single of the week

Carly Rae Jepsen - I Really Like You

 

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album picks

Album Review: Smallpools - LOVETAP!
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Album Review: Charli XCX - SUCKER
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Album Review: Sleeping With Sirens - Madness
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more album picks

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SBA 2014
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SBA 2012

 

 

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Kicking off promptly at 7pm, a shy and petite female vocalist clad in a black dress greeted the calm crowd. I’m certain that many of us were deceived by Linying’s reserved nature, when she started her opening for stillsunrise’s EP launch - We were enchanted by her demure and fragile vocals.

Her set reminded me of the band How To Dress Well as she managed her transition from her chest to head voice phenomenally well. I love how she used the backing track, loops from her laptop which synced effortlessly with her vocals and keyboard.

Welcoming Jon Chan on stage for the remaining duet, the duo took the crowd on a magical journey for her original Miles as Linying’s sultry vocals rode over the acoustic tapestry of chords strummed by Jon. The verses were taut and punchy; the two worked in tandem and proved to be an unexpected triumph.

Coupled with a range of originals such as Horizon, Sticky Leafs and Speak Up Sailor, the audience received occasional jolts from the contrast between its sound and lyrical themes. The harmonies complemented each other perfectly and both artists are capable of making you cringe, albeit for wholly different reasons. However, it was a pity that the technical glitch caused Jon's guitar volume to drown out his vocal.

The Esplanade Theatre Studio suited the acoustics set up of stillsunrise and the intimate setting enabled the crowd to form a closer bond with the band. Decked in shirts and jeans, the four bashful guys acknowledged and expressed their gratitude to the crowd for making it a sold out launch for “Colours In Black”. Aside from playing their singles from the EP, they gave us a sneak peek to songs such as Something New and Stars.

The quartet took an artistic and mature approach to most of their singles, they possess the ability to take sombre subjects and turn them into exhilarating anthems which are stimulating. Glen’s vaporous falsetto together with Yuresh’s baritone and gritty midrange voice soared gloriously on songs such as Doctor, For Now and Permission To Dream.

I felt like I was in a mythical doll house seeking to unravel some hidden treasure due to the flourished and lustrous string arrangements by Johnson’s violin. The alluring, loopy and sweet psychedelic vocals and instrumental arrangements worked wonders. Interchanging between his bass guitar and keyboard, Winston’s showmanship was impeccable. This brought about a sense of dramatic dynamics and gritty groove.

Ending the launch on a high note with Stars, it exuded an Imagine Dragon feel. With Glen banging on the Toms, swift layered grooves and bassline, all of these boasted a great swagger and enhanced the overall appeal.

Despite the technical glitches, the band was unfazed by them and it was an astounding performance!

Photo Credits: stillsunrise and GM Mell

Are you feeling vexed just thinking about how you should be spending your Saturday? Well fret not, as I have the perfect solution to ease your worry! How about being serenaded by lilting vocals against cohesive harmonies across an indie-pop continuum? stillsunrise will be having their EP launch “Colours In Black”  this Saturday (21st of March 2015) at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. Here’s the catch - for every ticket purchased, you get a copy of the physical EP too!

Having opened for This Wild Life and featured on 987FM, Linying is no stranger to the local music scene. Be sure to be enchanted by her coos as she opens for stillsunrise's EP Launch.

Making their debut in 2013, stillsunrise hopes to capture moments in melodies and harmonies, like a picture portraying a still sunrise as their name suggests. I must say that their set up is akin to Ed Sheeran’s. This quartet acoustic band doesn't need any form of fanciful setup, except a keyboard, guitars and violin. They allow their music to speak for itself, the fusion of Yuresh and Glen’s vocals have a strong semblance to artists such as John Legend and Ed Sheeran.

I heard two of their singles Untitled and For Now which are a refine mix of cosiness and majesty. I love how the band is able to incorporate the husky hurricane vocals gain force from Yuresh which ties in smoothly with the soulful and tantalizing harmony by Glen. A mix of melancholy and the kind of catharsis that comes with exploring hurt in order to heal it. This submerges listeners back into the murky instrumental depths of the violin back by Johnson and intensified pounding of the keyboards played by Winston.

 

Photo Credits: stillsunrise

The tune of FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna is extremely catchy that I have been so ADDICTED to it. The best YouTube rendition within Singapore is none other by the three musketeers, Joshua Simon Ft Tabitha Nauser and James Lye. They succeeded in teasing their fans with snippets of the video before the actual release which left their fans clamouring for more!

Exuding a chic vibe with a strong semblance to the original MV by Kanye West, the trio adopted the black and white feel, the vocals and music arrangements are extremely commendable too.

I’ve to admit that Tabitha has soared so much in terms of confidence and has mastered her sound since she made her mark on Singapore Idol in 2009. Her vocals are impressively unencumbered as she has a good control over her throat and head voice.

Some of you may know Joshua as the One FM 91.3 Radio DJ, however words can’t define his wealth of creativity and uniqueness for music. Attaining over massive views for his 7 Booty Songs In 3 Minutes and his previous cover of Milkshake by Kellis, Joshua is certainly an all-rounder when it boils down to music.

Joshua has this sophisticated sound which possesses a unique richness of timbre to his voice with an emotional range present. When the vocals from the duo are being tossed together it becomes a form of powdered husky and sugar rush music piece, a well-balanced level of sexiness and masculinity.

There is no doubt that James is a formidable sessionist and he plays for The Momma Shop too, the man behind the smooth instrumentation arrangements. The fetishizing electric guitar rhythm enhances the overall appeal of the cover.

No biasness but I feel that it is on par with the original song or maybe even better! Kudos to the trio for a creative success! 

 

Photo Credits: Joshua Simon

By now, fans of One Direction would know that the charming lads are going to be performing at the National Stadium for their On the Road Again tour. We’re as excited as you are, but wait! Here are some insights you need to know before March 11th.

Seen from fan videos on YouTube, One Direction’s concert can be way too crazy to comprehend:

 

It’s way too noisy

That is pretty obvious at a concert, but what I meant is that you can’t even hear the boys’ soothing, mesmerising voices. All you can hear is the fan next to you screaming and screaming, probably non-stop, and then there you are straining as much as possible for just a second of 1D.

 

“Visually impaired”

One thing that fans love is to garner attention from their idols. Trust me, I know. Hence, big, huge banners that probably say, “I’m your biggest fan! (arrow pointing downwards)”. Banners are not bad, but they are when you’re the one standing right behind it, and all you can see are the boys’ amazing legs.

 

Throbbing heads

You can get throbbing heads in two ways at a concert. It’s either the music is too loud, or you just got hit on the head. But I’m speaking about the latter here. Fans love giving gifts to the boys, and the only way for the gifts to get to them is by, well, throwing them towards the stage. However, if it does not land on stage, it will most likely land on your head. Ouch.

Fortunately for you, I have some tips on how to maximise the experience. Follow these tips and you might just leave the concert saying, “That was the BEST concert I have ever been to in my life”.

 

Tip #1

If it gets too noisy, just politely hush the other party down and fangirl together afterwards. Always be kind. If you’re the one who poses the screaming problem, please at least have intervals so it won’t disrupt others around you.

 

Tip #2

Refrain from bringing banners into the arena, but if you have to, make the fonts bigger, and the size of the banners smaller. Respect others’ views, okay?

 

Tip #3

Do NOT throw anything from where you are to the stage. You can give gifts another way. I don't think being responsible for another person’s injury is on your wishlist right now.

 

Tip #4

Especially for those of you standing, don’t forget to always hydrate yourselves! Some fans have seen to have fainted at One Direction’s concert. What a bummer to have missed parts of the concert. Remember, health is as important as those boys on stage!

 

Tip #5

Wear comfortable clothes! Unless it’s a music festival, what you wear don’t matter. You’re there to see One Direction perform, so wear your easy breezy duds and dance to the music.

*****

Now you’re ready for the big red X you marked on your calendar! Just keep these tips in mind, and you’re off to the best day of your life! One Direction, in Singapore, live right before your eyes - how exciting! And remember, we have a mini-celebration after the concert! Details here!

Let’s get hyped up with Night Changes in the meantime!

 

Photo credit: Mirror Online

 

#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