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Earlier this year in March, I had the opportunity to catch James Bay perform live in Antwerp, Belgium. It was less than a week after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, so while it felt like there was solemn in the air as I walked down the streets of Antwerp, the concert was anything but somber. His concert now holds a very special place in my heart, and it will probably stay there for many years to come, especially for the fact that I travelled across Europe to see him.
Then just a few days ago on 19 May 2016, I got to see Mumford and Sons perform live in Vienna, Austria. I believe that I qualify as a concert veteran (seven so far this year!) and out of all the concerts I have ever been to, Mumford and Sons' concert was hands-down the BEST one yet.
The two concerts I went for were absolutely amazing and I would not trade the experience for anything in this world, which is why I strongly believe that everyone should travel and watch a concert overseas at least once. Here are three reasons why:
1. Brand new experience
Have you ever wondered what concert cultures are like in another country? When I was in Antwerp for James Bay's concert, I found myself seated amongst many older people (about 40-50 years old), which was a little shocking for me since I would not expect someone of the same age as my mum to listen to his music. During the intermission after the opening band's set and before Mumford and Sons took the stage, I witnessed people giving way to others and letting them stand in front of them. It was that chill, I swear. The lighting effects for their concerts were also far more intricate than I have ever seen in any concert in any venue in Singapore, which added on to the whole experience.
2. Cheap tickets
Would I have been able to get first-category tickets in Singapore to see either acts for less than S$100? Probably not. I paid a total of 90€ for both shows, which is approximately S$140, or the average price of one ticket in Singapore. James Bay's ticket also consisted of a one-day pass for transport in Antwerp, which saved me a couple more bucks.
3. No more waiting in vain
Have you ever waited for a band to perform in Singapore for so many years that you are on the brink of being convinced that they would never come here? I totes understand your feels, cuz that's exactly how I feel about Mumford and Sons. However, instead of waiting for them to come to you, why not you go to them?
Having that said, I guess there's still the question about "what about the costs of flight tickets and accommodation when you travel to catch a concert?" Yea, I get it. But the point is that if you ever find yourself travelling to a place at the same time when a band or a singer you like is performing, I would strongly recommend that you go catch the show!
Photo credits: Spin or Bin Music
Indie rock sensation Vampire Weekend might currently still be on (a very long) hiatus, but frontman Ezra Koenig doesn’t seem to be having much of a break from musical contributions. Speaking of which, his not-so-recent involvement in writing Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
Beyoncé fans might have noticed Ezra Koenig’s name, alongside Diplo and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, credited on the Lemonade track Hold Up… and of course, this created confusion among Beyoncé and Vampire Weekend fans.
Thankfully, Ezra summarized the whole writing process into this tweet – a 13-year journey starting from a spontaneous thought to unexpected collaborations. When asked to further explain his thoughts, Ezra said: “People get really hung up on who wrote what. In some ways I served as like, the middle ground between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Beyoncé, but it’s funny to think about — what does writing really mean? Of course I’m like, proud. I think I wrote a good hook, I think I had a good idea to like, riff on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But now when I listen back to the demo, it sounds different because she contextualized the song. She made this great video where she’s like, bashing windows and stuff. When I wrote that, it wasn’t directed at anybody, I was just songwriting. There are Vampire Weekend songs that have deep meaning to me, that are personal, but that one I was kinda songwriting. Like, ‘oh, this is a good hook.’ I wasn’t thinking about anyone in particular, and the idea that those words are now contextualized by this album, that video, by her as a performer and a curator—I like it! I think it has deeper meaning. Of course I feel some sense of ownership over what I did, but it doesn’t feel like my song. She really did bring a different resonance and meaning to it. It’s a very modern way of a song coming together… 99% of the world will hear those words and associate them with Beyoncé now.”
You really can’t make such a catchy tune overnight, eh?
LISTEN TO THE DEMO HERE:
Photo Credit: Getty Images, David Brendan Hall
Yes, they are coming to Singapore!
If you don't already know, the dynamic duo Tegan and Sara will be performing LIVE in Singapore on July 29 at The Star Theatre to promote their latest body of work, Love You To Death.
With so much excitement building up to the day we finally hear them play their music right before our very eyes, we can't help but maybe suggest some more songs that they previously covered to be added into the night's setlist because why not? Don't get us wrong, we love their original music but these songs were just covered so beautifully by the Canadian sisters that we just have to hear them LIVE for ourselves!
So here are 3 covers by Tegan and Sara that we feel are amazing and that they should perform these songs during their concert here in Singapore!
Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen
Umbrella by Rihanna
Date: 29 July 2016
Venue: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre
Ticket Prices: $68, $88, $148, VIP BOX $228 (only 16 seats available)
Tickets are now available for purchase at SISTIC.
Spin or Bin Music is proud to be the Official Music Blog for Tegan and Sara Tour 2016 in Singapore!
Photo Credit: Tegan and Sara Facebook
If you’re still not familiar with M83 songs by now, let me just tell you one thing, GET READY FOR THE FEELS!
The French electronic band is proof that mere psychedelic tunes are enough to evoke strong emotions and you don’t exactly need exotic lyrics to fill the melody.
M83’s tracks fit into a certain dream-like aesthetic. True enough, frontman Anthony Gonzalez described their theme as “adult-scripted teen dreams” – a pretty accurate representation of how people lose interest in imagination and sometimes, romanticization, once they fall into the endless pit of adulthood.
So, if you feel like you’ve lost track of time and have suddenly forgotten to enjoy the moment, let M83 bring you back to the good ol’ days.
Get ready to cry and slow dance on Thursday night. Here are 5 soul-stirring songs you should watch out for at M83’s show:
Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun
Photo Credit: Hypetrak
In the same vein as our previous monthly recommendations, this article probably should’ve been titled “If You Like James Bay, You’ll Surely LOVE [Insert Name Drops Here]!”
See the thing is I’ve only recently got round to acquainting myself with the work of Mr. Bay and several of his peers belonging to the fraternity collectively referred to as “singer-songwriters.” The buzz surrounding Bay (fedora and all) just happened to turn up on my otherwise sleepy radar so I won't put on airs of any sort; no holier than thou, nose-in-the-air nonsense from me.
With some of that investigative journalism wizardry (Google) and cursory dips into their most recent discographies, I handpicked a few* cats who seem to have things going for them. Maybe it's their tendency for introspection, their uncanny ability to feel and subsequently weave words which aid audiences in processing similar experiences, however deeply personal, that turn me on.
Whatever these singer-songwriters are selling, I’m buying.
1. James Bay
Not to be confused with fellow James of the Blake persuasion, the Hertfordshire native is mostly a crooner by default, or so Hold Back the River would lead one to believe. Coming across as a charged Jake Bugg at times albeit with the delicacy of Vance Joy, it’s no wonder Bay was singled out by Taylor Swift herself. With a muscly classic rock sound that’s raring to overpower the listener, Bay might just be our modern answer to Tom Petty.
2. Tobias Jesso Jr.
Originally slated to perform last January at Laneway, this writer actually did his due diligence and immersed himself thoroughly in the piano-powered melancholy of Jesso's debut record, Goon. A contributor to Adele's recent 25, Jesso possesses a contemporary familiarity with ennui through seemingly trite titles such as How Could You Babe and Can We Still Be Friends. His pen, though highly sought after, is most effective when paired with his own unadulterated, often sardonic persona.
3. Jack Garratt
Straying away from any dusty images of lone singer-songwriters with a guitar in hand, Jack Garratt’s latest electronic direction is far from his first few furtive steps into music. There is a certain deliberate bombast to Garratt’s production that paradoxically accentuates some of his more vulnerable moments. Breathe Life was my aptly refreshing introduction to Garratt.
4. Sufjan Stevens
An already revered figure amongst indie folk aficionados, Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell is reportedly his magnum opus and simultaneously, an entry-level gateway into his intricate universe. What’s evidently clear is his capacity for grief and the deftness in which he frames it in a distinctly poetic manner, though it did take a few chews to really swallow the album as a whole. The line “You checked your texts while I masturbated” (see also: “I’m looking through you while you’re looking through your phone”) though, resonated immediately.
5. City and Colour
There’s a little bit of everything in Dallas Green’s If I Should Go Before You. No longer just a pet project for the Alexisonfire frontman, City and Colour feels like a fully-fledged organism with shades of psychedelia and the frequent twang of a slide guitar that adds sparkle to an already glossy product.
6. John The Ghost
As The Maine's resident Edgar Allen Poe, John The Ghost is the moniker adopted by O'Callaghan in his latest love letter which marks his return to sparser settings. Plagued by self-doubt, his moody musings (“The only thing I’m good for is a melody and poor advice”) are always a welcome respite, most likely for both listener and musician.
Photo credit: Alex Bramall, David Levene, Julia Rose, Derek Robertson
*Disclaimer: This list is unwittingly dominated by white, male individuals casting serious doubt over its scope and therefore representational value. Reader's discretion is advised though be sure to school us thoroughly should you be in the know of singer-songwriters of the highest calibre.