Music video for Washed Out’s new single ‘All I Know’ is pretty cool

Washed Out (Ernest Green to his mum), has released a video for the single ‘All I Know’ — the latest from his second album, Paracosm.

The video is more short film than promotion as it uses a series of vignettes to chronicle a road trip two friends take to LA following a break-up — dreamy as hell in a scuzzy, romantic way reminiscent of a Korine or Clarke film.

[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l2C27jP4Kw[/youtube]
‘All I Know’, and Paracosm as a whole, represents a continuation of the sound Washed Out showcased in 2011’s Within and Without. However, this new work is more fertile (grassy, leafy, lush) and less nocturnal — but still reverby and so so nice: somewhere between dream pop and the more accessible tracks on My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless.

The new video was directed by Daniel Kragh-Jacobsen (and co-produced by Urban Outfitters) as the sixteenth installment of their UO Music Video Series. The series has also featured bands like Tame Impala, The Walkmen, Black Lips and Toro Y Moi.

One YouTube user commented on the video: “thought this video was cool until i saw Urban Outfitters made this..Lame (sic)”. Which seems kind of ridiculous — while this film is obviously intended to act as advertising (both for Washed Out and Urban Outfitters) there’s no reason that should automatically preclude it from coolness.

Every music video ever was for advertising (sometimes art, too — but mostly advertising), so let’s not pretend that Urban Outfitters have ruined something purely artistic. Does the production credit diminish the video’s coolness? Yeah, realistically speaking it does. Are the actors wearing Urban Outfitters clothes? You know they are. Is this an incalculably evil attempt by Urban Outfitters to commandeer music/youth culture to sell T-shirts? Hell yes.

So it goes: at least this corporate partnership has produced something good, even if it is tainted by the inherent uncoolness of Big Business.

By Katherine Pollock

Last Dinosaurs: Doing what they want (and hoping you like it)

Brisbane band, Last Dinosaurs first found success after posting their demo to Triple J Unearthed. Since then, the band has put out an unforgettable first album, titled In a Million Years and have toured at numerous festivals such as Splendour In The Grass and St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival.

After what may seem like a million years, these lads are bringing their catchy guitar hooks and good looks to Singapore for Camp Symmetry, happening this weekend.

Before catching them live, we caught up with the band’s drummer, Dan Koyama, for a few quick words pertaining to line-up changes, working on new material, and getting them to try some authentic Asian food while they’re here.

Hey guys! Thanks for this interview. The more I listen to your music, the more the name ‘Last Dinosaurs’ grows on me – how did you come up with it?
I was just browsing through my iTunes one day to see if any particular words jumped out really. I was listening to a Japanese band called The Pillows a while back and they had a pretty cool song called Last Dinosaur. I thought it would make a decent band name. I don’t really think band names really make a difference anyway. Any band name can be made cool if the music is good. So we decided it was good enough and stuck with it.

Naming a band seems like a pretty daunting decision to make – it’s just so permanent. Do you still feel like the ‘Last Dinosaurs’ from 2009?
It wasn’t very daunting because it was still a bit of a joke back then. We didn’t think anyone would really care. We actually like our band name. It’s pretty neutral I guess. It’s hard to tell though because we are in the band. So I don’t know, maybe it’s a terrible band name.

“The moment we actually think our music is the best is when we will start sucking.”

Your aesthetic runs through every part of the band – from your music videos to cover art – and you’ve always been very involved in each process. Dan, you even did the artwork for In a Million Years. It’s clear that it’s important to you to keep all the creative elements of the band consistent – how do you maintain this while still allowing yourself to evolve creatively and stay connected with your existing fans?
Well the best way to stay connected with your fans is to just do what you want to do and hope that they like it. It’s a bad idea to stick with something just because that got you popular or recognised. Even the best ideas get stale after a while. And it would be boring to just keep writing the same kind of music or doing the same kind of videos.

Aesthetics are important especially as we get older, the more we refine our idea of the kind of music we want to make and the kind of band we want to be. I doubt we will ever be happy with everything but that’s where we want to be. The moment we actually think our music is the best is when we will start sucking. You always hear stuff that makes you think that what you just recorded sucks.

On that note, can you tell us anything about your new material? Your original bassist Michael has recently returned to the band – what should we expect?
Well I can’t really say too much, mainly because we are still in the process of finishing the songs themselves, and we change stuff around all the time. All in all, I believe it’s closer to where we want to be. Currently the songs on the new record sound way more refined than the first album.

We’ve been more attentive to the mood of the album rather than just writing good individual songs. I feel there’s a bit of an aquatic theme to them as well. Some songs remind me of being underwater, and some about being on the surface. That sounds a bit wanky but that’s what I get anyway.

You’ve played music festivals like Splendour In The Grass and St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Australia – what kind of experience are you looking forward to in Asia?
I cannot wait for the food. We have a lot of Asian food in Australia, but I can just imagine it being ten times better over there and a lot cheaper. I can’t wait to try all the stuff that we can’t get back in Australia. I think the gigs there will be really fun. We have a lot of fans on the internet who have been asking us to come to Singapore for so long, so I’m really glad that we can finally go there.

“Any shit band name can be made cool if the music is good.”

You actually played in Jakarta back in June this year – how did you find Indonesia? Are the fans there very different from your fans back home?
Yeah, that was awesome. Indonesia is just an awesome country. The fans are just so happy that they finally get bands that sometimes are touring in the region but forget to come. As for us, it’s so good to go to places like Indonesia that probably don’t get as many bands through unlike other countries. It’s still crazy to travel to places you never thought you’ll play at before and people know words to your songs. Thank God for the internet.

There’s a heap of great Aussie bands coming out of Brisbane at the moment. Tell us, who are the ‘tang bangers’?
The Tangers are an infamous collective of highly talented individuals all involved in the music scene here somehow or other. It’s a good bunch of people.

You’re pretty close to Dune Rats, who played in Singapore in May. Sean even helped produce, and recorded on some of their tracks – how was it working with Dunies?
It was heaps of fun. I’ve always loved jamming with those guys because their approach to song-writing is so different to the ours. It was interesting to hear the songs come together. Playing bass to Danny’s chords, locking in with BC’s rhythms, and trying to complement their moods was the best challenge.

I did record them once. To this day they remain the worst recordings in the history of music. Primarily because I had no idea what I was doing, but I could hear it in my head. The song itself though I think is genius, I loved recording it.

“It’s still crazy to travel to places you never thought you’ll play at before and people know words to your songs. Thank God for the internet.”

What do you think it is about Brisbane that is churning out so much good music lately? It’s actually astonishing.
Well to be honest in Brisbane, there’s not really any distractions that get in your way. If you decide to make a band then all you have to do is work hard and write good songs and you will get noticed. It’s actually the same in the whole of Australia I think. It’s a pretty small country, if you’re good you’ll eventually get noticed eventually. Particularly, the Brisbane music scene is good. I think it’s the smallness that makes everyone realize that they can make a band and actually do something with it.

Now, with a brand new (sort of) line-up and a second album on the way, how does the future look for Last Dinosaurs? What are you most looking forward to?
We are just really looking forward to making the next album as good as it can be, and after that well who knows. We’ve already been to so many awesome places around the world, so it would be great if we could keep doing it for another few years at least.

Thanks for this interview, guys! Really looking forward to the set… some new songs maybe?
If you are lucky!

By Irfan Margono

Last Dinosaurs will perform at Camp Symmetry on 2 November, Thailand’s HYH Mini Festival on 6 November, Philippines’ Black Market on 22 November, and Malaysia’s Urbanscapes Festival this November 23-24.

The Other Sounds: OoooOOOoOOooOctober

Don’t have a party playlist for Halloween yet? We’ve got you covered.

Don’t have a party to go to? We’ve still got you covered. Lock yourself in your room, turn off the lights, fill your room with the terrifying sounds on this list of the creepiest songs we know, and proceed to scare the bejeesus out of yourself.

Remember. It’s not a proper Halloween until you crap your pants at some point.

Happy ScareFest, ghosts and ghouls.

1. Bernard Herrman / Twisted Nerve
2.  Horrorpops / Ghouls
3. Misfits / Halloween
4. Dead Walker Texas Ranger / Sleeping With Sirens
5. Beck / Scarecrow
6. Crystal Castles / I Am Made of Chalk
7. The Witching Hour / Wild Nothing
8. The Cramps / The Crusher
9. The Wytches / House Of Mirrors
10. Nekromantix / Haunted Cathouse
11. The Meteors / The Man In The Cunt Skin Mask
12. Sufjan Stevens / They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!

[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdpr6trlW-0&list=PLDZpcfnKQYjNOL-yfW1BTsB4PXqrBMWF1[/youtube]
By Zixin Lin

The Sets Band: Staying genre-neutral

Formed in 2011, The Sets Band have achieved a considerable amount of success in the past three years, from participating in the notable Timbre Rock and Roots festival, to opening for The Kooks last year.

Bringing the local music scene a signature brew of raw and original tunes in the midst of a post-rock/post-something frenzy, the quartet has created a unique persona with their varied individual influences that continues to catch our attention every time we see them.

We recently caught up with the band to find out more about their ever-changing sound, creative process, and what the future holds for them.

Hi guys! The band has been often described as “blues rock”. How accurate is this, and is it how you want to be perceived?
Hey there! Well, it’s accurate in the sense that we are pretty strongly influenced by blues rock, but then again it’s not exactly correct in terms of the music we make. We still just want to make music that we simply enjoy, and putting a genre to our sound would probably kill it a little for us.

Marcus, you’ve mentioned before that you incorporate some shoegaze elements into your playing style — how do you make this work within the rest of your ‘blues rock’ sound?
Marcus: For most, mention the term ‘blues rock’ and blaring guitar riffs raging through like a steam engine come straight to mind. Experimenting with ambient sounds and different modulation have allowed me to take on different approaches in my playing while still maintaining a fuller sound in the band. With this too, I’m able to complement Josh’s vocal note choice, whether it being direct or in harmony in certain songs, without having it sound like a battle fought with overdrives and vocal effects.

“…the experience of meeting people along the way, before and after every gig, has been really rewarding”

You’ve also mentioned before that the band name was chosen because you play different music for every set that you perform. Tell us more about this!
It’s quite literal actually — we probably didn’t give two layers of thought into it! The Sets Band: the band that would be known for the different sets that we played.

That was the original idea, and we still can do a pretty mean Getai version of ‘Rebound’! That being said, we do dabble slightly into funk/reggae versions of our songs during practice, and sometimes even during smaller gigs when we’ve cozied up enough.

[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkISaUnLIPE[/youtube]


So, was this because you hadn’t found a sound as a band yet, in those early stages? Have you found that this idea has evolved as you have come into your own sound?

Yes, definitely. Perhaps, since we all started with varying musical influences, it was an unspoken way of pacifying us all as we went along in unison — we couldn’t decide on a solid direction to take, or at least couldn’t fully agree on one. The idea of us playing different sets probably did give us a sense of comfort in that we were each allowed to experiment in our own way as we went along. It bought us enough time and experience to develop a rough idea of what does and doesn’t click with the crowd.

And of course, we’re still evolving! We’re always experimenting with different genres, styles. Up until now we’ve still been quite stubborn in terms of trying to tick a box, entering in and saying “that’s our style,” so we avoid that as much as we can.

“Putting a genre to our sound would probably kill it a little for us!”

Before any of us took up an instrument, we were huge fans of music in general and we all still are. And now that we’re somewhat in it, we are still actively discovering new music, new styles and constantly attempting to add more flavour to our playing. We can only expect our sound to keep changing as we grow along.

Having started out without settling on a particular genre in mind, you obviously have very varied tastes in music — which artists have influenced or personally made an impact on your styles individually?
Josh: I have a tendency to lean towards acts like The Killers, The Kooks, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, MGMT, and Darwin Deez.

Marcus: I listen to anything ranging from classical, yoga music, to Pharell’s recent experiments. I’m not sure if all of that really influences my playing though. Right now, it’s definitely bands that originate from the 60s to the 80s that do — I’m pretty obsessed up with Al Green, The Commodores, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin at the moment!

Jin: Mew! Incubus, and recently, whatever’s been playing on Lush’s ‘Make Out Till Midnight’ segment, it’s awesome!

Harold: I listen to almost all genres, ranging from rap to death metal and straight up jazz. I can’t really name all my influences, but I particularly like Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree.

What is your writing process like, considering that some of you are still serving national service?
We make it a point to meet up for at least an entire day each week. Josh usually comes up with the skeleton, being the chords and lyrics of the song; he will describe the potential song to us in a form of a dream, a colour, or a TV show. We each then, with tea in hand, translate it into our interpretations on our own instruments.

“We are still actively discovering new music, new styles and constantly attempting to add more flavour to our playing.”

What is the best moment you have experienced together as a band?
Josh: I don’t have a particular gig in mind that I can really name as “my most memorable gig,” as each of them have been equally amazing. I’d say that the experience of meeting people along the way, before and after every gig, has been really rewarding, and I guess the good vibes echoed off every single one of them fuel us to do what we love to do!

Marcus: When we opened for The Kooks when they came last year — it felt like such a dream come true.

Jin: For me it was at Timbre Rock and Roots, a few years back when we first experienced what it was like to play on a big stage!

Harold: Mine was that time we went to have a Japanese buffet before playing a Christmas gig for X-mini. It was at The Cathay by the way, real legit stuff.

In the midst of our local music scene, where do you see yourselves in the next five years or so?
Playing a set on a yacht, someone else’s if not our very own, but yes, a yacht at sea!

And lastly, what are some of your favourite acts at the moment?
Josh: I would love to meet Kimbra, Pink Floyd, and the whole gang from Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes.

Marcus: wyd:syd — I caught them before we played a set at the same gig a couple of weeks ago and they’re amazing!

Jin: Wow, honestly there’s quite a few. Pleasantry, ANECHOIS, Weish, in terms of the local bands, and for international acts, I can’t wait for Mew to play!

Harold: Fiona Xie

By Maria Clare Khoo

Haerts – Hemiplegia

Very often, degraded by negative popular culture and crazy fans, pop music as a genre is sometimes dismissed as the bane of music, spoiling its name as an art form. Nevertheless, a great pop band comes by now and then, revealing a fresh perspective on pop music.

Starting from the efforts of Nini Fabi and Ben Gebert, who grew up together and shared an immense interest in music, Haerts is undeniably “new blood” infiltrated into the stream of both pop and alternative culture whose first EP Hemiplegia is not the typically gratuitous electro-pop effort.

Somewhat melancholic, the four-track EP seems to have a deeper and darker appeal to the soul, one that tingles your thoughts to evoke emotions of the inner being. Forlorn implications aside though, build-ups in their tracks are also subtly uplifting and miraculously triumphant. Don’t we all enjoy the company of inspirational music that still faces the reality of our problems? This EP paints an impressionistic image of the band, integrating tasteful melodic lines with humming synthetic echoes, creating essentially, a backdrop of the 80s with its familiar tonal and melodic combinations.

Obscurely reflecting the band’s experiences, Hemiplegia itself is a real-life physical paralysis on a single side of the body that Fabi once had and from which, overwhelmed by the fear of helplessness, came the EP’s title track. Poetically expressing her state of vulnerability towards Hemiplegia, the lyrics in the song are minimal, perhaps an emphasis in the measure of control she has over herself in the occurrence of this paralysis. Similarly, ‘Wings’ is a wonderfully made track that defines quality instrumentation. The interaction between the drums and bass is inevitably captivating in its enigmatic irony of sadness and funk.

7/10

Wings:
[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyYa3su-J_w[/youtube]

By Shawn Ng

Obedient Wives Club: No management, no publicist, and absolutely no crowd-funding

It has been quite the adventure so far for Singapore’s favorite connoisseurs of fuzz. Since wrestling our attention with their self-titled debut in 2012, Obedient Wives Club has quickly outgrown their label as ‘up-and-comers’, with their solid 2013 follow-up, Murder Kill Baby, proving that the band is more than just a catchy name.

Their quirky brand of lo-fi fuzzpop, dubbed ‘Spectorgaze’, has won over hearts not only in Singapore, but internationally as well — one of their labels, Soft Power Records, who released Murder Kill Baby on coloured cassettes, is in fact, from Scotland — so it may come as a surprise that the band are only now playing their first show overseas, in Malaysia’s longest running creative arts festival, Urbanscapes.

We caught up with the band to discuss their first international gig, what to expect from arguably their biggest show to date, and their plans for the future.

Hey guys! You’re finally bringing Spectorgaze across the causeway for Urbanscapes later this year. Tell us, how did it all come about?
Keith: Our friend Willy, who’s based in KL, contacted us on behalf of the organisers.

Lennat: Willy is a long time friend of the band and was there when it first started. When he contacted us about Urbanscapes’ interest in having OWC over, he also shared some insights about the festival. It has a pretty good history as one of the coolest music festivals in Malaysia, so it’s awesome to have been invited to play.

You’re on a bill with some pretty huge acts, including Franz Ferdinand and Two Door Cinema Club. How does that feel, any nerves at all?
K: We treat all shows equally. So we’re going to do what we always do.

L: I’ve missed Two Door Cinema Club and Tegan and Sara when they played Singapore so now, it’s like a double whammy — I get to see them as well as play on the same festival as them. And it’s always exciting to play at a venue you’ve never been to before. I think right now, we are more psyched than nervous.

Cherie: It’s exciting! The prospects of bumping into them backstage and maybe hanging out are pretty high. I want to make friends with Tegan and Sara! As far as nerves go, I’m not feeling them yet. It usually hits me like, five minutes before I get on stage.

“Move away from emo-core and pop punk and you’ll have an interesting scene.”

Yinqi: No nerves yet! We know when we are playing, but I haven’t found out when everyone else is on, so I’m looking forward to actually being in the same sphere as these bands. Like Lennat, I missed the key headliners when they came to Singapore (Franz Ferdinand, TDCC, Tegan & Sara) so the cheapo in me is looking forward to seeing them for free.

Sul: It’s our first show overseas, so yeah we’re pretty excited to be going on a ‘band holiday’ together. All these amazing international and regional bands playing together are an added bonus. I’m pretty curious as to how the crowd would take to our band name too. We’ll work on our new songs, arrangements, and hope for the best.

How are you preparing for the big stage?
K: We will be spending the next month or so finishing up our new songs, maybe do a warm up gig or two as preparation.

L: We’ll hole up more in our basement rehearsal space (which Cherie has fondly named ‘Sous-sol Studio’) and kick out the jams! We have intermittently taken quite a fair number of breaks this year so it would be great to get the new songs done and be able to start incorporating them more into our live sets.

Y: The good thing about us is we don’t do a fully rehearsed set — we know of some bands that rehearse right down to banter. I know I’m a nervous babbler, so all we’re working on is getting the songs tight and smooth.

S: Besides jamming, hopefully I can lose a few pounds and look better on stage!

Is this perhaps Obedient Wives Club dipping their toes into the waters of overseas touring? Are there plans to do an extended tour of Asia maybe?
K: No plans at the moment but shows in Bangkok or Hong Kong would be nice.

L: It would be cool to do a tour. Rhys from Pairs and Jared from Screaming Females have encouraged me to head out to the wild and just do it, even without any rose tinted tour stories for me! But for now, I guess regional shows would make sense, in terms of location and proximity. We’ll see how it goes!

C: We don’t have anything planned; we don’t usually make plans, it just happens! So we will see where the future takes us. I would love to tour Asia though — in particular, Japan.

S: Hopefully this will lead to more gigs overseas and finally convince us to tour one day, given the chance.

Y: I’ve said before that the prospect of gigging overseas is extremely challenging, with three of us having day jobs, one of us running his own business, and Cherie job-hunting, so we’re waiting to see how it goes. This has worked out pretty perfectly as a first foray, as it’s a weekend gig in our friendly neighbouring country.

Can we expect any surprises from your first international performance? If your show at the Night Festival is anything to go by, KL has a pretty spectacular show to look forward too!
L: Festivals always have this very different energy and vibe, as compared to smaller, intimate shows. Bands play almost immediately after one another and festival punters are there to soak it all up. We’re going to put our best foot out there, like with every gig we do.

C: I guess if we told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore, would it?

“We don’t make music to gain popularity, we make music solely because we enjoy it, and I think when you have the right agenda and mindset towards making music, you are less likely to perform acts of ‘selling out’.”

And what about the set list? We know you’ve been playing new songs for a while now, and it will have been almost a year since you released Murder Kill Baby — what do you have in store for us?
K: We’ve got two new songs in the works, which sound nothing like us. One is a jumpy, dance-y number. The other is a slow-burner that is slightly country tinged.

L: Right now, we have quite a number of new songs that we are working on and have already played some of them at previous shows. We are definitely looking at previewing some of the newer ones that are going to be on our next record. It’s just so hard to play favourites with your own songs and make that difficult decision to leave out older songs out of the set list for the newer ones!

Y: We’re trying our best to crank out new songs. Cherie owes us three more!

A lot of bands hold back new material for certain, more ‘special’ shows, preferring to prep a solid lot of new repertoire before showcasing it to the public. You like to play them even as works-in-progress — can you tell us a little more about that?
K: We try not to do the same set list twice. We’ve got enough material to mix it around. We don’t like to be predictable, and we’re constantly writing.

L: We’re not a touring band that plays night after night for endless weeks on a roll, so every show is pretty special to us. The new songs are constantly evolving until we commit it to tape, so it’s always good to let them loose and see how the crowd reacts.

C: Every show is a special show for us; we put a lot of work into our setlists, always mixing it up, and making it new and exciting. We do write very frequently, and our song turnover rate is pretty high. We’re dropping new songs all the time!

Y: Readers who may have seen us live before, know that we leave everything to the wind; we’re very likely to try out a new song with a certain arrangement, check out the audience reaction to it then tweak it (or not)!

Do you think that in evolving your sound, it’s key to remain relevant to your current fan base or the current trends? How do you do this, without ‘selling your soul’, so to speak.
K: We just do what we’re comfortable with. The band started out not expecting anything, so having fans is a bonus. We’ve evolved as a band and our newer material reflects that. We are happy with what we do and can only hope that people like it.

“We don’t have anything planned; we don’t usually make plans, it just happens!”

L: Music is always evolving. Our common influences still run very strong in all of us but at same time, we have definitely evolved together as band after these two years of playing and writing as a unit. I have my favorite bands that I have grown up with, as opposed to grown out of. For instance, the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album sounds nothing like their debut, but at its core, is still very quintessentially Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It would be great if our fan base could grow along with us too.

C: I think that we have finally found our own sound, something which we can keep going back to, and that feels like home. As for its evolution, we constantly have different musical phases, and I would say we dabble in many other different styles. Essentially, we are still who we are and we always stay true to ourselves regardless of what’s happening around us.

We don’t make music to gain popularity, we make music solely because we enjoy it, and I think when you have the right agenda and mindset towards making music, you are less likely to perform acts of ‘selling out’.

Y: Actually, we don’t really know how to write music just for the sake of doing so! For any track that we’ve written so far, a lot of thought goes into each person’s contribution, whether it’s Cherie/Keith’s guitar lines, or a simple decision like whether Man should play sparse bass notes or a riff, right down to which of Lennat’s crash cymbals sounds better.

Malaysia has one of the most saturated and established music scenes in Asia, what do you think needs to happen in Singapore for us to catch up?
K: Move away from emo-core and pop punk and you’ll have an interesting scene.

L: I’m not so sure if it’s ‘saturated’, but more established and diverse most definitely. Name any genre and Malaysia will have bands that well represents it. So, I do share the same sentiments as Keith. Like I mentioned, there are music influences that you grow up with and grow out of. And sure, every genre has its own clichés but seriously, there are only so many singer-songwriters banking on the same old emotional hurt that I can stand listening to.

C: I think we need to take music less seriously, let loose and not be afraid of being weird.

S: I guess their talent pool and fan base is bigger so that makes a nice mix to move things forward. We can start by playing more good music on radio and have home-grown bands and regional bands play at festivals here too.

Y: Experimentation. I came from a background where I played covers in school with some friends, essentially rehashing the originals. We did it quite well, but there wasn’t much re-interpretation of the songs where we injected any of our own style into it. I love my friends and don’t regret any of those days — we had great fun, and it was all fine and well for us students who were just playing — but if you want to make music, then experiment and break out of the Blandopop rut.

“I think we need to take music less seriously, let loose and not be afraid of being weird.”

And as a local band that has gained significant international traction, what do you put that down to?
K: Relevance. At least that was the case when we started out. People seek out bands with similar sound to what they listen to. Right place, right time for us, I guess. That being said, we might be irrelevant now. But we’re beyond caring. We’re comfortable enough with ourselves. And I think our next release will reflect the real Obedient Wives Club.

L: Let me put this ironically: no proper management, no professional publicist, and absolutely no crowd-funding.

Great. Now, tell us about this new EP: the ‘real’ Obedient Wives Club EP.
K: We’re hoping to record by the end of the year. We’ve got four songs that we’ve been doing live with a few more in the works. I don’t want to label the next release as an EP or an LP yet, we’ll just see what comes out of it.

L: I love that a string of EPs can provide a broader context to a band’s sound. There will come a time to make a statement with that long, ambitious record, but for now I’m just looking forward to what our next release will be!

By Andrew Koay

Obedient Wives Club will perform at Malaysia’s Urbanscapes Festival this November 23-24. More details here.

White Lies for Burberry’s Brit Rhythm @ Wheeler’s Yard (18.10.13)

Ealing band White Lies, consisting of Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Lawrence-Brown, were slated to play in Singapore back in 2011 as part of their Asian tour. But due to the devastating weather conditions in Japan at the time, the band had to regretfully cancel their tour, leaving many fans disappointed but still hoping to see the band on our shores in the near future. And last Friday, a handful of lucky fans got their patience paid off.

The UK trio were in town, performing live for Burberry’s Brit Rhythm, a new fragrance, exploring the connection of sound and scent. The private showcase was held at a very secluded Wheeler’s Yard, a bike shop by day, and apparently a very exclusive and lush party space by night. Guests were treated like royalty by staff and volunteers, and enjoyed a free flow of drinks and a set by British DJ Same Sure while waiting for the band to take the stage.

White Lies for Burberry's Brit Rhythm @ Wheeler's Yard (18.10.13)

Finally, the band, clothed in Burberry, made their entrance, walking down several staircases to the stage accompanied by sidemen, Tommy Bowen and Rob Lee and the much appreciated cheering from the crowd. As each member found a comfortable space on the stage, the band wasted no time, breaking out a track from their latest release Big TV, ‘Getting Even’. The track’s melodic opening immediately hooked the crowd over, even those who’ve only heard of the band White Lies for the first time that night.

‘To Lose My Life’, a track from the band’s debut album of the same name, excited the crowd further, with a much heavier sound and its melancholic lyrics. This was followed by the first single off Big TV, ‘There Goes Our Love Again’, a catchy synth-riddled track, complemented by McVeigh’s haunting vocals and echo-laden guitars which instantly becomes a fan-favourite. The band continued the night with one of their most well loved track ever, ‘Death’, and the band’s delivery of the song was as amazing as we could have ever imagined it to be.

The band slowed things down with a ballad of sorts, with the song ‘First Time Caller’, which frontman McVeigh stated was, “their favourite track from their new album.” Picking things up with the title track of Big TV, the band closed their wonderful albeit brief set with the first single off their sophomore album, Rituals, titled ‘Bigger Than Us’. Scented confetti burst from the ceiling and rained down on the crowd because what would a party be without confetti, as White Lies brought their long awaited performance to an end.

After a taste of the band’s prowess, we’ve decided that we want more and we’re hoping we won’t have to wait as long as two years before we get it. Although, being patient has rewarded many fans, as the band headed over with a wonderfully crafted third album which has masterfully combined their signature sound from debut album, To Lose My Life… with the bolder and more ambitious sophomore effort, Rituals. The night also introduced an amazing venue, Wheeler’s Yard, with so much potential as a possible concert venue for organisers.

By Irfan Margono

Frankie Rose – Herein Wild

It’s not often that you find musicians from (several) somewhat popular and active bands depart from their established success to venture solo —  Frankie Rose, however, is an exception. And even after contributing so much to Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and Vivian Girls, Rose still had so much left in her to produce Herein Wild, a great follow-up and breezy continuation to her solo debut, 2008’s Interstellar.

While many bands try experimenting with new sounds in their follow-up albums (we’re looking at you, Foals) — with the risk of everything going wrong (yes, usually) — Rose presents to us an album one year later that perfectly continues from where Interstellar left off, its dreamy soundscapes transcending any of those pressures.

With opening track ‘You For Me’ teasing us in its first five seconds with straight up drum beats and distorted guitars, you would be excused to have thought that Rose may have departed completely from her characteristic ‘dream pop’ aesthetic — but then the track beautifully transitions into her beautifully hollow voice filling up the empty voids of reverb with sweet and dark melodies, before building up spectacularly and leading you straight into the album until closing track, ‘Requiem’.

Connecting the dots with Rose’s previous bands, you notice a pretty clear running theme between them all; and the haze of dreamy vocals is that binding factor. In Herein Wild, Rose has been allowed to further explore the limits of her voice, and showcase them above the usual layers and effects as the main show, especially highlighted within stand-out tracks ‘Into Blue’ and ‘Street of Dreams’.

Not many artists are able to produce a better follow-up to their debut, but Rose has managed to accomplish just that. While Herein Wild is clearly a solo, Frankie Rose album, it’s clear the impact that her previous bands have had on her — incorporating the girly pop of Vivian Girls with the guitar-heavy Dum Dum Girls, all on top the post-punk bass lines of Crystal Stilts, the album is so perfectly a product of Rose’s full musical expression and a beautiful, extended journey in the dream world of Frankie Rose’s amazing mind.

9/10

Listen to: ‘Sorrow’, ‘Heaven’, ‘Street of Dreams’

Sorrow:
[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSw2uJ95PBM[/youtube]


By
Nigel Lopez

Singapore concert discovery App GigOut launches in iOS

Local App GigOut has just launched in iOS and is now available for download via the Apple App Store.

The GigOut mobile application is set to change the way people discover concerts in Asia by providing its users with the latest concert information, in-app ticketing purchasing, as well as the ability to check out who else is going to the show.

It is also currently the first gig guide in Southeast Asia that provides regional coverage through the aggregation of music concerts and events throughout Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines and Hong Kong.

GigOut will be the official app for Dave Elkins’ (of Mae) upcoming Asian tour with shows in Manila and Singapore on 16 & 18 November respectively, as well as Mac DeMarco’s show on 7 December in Singapore.

Ticketing platforms including EventClique, ApeSnap, SingTic, Tiket, and PeaTix have signed on as partners with GigOut, with more to be announced in the near future alongside an app for Android users, who can look forward to having the app on their phones very soon.

Download GigOut here.

By Cindy Tan

Bring Me The Horizon x Crossfaith @ The Coliseum (16.10.13)

Bring Me The Horizon – a band famously scoffed and ridiculed in their early days for being the ‘scene poster boys’, and ‘boy band metal’, have finally made it big. While most of their open-fret chugging peers have faded into floppy-fringed obscurity, or simply disbanded, Bring Me The Horizon are bigger than ever after almost seven years of existence and their show at The Coliseum on Wednesday is living testament to their long lasting appeal.

And then there’s Crossfaith — an ambitious electronic/metalcore project who have proved to be a massive crossover hit out of their home country of Japan. Given their timely Australian tour, the announcement that they were to hit our little corner of the world as part of the unlikely double-bill crusade came with little surprise — but of course, no less excitement — as this was to be the band’s third time in the country, each show proving bigger than the last.

Braving the scorching Sentosa sun, the motley crue of fans, ranging from squealing young fangirls, baggy-shirted hardcore punkers, the ‘retired scene kid’, and people who downright look like they received study scholarships from the President, proved that both bands have stood the tests and trials of ever-changing trends and tasteless flavour of the weeks that the online and social media phenomenon of today are ever so infamous of.

First up were Crossfaith, notorious for their love for alcohol and partying. Even as the crowd gathered, and the band prepared backstage, there were mosh pits starting and rave circles abound, calmly controlled by a lone DJ at the soundbooth, possibly sent by Crossfaith themselves to hype the eager crowd up.

The lights flickered and strobed as the band made their entrance, throwing the crowd into a frenzy, thanks to their enormous stage presence coupled with their obvious Tokyo rave influence in their music.

Putting it bluntly – it was pure fun and enjoyment. If the crowd came to party, they definitely got what they were looking for. From pants-dropping breakdowns to dance interludes, and everything in between, Crossfaith showed that playing metal need not solely be about technical skill or speed, but rather the execution of riffs and interludes that, when composed carefully, would rile the crowd up into an absolute riot.

Of course, who could blatantly forget the headlining act, Bring Me The Horizon. Synthesizers chimed and the spotlights swirled as theband made their Singaporean debut with the song ‘Can You Feel My Heart’, a pounding electronic arena rock number that set the tone for the rest of the night. There was barely a moment of respite, as the band crashed into a series of heavy hitters, consisting of songs like ‘Shadow Moses’, ‘Diamonds Aren’t Forever’, and ‘House of Wolves’. Charismatic frontman Oliver Sykes manipulated the mosh pit to his bidding, almost as if conducting a chaotic, frenzied orchestra.

It was apparent that they were eager to leave behind their older material from Count Your Blessings, as fan favourites such as ‘Pray For Plagues’ or ‘Medusa’ were not included in the the set list, which consisted mostly of songs from their latest album, Sempiternal.

However, the crowd had no qualms, as despite the entire venue being enveloped in a perpetual mosh pit, many of the attendees genuinely seemed to be having the time of their lives, singing every lyric as if they’d known the song since the day they were born.

A few notable moments were had during the song ‘Antivist’, to which Oliver urged the entire crowd to throw their middle fingers up in the air, in keeping with the angry protest-anthem nature of the song. At that very moment, almost simultaneously, the entire attendance of the crowd raised their fingers in a manner, a vulgar salute of sorts to welcome in ‘Chelsea Smile’, where the crowd was ordered to sit down in preparation for the final crushing breakdown, into which an entire ocean of fans leaped forth to ensuing chaos.

The band closed the concert with the encore songs ‘Blessed With a Curse’, a slower number which saw many members of the audience propping themselves upon the shoulders of a friend to wave lighters and sing along, and the electronic rock tune ‘Sleepwalking’ to which the crowd unleashed a final hurrah in the form of an absolutely manic mosh pit.

It was an impressive Singaporean debut for Bring Me The Horizon and an absolutely stunning performance by opening band Crossfaith, whom have played to comparatively smaller crowds and venues in Singapore in their previous trips down here. It was also refreshing to see how both bands had incorporated different influences into their music in order to inject new life into the already overused and tired metalcore formula. The success of this event will definitely pave the way for more shows for heavy bands in the similiar vein in the horizon (pun intended).

Bring Me The Horizon set list

Can You Feel My Heart
Shadow Moses
Diamonds Aren’t Forever
House Of Wolves
Go To Hell For Heaven’s Sake
And The Snakes Start to Sing
Empire (Let Them Sing)
It Never Ends
Deathbeds
Chelsea Smile
Antivist

Encore:

Blessed With a Curse
Sleepwalking

By Louis Foo