single of the week

Sia - Elastic Heart

 

today in history

 

album picks

Album Review: Fifth Harmony - Reflection
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Album Review: Fall Out Boy - American Beauty/American Psycho
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Album Review: Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint
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more album picks

accolade

SBA 2014
SBA 2013
SBA 2012

 

 

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#5 Coldplay - The Scientist (Sam Driscoll cover)

Taking us all the way back to 2002, Sam Driscoll brings us on a roller coaster ride with The Scientist by Coldplay. There’s this astronaut effect that does justice to the song and it ties in with the overall vibe - creating a sense of disconnection which reflects the whirlwind of the lyrics. A big improvement in terms of quality from his recent covers as compared to his first mark on YouTube! Can’t wait to hear his upcoming originals too!

 
 

#4 Maroon 5 - Sugar (Amanda Liew Ft Brendon Chua cover)

Duetting for their cover of Sugar by Maroon 5, both vocalists’ aces their head voices as the song climaxes. It’s never easy covering a song by Adam Levine as his vocal range is a killer but I’ve to admit that Brendon Chua did a fantastic job at it. In addition, Amanda Liew has a good control over her vocal runs and I certainly hope that the duo will upload more covers together. Their collaborations are spine chilling!

 
 

#3 The Beatles - Yesterday (Sara Wee cover)

Lead vocalist of 53A and a mentor for Noise Singapore, Sara Wee dropped her latest cover of a popular 1965 classic hit Yesterday by The Beatles. Steering away from her usual husky voice, the delicate saccharine approach worked for me with a quantifiable oomph. A mix of melancholy engulfs me as her vocal leads me through the song, perfect way to celebrate her YouTube Partnership.

 
 

#2 Nick Jonas - Jealous (Trick)

Known for their gusto and flurry of raps over a tapestry of guitar chords, Trick slays their rendition of Jealous ­by Nick Jonas. The concoction of boyish and falsetto coos from Marc Lian compliments the speedy raps by Richard Jansen. This is the X Factor!  The incorporation of the raps fits timely and it differs slightly from the original, kudos for the improvisation.

 
 

#1 Bon Iver- Skinny Love (JAWN)

Kicking it off with forceful chord strums, Jon Chan otherwise known by his moniker name JAWN nails the cover of Skinny Love by Bon Iver. It has a different twist as he doesn’t focus so much on his upper register as compared to Bon Iver. JAWN is the kind of musician who indulges in the comfort of sadness within a song and manages to put himself in the shoes of the original signer. In turn, conveying the right emotions to listeners.

Photo Credits: Global Beauty 

Palma Violets are back, but that’s not it, they return with a brand new song for their upcoming album!

Danger in the Club is their upcoming album following 180 back in 2013. It’s been 2 years, and fans are eager for them to create some new stuff. The wait is finally over, and we welcome Danger in the Club, a song named after its album.

On February 16th, Palma Violets introduced their new song on BBC Radio 1. Danger in the Club, just like Palma’s previous garage-sounding music, are welcoming to the ears. Starting with a guitar chord playing, it slowly proceeds to the beating of the drums, enhancing the 2 instruments even further. It brings me back to their song called Best of Friends where the song started exactly alike - with guitar playing then drums after. However, when Sam started singing for Danger in the Club, it brings me back (yet again) to Step Up For The Cool Cats - with its lively singing, despite his very low, and raspy voice.

Even though this new song has its similarities with songs from their debut, I wouldn’t say it gets boring. It just shows that Palma Violets are able to focus solely on their music genre - psychedelic rock - while keeping their music fresh, and pleasing to the ears. Besides, that’s how they earned admiration from both fans and critics in the first place.

With their debut album reaching Top 10 UK charting, I expect Danger in the Club to reach just as same, (or maybe Top 5?). I would love to hear more from this upcoming album, with song names like Sweet Violets, or Secrets of America enticing me, but bummer, I have to wait till 4th May for the album to be released.

But in the meantime, why don’t you put Danger in the Club on repeat.

 

Photo credits: Rough Trade Records

Ariana Grande has released the video for her newest single One Last Time last week which continues the recent run of hits from her current album My Everything.

The road to pop superstardom goes on for the former Nickelodeon star but were the singles she’s released actually good? Let’s rank them all.

 

4. Problem (Feat. Iggy Azalea)

Don’t get me wrong, because what a tune this is.

However, the track does not really hold up one year later, and worse still in the near future. The (cheesy, sorry) saxophone solo feels really dated by now, especially with its inclusion in almost every hit song released recently. The song builds, to Grande’s credit, into a climax but the payoff disappears when it soon comes crashing down into the sax chorus.

And that god-awful choreography for the live performances doesn’t suit Grande at all.


3. Break Free (Feat. Zedd)

When this song was first released, I felt that it was the perfect mix of Grande’s unique vocals and Zedd’s exuberant energy.

Alas, that video was corny and the replay value was low. It may have been more a case of the latter’s production inducing listening fatigue but Grande was becoming overplayed and she needed something fresh, fast.


2. One Last Time

The newest single, which has really grew on me since the album was first released.

The production is top-notch (her best) featuring a memorable piano progression and the mid-tempo track is bittersweet, something different from the singer herself.

Grande also did a stellar job to turn an otherwise hollow track into something resembling a masterpiece in her discography. She knows how to unleash her sultry yet powerful voice into a rush of a chorus, but perhaps more memorably, pull back just enough in the verses.

Extra points to the video, which took a different direction from her previous efforts.


1. Love Me Harder (Feat. The Weeknd)

This single deserved to be a bigger hit than its siblings.

It was dark and edgy, giving a new dimension to Grande’s character that exudes maturity. Grande’s phrasings in the song were perfectly controlled and this is perhaps her most difficult song vocally.

Her chemistry with The Weeknd can also be heard and the pair playfully sings double entendres which resulted in a sexy R&B jam for the ages.

Photo credit: GoodFon.su

lindsey stirling singapore

There’s no other performer like Lindsey Stirling – a purveyor of a melting pot of specialties. Fusing modern, hip-hop and ballet dance with classical and dupstep violin, this Mormon Arizona native lights up the stage as a distinctive act some would consider “unmarketable”. But a look at her vast following and accolades (she won the Crossover National/International award from the Echo music awards in 2014) would defy that notion. We show you just how marketable she is with five things we love about her.

#1: She has an alter ego. A little less Sasha Fierce and a little more Kathy Beth Terry, she is Lindsey’s number one fan named Phelba (goodness knows where she got that name from). Every so often, Phelba makes a cameo on Lindsey’s secondary YouTube channel, LindseyTime.

 

#2: She makes epic music videos for both original singles (these are our favourites) and cover renditions, all of which are viewed by millions and feature intricate costumes and effects. It’s only in her videos where musical instruments are turned into lethal weapons, Atlantis is real, shadows are independent, and you can fight dragons with a violin.

 

#3: At age 6, she learnt how to play the violin through weekly lessons. But get this. Because her parents could only pay for half of the lessons, each class lasted for about 15 minutes. In spite of her tutor’s skepticism, Lindsey managed to make the most of it through sheer determination and hard work.

#4: She never gives up. It’s one thing to be told you’re not good enough. But to be told that in front of millions of viewers on television? Lindsey endured that during her quarterfinal performance on America’s Got Talent, and, despite feeling dejected, continued to hone her craft. Even when she lost her desire for music momentarily as a teenager, she refused to quit completely, and sought for a renewed passion. Of course, that turned out well.

lindsey stirling singapore

#5: It’s been said a thousand times now, but she can dance while playing the violin, without messing up a beat. People forget this, but it’s very much an acquired skill. It’s almost as hard as keeping your eyes open whilst sneezing. Lindsey even called it an “unnatural” act during a live-chat: “I had to practice so hard to learn how to do it, but now it is part of my expression… Once I know a song really well, I can then have fun dancing.”

lindsey stirling singapore

*****

Concert Details

Venue: March 3, 2015 (8pm)
Date: Marina Bay Sands
Tickets: $148, $128, $108, $88 (excludes booking fee)

Tickets available at Marina Bay Sands Box Offices and SISTIC.

Spin or Bin Music is proud to be the Official Music Blog for Lindsey Stirling Live in Singapore!

 

Photo credits: Kris Connor/Getty Images, America's Got Talent/YouTube

YouTuber Jasmine Thompson isn't just a pretty face; she also has a prettier voice to boot. Based in London and rising quickly as a star, you'd be wrong to think she's the next Tiffany Alvord.

Like many other YouTubers, Jasmine became popular through covering pop songs such as Lorde's Royals and Hozier's Take Me to Church. 

But when you cross a talented individual with another hugely talented one like everybody's favourite redhead Ed Sheeran, you get a beautiful cover with the light of a thousand stars.

I'll say this, Thinking Out Loud isn't a very difficult song to play or sing. But to produce a rendition brimming with emotion and meaning from the lyrics is another story altogether.

But somehow this little songbird has managed to capture ears and hearts. 

And if you haven't been following Jasmine (but you're about to), here are a few cool things you should know about her.

1) Jasmine is half-Chinese and was born in England.

2) Her Youtube channel TantrumJas has over a million subscribers.

3) And her videos has garnered over an amazing 120 million views!

 

So whatcha waiting for? The cover's right below:

 

Photo credit: Jasmine Thompson