single of the week

Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft

 

album picks

7 Realest Lyrics About Life From Camila Cabello
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 0 start
Album Review: Red Velvet's 'Perfect Velvet' Is The Best K-Pop Album of 2017
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 1/2 start
The Definitive Track-by-Track Ranking of Taylor Swift's 'reputation' Nobody Asked For
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 1 start
  • 0 start
  • 0 start
more album picks

accolade

World Bloggers And Social Media Awards
SBA 2014
SBA 2013
SBA 2012

 

join our team!

join our team!

Teejay

Known for a plethora of creative proclivities, 19-year-old electronic singer-producer Of Methodist makes his directorial debut for his latest single off an upcoming record, Dead To Me.

The video transports viewers into a Sofia Coppola-esque setting comprising of a hypnotic coven of witches. It captures a propelling narrative that serves as a short glimpse of the R&B artist’s writing process – “I wanted this video to touch on the macabre and eeriness underlying my lyrics and productions.”

What one could easily assume as a metaphor for facing inner demons, the video also serves as a perfect encapsulation of what young local talents can offer – one of which is unapologetically channelling frustrations into mesmerizing art forms.

Watch the music video here:

 

Photo Credit: Benita Leong

It’s not everyday that you get to experience flashbacks of your childhood together with 20,000 people in a stadium, all screaming in unison for the best-selling boy band in history.

But the 21st of October proved to be an evening filled with nostalgia as the Backstreet Boys (BSB) played a one-night show in Singapore.

Camouflaging amongst a crowd of fangirls in their 30s and 40s, I found myself unconsciously joining their piercing squeals as AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell opened with the banging hit, Larger Than Life.

“Somebody should’ve warned the Backstreet Boys that it was this hot here in Singapore. We are sweating up here!” Carter exclaimed succeeding the first few numbers, which were already filled with their much-anticipated synchronized dance choreography that boy bands nowadays are devoid of.

The youngest member of the band then showed his expertise in triggering immediate screams from the audience, “But you guys like to see the Backstreet Boys sweat, don’t you?”

It was an evening not deprived of audience interaction, but also pseudo-karaoke sessions with performances of songs like Drowning, Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), and As Long As You Love Me – all reminiscent of everyone’s innocent days.

Jam-packed with astounding visuals comprising of blinding laser lights and pyrotechnics, BSB delighted us with their flawless harmonies accompanied by matching sequined suits that undoubtedly made every performance more “swoon-worthy.” These are all in addition to their signature boy band pose that concluded every song.

Being the only stop in Asia, you would expect the rest of the Singapore crowd to at least reverberate the same energy as fans in the floor section. But to my disappointment, it seemed like the band’s energy only reached the first half of the stadium, leaving barely a handful of people on their feet at the grandstand.

Perhaps it was the distance from the stage that explains the lack of enthusiasm or the tiny screens that the rest of us were left with. But the sight of a minuscule Kevin Richardson aggressively headbanging during Get Down was enough for me.

Finally unable to contain themselves, the rest of the crowd got up for the fan-favorite I Want It That Way and the encore Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) that manifested the band’s undying fervor.

Swooning over cheesy love songs was cathartic in itself, but being serenaded by one of the world’s most popular boy bands made the moment even more special.

It might have been almost 25 years since BSB formed, but the quintet’s nostalgic hits are definitely going to be repeatedly played by generations of fangirls for a long time.

 

Setlist

Larger Than Life
The One
Get Down (You’re The One For Me)
Drowning
Incomplete
Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely
I’ll Never Break Your Heart
Anywhere For You + Darlin + Undone
As Long As You Love Me
The Call
We’ve Got It Goin On
Get Another Boyfriend
More Than That
Shape Of My Heart
I Want It That Way
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)

 

Photo Credit: Unusual Entertainment

While Singapore might be regarded as a prime destination for musical acts in Asia, we also do get deprived of concerts from time to time.

There’s Paul McCartney who played a show in Japan earlier this year and Liam Gallagher of Oasis who recently visited The Philippines, leaving Singapore slightly jealous.

They say you can’t have it all, but 2017 would’ve been better if these bands also stopped by Singapore for a show while they were in Asia:

 

1. The Kooks

Indie rock band The Kooks were at We The Fest and Good Vibes Festival in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur last August. It would’ve been a thrill to finally hear some songs from Inside In / Inside Out, but I guess we’ll have to wait.

 

2. New Hope Club

New Hope Club might not be a household name (yet), but the rising boy band sure has a large following in The Philippines, which they visited earlier this month together with The Vamps.

 

3. The Vamps

The British quartet played shows in The Philippines and Japan for their Middle of the Night Tour and we sure hope they’ll visit us in Singapore soon after their well-received gig in January 2016.

 

4. Kodaline

It’s been 2 years since indie folk band Kodaline made their Singapore debut with Sheppard. But the Irish lads skipped our country this time despite stopping by Indonesia and Malaysia for We The Fest and Good Vibes Festival.

 

5. Phoenix

Let’s just say August wasn’t as great of a month for me as I succumbed to watching videos of Phoenix on social media while others saw them play live in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and The Philippines. It would’ve been a dream come true to experience their psychedelic show and see their kaleidoscopic stage set up in person after missing their show in Singapore 3 years ago. But yet again, one can hope.

Photo credit: Hollywoodbowl.com, Shemazing, Project U, Press, Last.fm

Us The Duo finally posted a full cover of The Foundations’ pop hit, Build Me Up Buttercup!

This is after a year of uploading a short version of the song that certainly left many fans hanging, myself included.

For someone who grew up loving the original version, I refrained from listening to covers that would potentially ruin the song for me. But as expected, Us The Duo did not disappoint.

Blending in their signature harmonies, the ‘60s song was delivered with an acoustic twist.

Carissa and Michael Alvarado still carry with them the alluring charm that captivated the Internet in 2013.

Vine might no longer exist, but the six-second video sharing application undoubtedly left us with a talented set of husband-and-wife that’s here to delight us with long(er) song covers.

Watch the full cover of Build Me Up Buttercup here:

 

Photo credit: UsTheDuoVEVO on Youtube

You might have already heard that Lorde did a majestic cover of The 1975’s Somebody Else a few days ago.

The 20-year-old pop star delighted her fans with a dramatic rendition in Paris while on her Melodrama world tour. Lorde shared, “This is a song that I really, really love. It was one of my favorite songs of last year, and it really influenced Melodrama. It influenced the tones and the colors and the emotions. I hope you like it.”

The cover received immediate approval from Matty Healy, The 1975’s frontman himself, and it seems like both artists are big fans of each other.

With this, we think it wouldn’t hurt for Lorde to cover a couple more of the band’s songs.

Here are other The 1975 hits that will be perfect for Lorde’s raw and melodramatic (pun intended) vocals:

 

Robbers

 

Fallingforyou

 

 

You

 

 

Heart Out

 

 

A Change Of Heart

 

Photo credit: Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Finding a band that doesn’t charge fans for meet n’ greets is almost impossible in this capitalist society. But The Maine continuously proves that genuine appreciation of music should not be monetized, at least heavily, in this article on Medium.

In the article, The Maine have made some valid arguments about their beliefs while still not dismissing the fact that the music industry today is in decline – that the existence of overpriced merchandise and VIP tickets is essential to cover the mere costs of touring, when it is basically an act of exploitation over people who’ve done nothing but support a group’s music.

Despite this acknowledgement and depressing reality, the band still holds onto the principle, “If you are a fan of something, you shouldn’t have to go broke supporting it.”

The Maine erases the idea of the egoistic “rock star image” that comes with fame and success. Instead, they show their appreciation to fans by not putting themselves on pedestals and finding every means to do it personally.

They have been doing free meetups at shows for 10 years now. It’s truly hard to describe sincerity unless you've been in the presence of genuinely good people and I’m glad I’ve experienced it having met the band prior to one of their shows in Singapore.

It’s heartwarming to know that a band isn’t grabbing every opportunity to capitalize on your emotions. This is why The Maine undoubtedly sets a great example on how music (and everything else that comes with it) should be done. 

 

Photo Credit: Cole Kiburz

To promote the release of her latest album, Younger Now, Miley Cyrus treated her fans to a short live stream performance of The Climb.

It’s been 6 years since the singer belted out those nostalgic melodies of the song that captured everyone’s hearts in Hannah Montana: The Movie. But Cyrus still carries the same vigor, if not stronger, she had when the song first came out.

In view of this sudden “blast from the past,” here are other old Miley Cyrus songs that we want to hear her sing again live!

 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Truth be told, this Cyndi Lauper cover was a hit in my early teens.

 

When I Look At You

It’s hard not to listen to this soulful ballad and not get flashbacks of scenes from The Last Song.

 

One In A Million

Let’s just say I was more into Hannah Montana’s less upbeat material.

 

7 Things

I remember listening to this song for the first time as a 12-year-old and being taken aback by Miley Cyrus’ apparent existence outside of Hannah Montana.

 

You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home

I'm just gonna leave this right here:

*****

Feeling old yet? Which of these songs is your favorite?

 

Photo credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America, @viniius via Twitter

Every so often, we get bombarded by commercialized songs with formulaic structures - 3 notes and a hook - that we forget to explore other artists’ music.

The thing is, there’s an abundance of music out there for us to discover, we just need to dig deep and give our ears a treat from time to time.

With this, I’ve recently come across a handful of female artists that I wish I discovered sooner. Upon this “discovery,” I realized that most female singer-songwriters that are being severely advertised these days fall under the category of “pop stars.” There is definitely nothing wrong with that, per se.

It just perpetuates the idea that females are only capable of producing music like this, and that female artists on par with the likes of John Mayer rarely exist, WHICH IS DEFINITELY NOT TRUE!

We can’t deny the fact that we still live in a world where there’s a need to highlight one’s gender upon reference, especially when you're a woman in the music industry.

But since we’re still doing so, here's a list of 5 talented FEMALE singer-songwriters you should be listening to.

 

Mitski

Mitski has been described as an artist who’s “anti-melody,” making Björk comparisons unavoidable. Her seemingly aggressive sound can also be easily assumed to have no end-goal, but Mitski transcends all of these through her expressive songs. Watch her crush it on this KEXP performance.

 

 

Courtney Barnett

Her honest-to-goodness lyrical poetry is probably what’s attracting thousands of listeners right now. Barnett is able to transform the mundane into a palpable, vivid imagery through her narrative and melody. Listen to her reference coffee in the song, Depreston.

 

 

Frankie Cosmos

Her lo-fi influence might strike most listeners as dreamy, but Frankie Cosmos knows how to condense our daily what-ifs into refreshing 2-minute wonders.

 

 

Angel Olsen

Olsen is more than just an “aesthetic figure.” Her raspy and stirring vocals beautifully blend with her ever-changing guitar accompaniment. In one song she revives Stevie Nick’s velvety vocals and in another, she reincarnates Sleater-Kinney’s melodic angst. Either way, she remains an artist to look out for. I highly recommend listening to her perform “Sister” in the video below.

 

 

Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief

Lenker might be the odd one on this list, being the only one in a band, but this frontwoman is as equally talented as the rest. She has brought her listeners to tears, myself included, with her soul-wrenching lyrics and melody. This NPR live session is a must-watch for anyone who’s in despair and just want to momentarily drown in their emotions. Paul and Mary are perfect songs to start with.

Photo Credit: Lucy Johnston, Mia Mala McDonald, Matthew James-Wilson, Shervin Lainez, D.C. Music Download

It’s not everyday that you get to see two of the most iconic pop singers in this generation with none other than Jack Antonoff.

The Bleachers frontman recently had Lorde and Carly Rae Jepsen join his band onstage for an MTV Unplugged performance of Hate That You Know Me, a song that originally features Jepsen.

The trio is known to have been longtime collaborators and real-life buddies - much evident in Lorde and Jepsen's comfortable stage presence with Antonoff. Talk about an expensive pair of backup singers, eh?

Listening to these three artists jam to a song live while belting out incredibly high notes is indeed a breath of fresh air.

Watch the video here:

 

Watch the rest of Bleachers' MTV Unplugged performances here.

 

Photo Credit: MTV

There is no doubt that it’s quite a challenge to top last year’s stellar line-up, but 2017 Singapore Grand Prix still continues to attract music fans for its 10th anniversary.

Warming up the eager audience on Night 1 was pop rock band OneRepublic that had fans who waited for 7 hours just to catch them up-close.

The band opened with the heart-wrenching Stop and Stare followed by the anthem of a song that is Secrets, inviting the crowd to sing along with the talented Ryan Tedder. Though as emotional and exciting as it was, the first number did not exactly hype up the vacant-eyed audience as much as the second one, this wasn’t much of a shock as Brent Kutzle breathtakingly brought the latter song to life with his famous cello intro.

Despite the slightly slow start, OneRepublic began to trigger everyone’s sentimentality in moments when Tedder would briefly explain inspirations of songs he wrote for other artists and later belted out live with the band. “If you know this song, sing it. If you don’t, don’t sing it,” Tedder instructed the stunned audience after revealing that he’d co-written Halo by Beyoncé, Happier by Ed Sheeran, and Rumour Has It by Adele.

However, the most memorable part of the evening was when a male fan caught Tedder’s attention midset. It turned out that the fan was at a OneRepublic show in Vancouver three weeks ago and was told by Tedder that he would buy him a beer if he flies to Singapore for their F1 gig. Keeping his word, Tedder immediately handed the fan a beer directly from stage. Talk about dedication!

As expected, F1 shows tend to be generous on the visual front. The alluring lights and impeccable stage set-up made songs like Good Life, Apologize, and Counting Stars more cinematic. Though all good things must come to an end as OneRepublic concluded with the much-awaited Love Runs Out, leaving a group of wide-eyed fans hoping for more.

Finally making their Singapore debut were Ariana Grande and The Chainsmokers on Night 2 at the Padang Stage.

Arianators could be easily spotted in the crowded pit with their black bunny ears, suggesting that they were indeed at the event solely for Grande. This was, of course, just an addition to their passionate singing.

Grande was in full pop star mode with quick costume changes and a variety of props onstage. Her Side to Side performance was delivered exactly like in the music video – a workout themed set up with Grande and backup dancers on exercise bicycles.

Known for her velvety vocals, the 24-year-old effortlessly showed off her prowess in the soulful pop ballad I Don’t Care, which was made even more “eargasmic” by chilling electric guitar solos.

Serving us some words of female empowerment were video interludes that took about 5-10 minutes of the show, which could’ve been at least just dedicated to performing more songs like Problem that we did not hear in its entirety given the limited 60-minute set.

Though Grande’s mere presence already brought excitement to the crowd, a little audience interaction would have been more satisfactory. We’d like to think that she was just saving her energy for a solo tour in Singapore in the near future. But for now, we can only hope.

One might quickly question how pop singer Ariana Grande ended up opening for The Chainsmokers. But the evening itself proved the critics wrong, at least temporarily, as the EDM-pop duo surpassed (almost) everyone’s expectations.

Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have been severely criticized for their music's lack of variety. Although their tracks couldn't necessarily be labeled as "legendary," the duo was able to transform The Padang into a huge dance floor filled with an energetic mob through tracks like Roses, Closer, and Don’t Let Me Down - all of which enticed the crowd to sing along.

It is indeed undeniable that music that’s fun, catchy, and devoid of meaning could be aggressively electrifying. This, of course, wouldn’t be possible without those captivating pyrotechnics and animated emojis.

With unparalleled energy released in the first two evenings of the F1 concerts, we were unfortunately met with gloomy weather on the Night 3. But the skies quickly cleared up prior to Duran Duran’s set, giving us a breezy atmosphere for their '80s new wave music.

The award-winning synthpop band attracted a large group of fans comprising mostly of an older audience who eagerly responded with screams on par with Arianators’ the evening before.

Lead singer Simon Le Bon’s efforts in being culturally inclusive were evident in wittily crafted song introductions, getting audience members to shout out where they’re from preceding the band’s performance of Last Night In The City - a song about bringing people together, according to Le Bon.

“Did you catch your Laksa and Nasi Goreng? Is anybody hungry?” he further asked the crowd before delving into their hit song, Hungry Like A Wolf.

If that wasn’t endearing enough, the entire band manifested an exceptional stage presence that radiated from Dom Brown’s edgy guitar licks to John Taylor’s signature basslines. It’s no wonder that they’re able to attract a huge following of supporters even from the other side of the world.

Working the crowd brilliantly into songs like Save A Prayer and ending their set with Rio, Duran Duran certainly still carries the same fervor from their emergence in the '80s, almost four decades ago. While the crowd, unfortunately, did not get to hear The Reflex live despite their enthusiastic chanting, that devotion in itself demonstrates the band’s undying legacy as new wave icons.

Following the EDM themed dance party this year’s concerts were going for, record producer and DJ Calvin Harris closed the weekend with his jam-packed mixes - some of which constantly struck familiarity amongst the majority of the crowd that probably left the venue as EDM converts.

Radio hits like This Is What You Came For, How Deep Is Your Love, and Outside induced a rare euphoria that everyone would usually be devoid of on a Sunday evening. But before you know it, Rihanna’s vocals slowly enveloped the enormous mosh pit with We Found Love and after which ensued a whirlwind of frenzy.

Did I mention a toddler being carried by his dad in front of me during Calvin Harris’ set? Yes, that happened, and I guess that little boy can proudly tell his friends in the future that he had first “clubbing” experience with Calvin Harris as the DJ.

With this, one might confuse Singapore Grand Prix 2017 as Ultra Singapore given its EDM headliners. However, this risky move unexpectedly revives the definition of an after-party, reminding everyone that this year’s line-up is definitely what a celebration is all about, despite everyone’s doubts.

 

Photo Credit: Singapore GP and Joyce Pang for The Straits Times