Since 2007, Esplanade has been organising the Baybeats Auditions, through which many Singapore bands have been discovered and showcased. With the second round of auditions just around the corner, sixteen quality bands will gather at the Outdoor Theatre and duke it out for a coveted spot in the 2014 line-up.
Under the watchful eyes of judges Bani Hidir (53A, B-Quartet), Daniel Sassoon (In Each Hand A Cutlass), and producer Leonard Soosay (Snakeweed Studios), the bands will go through a five-month mentorship programme and eventually take the stage alongside a bevy of reputed local, regional, and international acts.
This year, there were about 150 applications but only 30 were shortlisted to audition in Round 1, which was then narrowed down again to sixteen in Round 2.
We list our five most promising bands you should check out during the auditions, whether or not they make it to the next round. (Our money is on them.)
Top 5 bands to watch out for:
wyd:syd’s (pronounced as wide side) vocalist Marcus Tan gives an impression of shadowed ambiguity; his wide-ranging, enigmatic voice is reminiscent of frontmen such as Brian Molko or Jonsi. wyd:syd impresses throughout, with a backdrop of faded synths, sliding guitars and rumbling drums rounding up the band’s otherworldly music.
Read our full interview with the band here.
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Stopgap brings to mind the flavours of a good road trip — one that’s fun, winding, and ultimately delivers the chop of a hell-of-a-fun riveting experience. Powered by the sounds of post-revival greats such as Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Foals and Vampire Weekend, you can’t miss these boys’ impactful, feel-good, guitar-fueled music.
[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://youtu.be/NGuvCQCRuGI[/youtube][spacer height=”10px”]
Vessel is a five-piece post-rock/alternative band driven by the unholy sounds of Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age and Mogwai. Flashes of aural brilliance precede the band, with their titular track ‘The Sky Ends Here, Part 1‘ standing out in particular. Angry beats displace their music, before paving the way for mellow, dramatically driven choruses. A class act to catch for post-rock lovers.
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[spacer height=”10px”]The Cave
Comprising four international students, The Cave takes no prisoners with their hard-hitting, fast-action, hard rock. Frontman Harry Darling sounds uncannily like Eagles of Death Metal’s Josh Homme, while some might reckon that at times he carries the gruff of Metallica’s James Hetfield. With a new music video out, these teenagers might have a good thing coming for them.
[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://youtube.com/watch?v=3MsLMlwdbDs[/youtube][spacer height=”10px”]
[spacer height=”10px”]Lost Weekend
Indie pop quartet Lost Weekend produces tunes so sweet that listening to them might just give you a hole in your tooth. Sugary pop, entwined with jangly guitars and steady beats, lead singer Rachel Tan charms thoroughly and gives the consistency of Best Coast’s Bethany Constantino and Obedient Wives Club’s Yinqi Lee.
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[spacer height=”10px”]Special mentions
This award goes to bands who, in our books, should have made it to Round 2, but unfortunately didn’t make the cut. Digging in deeper, here are two bands that gave us a serious case of earworms.
I Left A Monarchy
I Left A Monarchy is as silent, as it is soul-wrenching. Describing their music aptly as “movie rock”, frontman Shaun Paul belts his heart out, and it’s difficult to look away from the poignant genuineness of the band.
[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://youtu.be/53UrSBxAZEo[/youtube][spacer height=”10px”]
Post-hardcore quintet Villes is undoubtedly the most successful of the lot, having released their single ‘The Levy’ in 2012 with close to 28,000 YouTube views to date. The band has also recently released a music video, titled ‘City of Gold‘, showcasing their penchant for high quality, intensely-produced music videos. With their blistering track record so far, we’ll miss their presence in the upcoming Baybeats 2014.
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Baybeats Auditions Round 2 schedule
[spacer height=”10px”]Saturday, 8 Feburary 2014
9.30am – 4pm
Esplanade Outdoor Theatre
0930 – 0950 Attention! The New Portsdown
0950 – 1010 Purple Tiger
1010 – 1030 Paint The Sky Red
1030 – 1050 Sphaeras
1050 – 1110 Vessel
1110 – 1130 ORANGECOVE
1130 – 1150 Before The Tempest
1150 – 1210 The Livid Sun
1310 – 1330 Stopgap
1330 – 1350 arson
1350 – 1410 False Plaintiff
1410 – 1430 SparkleDrivenFairytale
1430 – 1450 The Cave
1450 – 1510 Ellipsis
1510 – 1530 Lost Weekend
1530 – 1550 wyd:syd
By Evan Woon