Waterfall Records celebrates launch with Hong Kong’s Fantastic Day

Waterfall Records will celebrate its launch this March with a debut gig featuring Hong Kong indiepop group Fantastic Day and Singapore’s Lost Weekend.

The night will finish up with label founder Collin Chen‘s longstanding DJ night POPKISS!, which will feature synth-heavy 80s classics amongst modern dreampop tunes and jangly guitars for any indiepop enthusiast.

Waterfall Records celebrates launch with HK's Fantastic Day

Fantastic Day, who caused a buzz on the indiepop scene when they first emerged in 2007, are touring on the back of the release of their new album titled Innocent (Imagine Imagine Imagine Records), released in December last year.

The event will be the first of a series of shows from Waterfall Records, who promise quarterly gigs showcasing the local and regional indiepop acts that Asia has to offer.

Fantastic Day
with Lost Weekend
BluJaz Café (third floor)
Saturday, 1 March 2014

By Melissa Yong

Baybeats Auditions finalists announced

Baybeats Auditions has just announced the eight finalists that will be playing at this year’s Baybeats Festival.

Following two rounds of auditions, the final eight bands make up an eclectic line-up of some of Singapore’s most promising alternative acts to feature at the festival alongside other alternative local, regional, and international acts.

Baybeats announces finalists for 2014 auditions

The bands, which include Other Sounds favourites Lost WeekendStopgap, and wyd:syd, will now take part in a four-month mentorship with judges Bani Hidir (53AB-Quartet), Daniel Sassoon (In Each Hand A Cutlass), and producer Leonard Soosay.

These eight finalists are the first acts to be announced on the Baybeats line-up, with the announcement expected to be released in the next month.

Check out our gallery of snaps taken from last year’s festival!

Baybeats 2014 finalists:

Attention! The New Portsdown
False Plaintiff
Lost Weekend
The Livid Sun

[spacer height=”10px”]Baybeats Festival 2014
27-29 June 2014
Esplanade, Theatres By the Bay

By Ale Launech

Top 5 bands to watch out for at Baybeats Auditions Round 2

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:

[spacer height=”10px”]wyd:syd
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.

[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://youtube.com/watch?v=94_1yNCM-nA[/youtube][spacer height=”10px”]

[spacer height=”10px”]Stopgap
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”]

[spacer height=”10px”]Vessel
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.

[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbfU2t4HlKs[/youtube][spacer height=”10px”]

[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.

[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YENSP2g6VhM[/youtube][spacer height=”10px”]

[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”]

[spacer height=”10px”]Villes
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.

[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://youtu.be/qxSpi7eF5ww[/youtube][spacer height=”10px”]

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

Other Sounds launch party with ScotDrakula, Obedient Wives Club and Lost Weekend @ Home Club (18.01.13)

Not to be snarky, but when you hear about an Other Sounds launch party going on, you’d expect an exciting new mix of bands on stage. And true to OS style, all of the bands were emerging gems, eager to deliver whatever it is they’re on the cusp of.

Lost Weekend was a charmer with Rachel’s lush alto crooning and their unpretentious, delicately crafted indie pop/rock. Though much of their set was melancholic and mellow, they switched it up a little with their first try at performing ‘Wild Ones’ live — which was lovely, followed by perhaps their catchiest song, ‘About Forever’, whose synth hook proved again to be a massive draw for the crowd.

A humble band and not ones to talk very much, Lost Weekend candied, powdered, and impressed us with their saccharine tunes and quiet demeanour. I was undecided as to whether they’d be better off more polished or not — I liked how raw they were, but it was a pity that Rachel’s voice was drowned out by the sound system for the most part.

Enthused shouts of ‘Encore!’ and clapping ended their narcotic and more than perfect set, a good effort for a band playing their third ever live show. Despite not fulfilling their promises of stripping Mark down to his apple-patterned Vans, they’re definitely a band to watch develop in the coming year.

Obedient Wives Club were the extroverted sisters of Lost Weekend, beckoning the crowd forward and cracking jokes. Soon enough, we were swaying side to side to crowd favourites ‘Murder Kill Baby’ and ‘This Is It’, their usual mix of old and new songs.

The five-piece band hardly sounded or looked as dark as they presented themselves — a languid mix of the 60’s pop and lo-fi fuzz stuffed full with Spector’s wall of sound. They were all set to charm and just as a passing thought of the set being a little too one-dimensional and repetitive came to mind, ScotDrakula was up and ready to roll.

The Melbourne punk trio were just the right mix of lo-fi garage rock on crack and twisty feet. Delivering head-bang worthy music and relentless grooving, the two lanky boys and their gorgeous female drummer played the crowd like puppets.

It took a while for everyone to adjust to the shift in energy but it was only a matter of minutes before their cacophony of banging tambourines, manic screaming and fuzzy guitars really grabbed the room. The band shook the now OWC-hypnotised club up by the bones (pun very much intended) with their set of reckless and catchy songs including the band’s latest single, ‘Burner’; ‘Ain’t Scared’ with surprisingly, completely well-pitched three part harmonies; and crowd favourite, ‘Kick out the AmberLamps’.

Probably one of the most energetic frontmen I’ve seen, Matt Neumann dropped and curled into a foetal position on the stage floor midway through the performance from fatigue — it was dope. They’d played with absolutely no inhibition throughout and that energy and sincerity really showed in their performance.

Neumann eventually got up and the band played one last song, an apt cover of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’ with a great instrumental jam towards the end of the song. All too soon, they were done for the night and the crowd reeled from a performance I don’t think any of us were expecting to be so blown away by.

By Suhui Hee

Other Sounds official launch party!

Other Sounds has been alive and kicking for three months now and the time has come for us to throw a massive party to celebrate the official launch of the website for all our friends and readers!

We are thrilled to announce that Melbourne’s ScotDrakula, who turn reckless garage rock and lo-fi grit into positively catchy sing-alongs, sugary sweet fuzz-pop band Obedient Wives Club, and indie/pop gems Lost Weekend will be playing for us in the first of many shows we’ll be putting on for the year.

To finish the night off is Home Club’s KICKS! with Joe Ng and Roland Ngoi.

The Other Sounds official launch party is proudly sponsored by main sponsors Asahi and Vans, and supporting sponsor Urbanears.

Let’s kick off the beginning of a new era of music journalism in Singapore!

Watch ‘Burner’, the new video from ScotDrakula:
[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsZutY2vYEk[/youtube]

Home Club, Identite, and The RSC present…
Other Sounds launch party

Friday, 18 January
Home Club

Stay tuned for more announcements and the show poster/artwork!

Rocketswan and Lost Weekend @ PoW, Little India (20.12.12)

First thing’s first: the soundchecks weren’t handled too well by the first act Rocketswan. The first test plucks came in at about 9:12pm (Rocketswan were scheduled to play at 9pm), and it was about ten minutes of soundcheck band jamming before the first song kicked in. And even then, the band still found kinks with its sound. Reverberation was converging at a point just before feedback and the vocals were maybe a little too soft.

But they roughed them out by the second song, and the small audience at the Prince of Wales, Little India backpackers’ pub could finally focus on the music. And it turns out the reverb and soft vocals might have been rather intentional after all; Rocketswan, a five-piece setup with a female lead vocalist, play surf rock with elements of dream pop and lo-fi in the mix. It all comes together sounding rather retro, but the only comparison that immediately pops to my mind is how their fourth song, ‘Slidey’, sounds a great deal like the very much modern Best Coast (themselves lo-fi surf rockers) with its upbeat melodies and sing-a-long whoa-oh’s.

Best Coast isn’t five people though, so you’d forgive them if they were rather one-dimensional in their sound. Rocketswan’s songs tend to be like that sometimes, and it’s their greatest weakness. There’s not a great deal of progression in their music, and the dreamy reverberation doesn’t help either. They could do a lot better to mix it up in future live shows.

The band left the best for last in the form of an explosive closer in the form of ‘Soon’. “An MBV cover?” was what came to mind as frontwoman Rachael announced the title. While not exactly My Bloody Valentine, the song was undoubtedly shoegaze nonetheless, kicking off softly but heavily with a warm and fuzzy guitar drone. And as good closers go, the song soon turns explosive with its wandering guitar amp effects, a reflective and retrospective ending to Rocketswan’s very short gig. It showed an experimental side to the band, something unseen from the songs earlier on in their setlist (excluding ‘Lazy Bones’ which had the lead guitarist briefly playing a toy piano), and I’d wished they’d displayed more of it.

Lost Weekend‘s bassist and supporting vocalist Mark, a muscular, cooler looking (no offence) Hossan Leong, breathes into his microphone, “This song is called soundcheck,” proving that he’s got the humour too, just like Hossan Leong, if only more dry and sardonic. ‘Soundcheck’ was rather enjoyable, they should’ve made it a real song.

Lost Weekend, who are four-strong and with a female lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (who knows how to sport bangs), come across as more chill than Rocketswan. Is it because they’re less surf rock or generally more calm about their playing? Things feel effortless, and with such levels of comfort you can afford to do a guitar solo here and there, which they were more than willing to do for several songs.

They get their groove on somewhere in the middle. Even Mark’s taken off his earplugs and is smiling for once, beneath all the dry witticisms he’d been remarking (to great comedic effect) at the audience for most of the show. By the penultimate song, however, which begins with just female vocals backed up by minimal instrumentation, I’ve begun to have doubts over the suitability of a small venue such as a pub for this kind of music. During this time, the female lead was the only musician who made a sound; with just her vocals, now loud and clear (pretty good), backed up by her own Korg accompaniment. It’s during these quieter moments where the pub setting feels just about right. But Lost Weekend are a rock band, after all… And it gets pretty loud again soon enough.

Wrapping things up for this two-fer was an original Christmas number by Lost Weekend. The getup changes, with the lead guitarist taking the Korg to play some bell-like synths. Tasty mellow melodies started playing, with the lead vocalist’s equally saccharine voice clearer than ever. The music was softer than usual. It was sweet and to those who left after Rocketswan or in the middle of Lost Weekend: you  missed out!

By BJ Lim

On a Sunday with Lost Weekend

We discovered new band on the block Lost Weekend at Keeping It Peel two weeks ago and fell completely in love. The indie/pop band is a breath of fresh air amongst the post-rock, emo, and post-hardcore bands that have dominated the underground music scene in Singapore for the past six years. And given that it was their first proper gig, they put on an impressive performance that elicited cheers from a happy audience and demands for “one more song!” With not much information out there about them, we speak to the somewhat mysterious band to get to know them better.

Hi! You guys seem a bit mysterious… so please introduce yourselves!
We should probably start by apologizing if we come off as “mysterious”. We’re more shy than mysterious, really.

Lost Weekend is Arif on guitars (and various other instruments), Manny on drums, Mark on bass, and Rachel on vocals/miscellaneous instruments needed to fill in dead air space. Arif’s an Aquarius and collects stamps, Mark is an avid horticulturalist, Rachel believes in aliens, and Manny has really big biceps.

How did you guys meet?
There was a party at a mutual friend’s house and we were the last four standing in a beer pong contest.

What made you decide to form a band?
I think it was a combination of passion, idealism and boredom. In a way, songwriting is a bit like getting the devil out of you so there’s an element of catharsis in there as well. Also, we had these instruments lying around the house… it’d be a waste not to use them.

“In the studio, there’s a lot of ideas being thrown around and parts being cobbled together. In the process, someone’s ego usually takes a beating but at the end of the day, I think we’re all pretty happy”

Who came up with the band name? Is it a reference to the film ‘The Lost Weekend’ or John Lennon’s ‘Lost Weekend’?
The name actually comes from John Lennon’s “lost weekend”. We initially operated under the working title of “Rude Fox” (which was the name a jilted lover had once given to Rachel’s sister) but somewhere along the way, Mark developed an unhealthy obsession with Harry Nilsson, who was John Lennon’s collaborator and partner-in-crime during his “lost weekend” phase. He suggested the name “Lost Weekend” and it kind of stuck. It also turned out that Rachel’s father is a big Harry Nilsson fan, and we all secretly yearn for parental approval.

We also tried picking a random movie in Mark’s computer, but all we got was Borat.

Tell us about the song-writing process. How does each member contribute to it?
Mark works out the lyrics, the melody and a basic arrangement and then sends a poorly recorded version to the whatsapp group chat. If there’s an awkward silence, it’s a dud. Rachel also chips in with the lyrics.

For those songs that survive this grueling baptism of fire, Mark records a fleshed-out demo and brings that into the studio. In the studio, there’s a lot of ideas being thrown around and parts being cobbled together. In the process, someone’s ego usually takes a beating but at the end of the day, I think we’re all pretty happy with our little deformed-foetus songs.

Who or what inspires your music?
All of us like different sorts of music so there’s no definitive source of inspiration. Everyone just brings something different to the table. In the individual things that we do, we all have specific influences, although we apparently share a common love for dead musicians:

Mark: Jonathan Richman, Blur, ‘Surfer Rosa’ and ‘Come On Pilgrim’ by the Pixies, Nick Cave, Philip Larkin

Arif: John Frusciante, Carlos Santana, Mozart, Piazzolla, Elliott Smith, Jonny Greenwood

Manny: Jeff Buckley, the Police, Led Zeppelin

Rachel: Jeff Buckley, Sparklehorse, Tokyo Jihen, Fiona Apple, Salyu

We’d love to hear more from Lost Weekend. Do you have plans to record more songs?
We’re sitting on a folder full of half-baked songs and there are definitely plans to keep writing, recording and gigging. At this stage, we’re just kicking back, having fun and exploring where we can take this whole music thing. All the stuff we’ve put out there so far are DIY, but in the future we’re looking to take things up a notch.

So expect to see us playing at more places and practicing eye contact with the audience.

(There’re also plans for some Christmas cover songs…)

By Cindy Tan

Lost Weekend performing ‘About Forever’ at Keeping It Peel:
[youtube width=”457″ height=”343″]http://youtu.be/JNH4MLZU1P4[/youtube]