single of the week

Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft


album picks

Niall Horan Shows Us A Different Side Of Him In 'Flicker'
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Album Review: Our Top 3 Tracks From BTS' EP 'Love Yourself: Her'
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Album Review: 5 Must-Hear Tracks From Paramore’s Latest Record, ‘After Laughter’
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more album picks


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




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For avid fans of Arizona’s “Emo Group,” Lovely, Little, Lonely, might come out as an experimental record that begs for deviation. Music critics have labelled it more pop and indie-sounding, a far cry from their debut album. But one thing’s for sure, The Maine has added new elements in this record that hasn’t been done in their previous incarnations, which is rather a hit or miss for new listeners.

The album’s constant online teasers kept us up to date with the quintet’s creative process - from vlogging their typical recording day to immortalizing late night jamming sessions on Instagram. But unfortunately, the hype gave it all away, leading to slight disappointment for fans that anticipated more from the band.

Lovely, Little, Lonely opens with a signature The Maine riff in Don’t Come Down – an anthem of a song that seems to translate the euphoria in being able to let go. It’s followed by the well-received single, Bad Behavior, which I believe captured the band’s alternative rock yet melodic sound.

One distinct addition in the album would be the interludes that divide the songs into chapters, with each title track derived from the album name, “Lovely, Little, Lonely." Hence, making the entirety a form of narrative, with each interlude assisting the storytelling.

But if there's anything frontman John O'Callaghan wants to convey, it's the essence of showing that "boys" can be vulnerable too. After all, what's being labelled an "emo band" if not for the actual expression of genuine emotions? It is mostly evident in the latter part of the record in songs like Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu, I Only Wanna Talk To You, and the last track How Do You Feel? - a song that John was able to channel his inner Morrissey in through the opening verse, “Dearly depressed, and broken-hearted, I’d like to let you know that boys cry too.”

The Maine remains to be one of those bands who would rather stick to authenticity than focus on creating meaningless pop hits. Though this album might not have resonated with older fans, it is safe to say that the band has matured well enough to still be able to execute a part of nostalgia we will always revisit.

Listen to the album here:


Track Gems: Don’t Come Down, Taxi, Lost In Nostalgia, Bad Behavior

Photo Credit: 8123

You've seen High School Musical, now get ready for, well, a slightly realistic version of it.

On the other side of the world, a 17-year-old Jacob Staudenmaier brilliantly conceptualized and produced a video recreating La La Land's opening scene,  "Another Day of Sun." All of which were made in the hopes of getting Emma Stone to be his prom date.

Packed with choreographed dance moves, witty lyrics, and cars parked as though stuck in a traffic, one might wonder how these kids even had the time to rehearse such a thing. We Singapore kids rarely even had the time to take afternoon naps in Secondary school!

Comparisons aside, the kid did a pretty impressive job despite his lack of vocal talent. His charisma and creative ideas were enough to attract a bunch of fellow students to participate and yes, even have Emma Stone herself notice and respond to his video.

Jacob was recently on Good Morning America for the viral video and here he is reading out Emma's response:

"Jacob, thanks for making the greatest proposal I've ever received," it read.

"I can't tell you what an honour that was and how much I smiled through that entire beautifully orchestrated video.

"I'm in London working but I hope you have the best time at prom and I'm grateful you thought of me.

"Thank you."

Photo Credit: Jacob Staudenmaier

Ed Sheeran, the world's most beloved crooner, might be making our generation fall in love with his romantic melodies and lyrics at the moment. But this talented red-head is more than just a romantic wordsmith.

One dark evening, when I was spending a good hour scrolling down my Facebook feed, I stumbled upon TheKosmic8's page and saw a video. Though, it wasn't like any other night, mind you. It was the time our dear Eddy (that's what I call him now) made me laugh so hard I felt like the luckiest gal in the world. They say you should find a man who makes you laugh, don't they? I guess this is why everyone is smitten with Eddy.

Here is a visual evidence of my uncontrollable laughter in gif form, to spare you all from my beastly sounds.

TheKosmic8 makes parody videos of musicians by removing the original music and dubbing them with hilarious sounds. If you need a bit of cheering up and don't get easily offended by humorous mockery, you need to watch his videos.

Without further ado, here's the brilliant video that made my night extra special (the good part starts at 3:55).


Photo Credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images

“This is the part of adulthood I was mostly looking forward to as a 15-year-old fangirl,” I told myself as I strategically plan what I would be doing on the day of Coldplay’s sold out show in Singapore.

It has been almost 2 years since I waited in line at a concert and I must say that I did get some unexpected jitters.

It didn’t help that my ticket was on the 31st of March, the same day that I had a morning class. But like the meticulous planner that I am, I had it all worked out – I would leave class at 10am right after we get dismissed, rush to the cafeteria for some fried rice, go straight to the National Stadium, arrive there at 11am, and wait for 7 hours until the doors open at 6pm.

Did it all go as planned, you may ask?

You bet it did. It even turned out to be an unforgettable experience! 

So, in light of this serendipitous “adventure of a lifetime," let me share with you some of the things that I did during my 7 hour wait for Coldplay.


1. Ate my surprisingly spicy fried rice

I consumed the said meal item in a much slower pace than usual to avoid getting a stomachache – a big “no no” if you want to keep yourself feeling comfortable during the show. Nobody has time for the loo when you’re stuck in a moshpit while being enthralled by Guy Berryman’s seducing basslines (and attractive facial features).


2. Went people watching

Cheesiness aside, there’s some beauty about watching fans trying to kill time as they wait for their favorite band.


3. Braved the rain


The thing about the waiting area is that it was sheltered. But it wasn’t sheltered enough not to have roofs that are designed in such a way that there are holes in between them. So when a quick storm decided to pay us a visit before the show, we had to leave the queue and move to the side for shelter.


4. Succumbed to capitalism aka bought some merch

Let’s just say that I splurged a bit too much on this aspect.


5. Admired creative fan signs


Here are some adorable fan signs that I saw in line at the concert.


6. Made new international friends


I’d like to give a shout out to the wonderful people I've met who made every hour in the queue more bearable. 7 hours surely did pass by like a breeze when you’re in the company of such endearing humans. I didn’t expect to laugh that hard in front of people I’ve just met, but I’m glad I did.


7. Buried myself in a book for 10 seconds

I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t get to read that much while in line as I got carried away chatting with fellow fans.


8. Hydrated myself with Coke because that’s just what I drink now. Water? What's that?

Here’s my friend, Yvonne, gracefully opening Burger King’s main door as I shouted, “I’M DOCUMENTING EVERYTHING THAT I’M DOING TODAY!”

Yes, I got myself a Coke.


9. Fangirled during soundcheck

There’s something about hearing Chris Martin’s voice live for the first time without any visual evidence that makes you squeal in excitement.


10. Ironically bought a Chris Martin mask and had fellow fans take pictures with it


Greatest investment I’ve made this year, enough said.


Planning to queue for your next concert? Now you know what to look forward to!


Photo credit: Teejay Vergara, @sasyapurwanty & @ramadhinyy via Instagram, Mark Cheong for The Straits Times

Yes, I am writing this piece because I'm craving for new Twenty One Pilots material.

And yes, I do spend my afternoons lurking on the internet, endlessly searching for some new content to perk myself up after class.

It has been a couple of months since Twenty One Pilots dominated my social media feeds with Heathens. So, it was quite a surprise to stumble upon their live cover of Black Eyed Peas' Where Is The Love (a solid jam from my childhood) just a few days ago.

Like any internet user, I watched a video and ended up discovering a few more. So I suggest you listen to these 3 brilliant live covers by Twenty One Pilots while on tour.


1. Black Eyed Peas - Where Is The Love

There is something about Tyler's rapping that makes everything more exciting than it already is. I mean, that mere choreographed dance is just a bonus



2. The Beatles - Twist and Shout 

Hearing Tyler's laidback vocals sing a Beatles song already makes my day.



3. R. Kelly - Ignition

This, of course, is a bit from their 7 acoustic covers that I completely adore.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio

With just 1 week to go before alternative rock band Coldplay grace our shores, it’s safe to assume that most of us are already preparing ourselves for the most monumental concert of the year.

I mean, we’ve fought over ticket sales and hyped ourselves up with endless posts about their upcoming shows, but have you ever thought of the song you can’t wait to hear live?

If you haven’t already heard, Coldplay usually takes in song requests from fans before every show – whether it’s an underrated song or a hit that they don’t play live anymore.

Til Kingdom Come has been one of the most requested songs so far in their A Head Full Of Dreams Tour and this is more or less their set list for their Singapore show.


Taking these into consideration, I’ve curated five underrated songs that don’t usually see the light of day but are as equally brilliant as those they typically play.


1.     Strawberry Swing


2.     Life in Technicolor ii


3.     Hurts Like Heaven


4.     Death And All His Friends


5.     Sparks

Photo Credit: Carlos Müller

It was on the 3rd of March when I had the pleasure to watch Unknown Mortal Orchestra live. Though they were only opening for Explosions In The Sky, I didn’t leave the house without familiarizing myself with some of their songs before the gig.

Lo and behold, I ended up listening to them for a few consecutive days, and let’s just say I did a bit of stalking. Little did I know that Julien Ehrlich of Whitney, another band I’ve discovered earlier this year, was UMO’s previous drummer. Small world, eh?

Going back to UMO’s music, their tunes capture the sweet calming vibes of R&B coupled with a pinch of psychedelic indie rock, which I have been obsessing over the past week. With this, here are five songs that got me hooked on UMO:


1. Stage Or Screen


2. From The Sun


3. Ur Life One Night


4. So Good At Being In Trouble


5. The Opposite Of Afternoon


Photo Credit: Tom Spray

If there’s anything I’m looking forward to aside from the end of spring semester next month, it’s The Maine’s much-anticipated sixth studio album, Lovely, Little, Lonely.

You’ve probably already jammed to Bad Behavior and Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu since their release and are currently craving for more The Maine material. The good news is you’re not alone!

If you can’t get yourself to wait another month, just find comfort in these 3 reasons why it's all gonna be worth it.


1. It'll be a product of their 10th anniversary

The thing about anniversaries is that they tend to be a big deal, which means that The Maine might just have mind-blowing material instore for fans in Lovely, Little, Lonely.


2. Their new lyrics will be packed with John's poetry

I'm still bitter about not being able to get John The Ghost's book of poetry, so I guess I'll just drown myself in their new lyrics when the time comes.




Enough said.




Photo Credit: Steve Denton, The Maine (Facebook)

There was a period of time when I used to play Explosions In The Sky’s The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place on repeat as I did my exam revision. It was a semester or two of pure post-rock bliss that aided my dreaded study sessions. I won’t consider myself an avid fan of the band, but when I heard that they were coming back to Singapore, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to catch them live and lose my post-rock gig virginity.

The 3rd of March was not exactly the perfect date for a concert except for a few fans already free of academic obligations. I was greeted with sightings of a man reading a novel, couples cuddling on the ground, and a student who was digesting his economics notes – all making good use of their time before opening act Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) graced the stage. 


When you're at a concert but econs is life

A post shared by Muhd Farhan (@zomgfarhan) on

Unknown Mortal Orchestra exceeded many fans’ expectations. The band blew the crowd away with their consecutive mix of R&B and indie rock songs. If Tame Impala, Toro y Moi, and Mac DeMarco all had a lovechild, it would sound like Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Vocalist Ruban Nielson emitted energy unlike no other. Never have I been so immersed in an opening act such as UMO, despite only hearing their songs a few times on YouTube. This is all thanks to Ruban dancing along to crowd favorites, The World Is Crowded, Multi-Love, and Stage or Screen.

Having been already overcome with a sense of satisfaction after UMO’s set, I was prepared to leave the front of the mosh pit and just watch Explosions In The Sky from the back. But of course, I needed to see the band play at least one of the songs I only used to listen to online up-close. So, I stayed on my spot.

Explosions In The Sky undeniably created an ethereal ambience almost comparable to one floating into space. For most fans in the crowd, it was pure ecstasy, but for me, it was a surprising dissociation from the music. Why wasn’t I captured by their live performance? I had no idea. Maybe live post-rock performances aren’t my thing.

But still, I soldered on and tried to appreciate what was in front of me. Every song played received roaring applause, from their first song Yasmin The Light, to the much-awaited The Only Moment We Were Alone. Who exactly wouldn’t be enthralled by the band’s soft mellow tunes that suddenly turn into heart-racing tempos? Apparently, me, and boy was I disappointed with myself for a moment.

I knew that hearing First Breath After Coma was supposed to be breathtaking (no pun intended) live, but I was shocked by my lack of receptiveness as I stood there unfazed. I really wanted to relish the moment!

My utter indifference, however, was met with guys aggressively banging their heads and fans that chose to quietly appreciate the music with crossed arms and eyes closed. I watched them from afar and realized that perhaps there will be moments where I lose myself completely in a mosh pit as a fan, and there will be days where I just stand solemnly at the side and be an observer – both of which are completely okay.

I left the concert venue with a new appreciation of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but came to the conclusion that I prefer to listen to Explosions In The Sky from my headphones in the comfort of my own home.

My inability to appreciate live post-rock music made me realize that I don’t have to like everything. I’m still waiting for the time when I can fully immerse myself in such music that would make me go, “Hmm, this makes me feel alive.” But for the mean time, my fondness of Explosions In The Sky will remain solely within the four walls of my bedroom during late revision nights.



Yasmin the Light
Catastrophe and the Cure
Logic of a Dream
Greet Death
First Breath After Coma
The Birth and Death of the Day
With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept
Colors in Space
Your Hand in Mine
Disintegration Anxiety
The Only Moment We Were Alone


Photo Credit: Symmetry Entertainment, @khojennifer, @axelante, & @linsinlohan via Instagram

Ah yes, it's been some time since Ed Sheeran released his rendition of Little Mix' Touch for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. But I just happened to stumble upon comments on YouTube, like I always do. Fans weighed in about which version is better, while some just decided to mess around.

Here's a quick rundown of what netizens thought of the cover:

Of course, we've got fans who are were just completely blown away.

But we've also got solid Little Mix fans who preferred their idols' version.

Though it's worth noting that Ed himself is a fan of Little Mix and is genuinely proud to be one - "Who isn't [a secret Little Mix fan]? I rarely meet boys now who don't like Little Mix, they just have hit upon hit, there's not a song that comes out that I'm not like, 'Oh, that's gonna be in my head for a month now.' They're always on point."  

This fan even brought up a version of the song I didn't even know existed.

I mean, she's right! Little Mix really did own this acoustic rendition!

As mentioned, we have a netizen who just decided to contribute his wit in the comment section and we're not even mad.


Watch the cover here:


What about you? What do you think of Ed Sheeran's cover?


Photo Credit: