music firsthand?
Without a mindset shift within our own borders, it would not be possible for our indie artists to make a significant impact, regionally and internationally. So the key question, once again, is how can Singapore indie artists build a quality fan base (i.e. one that is willing to spend money on the artist and not merely clicking ‘like’ on social media) that will sustain said artist for a lifetime of music making?
There are many factors but I think the critical one is a partnership between indie artists and venue owners to push out original music content to build a solid fan base for Singapore indie music. In order to do this, venue owners must forgo the narcotic of cover music and go cold turkey with originals! Aspiring indie artists must see the value of writing and playing their own songs – whether live or via online videos. Therefore, the music scene must be dominated by original music content, with cover music being in the minority. Yes I know it’s the usual chicken and egg situation but that’s the radical step that must be taken!
In other words, we must nurture a culture of creativity and artistry in our indie music scene. Without this, our indie music scene will constantly be on the verge of something great but without sustainability or continuity, the artists will lose faith and stamina and fade into the normalcy and obscurity of adulthood and our indie music scene will find itself at square one again!