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

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

 

 

 

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Teejay

In light of the recent US Presidential debates, trolls have emerged from their caves to humour us once again with memes that found their way into our Facebook feeds.

Clips from the debate dubbed with popular karaoke songs seem to be more pleasing to the ears than Trump’s irrelevant insults. So, we’ve compiled the best 3 Trump vs. Clinton "Sing Offs" for your amusement.

 

Presidential debate or a nostalgic throwback to the 80s?

 

Still a better tandem than Troy and Gabriella...

 

If that’s no enough, there’s also a Chinese version:

Photo Credit: pigeonsandplanes, newscast

My deep admiration for Daniela Andrade started when I was an “innocent” Secondary 3 student still oblivious of what’s to come - ADULTHOOD. I spent a great amount of time watching her covers on YouTube and being constantly blown away by her originals, particularly this one. So needless to say, when I finally got to stand right in front of her on Monday night as she sang songs she has only written in her bedroom a couple of years ago, I realized how surreal life can be sometimes.

It was an evening so breathtaking, it’s almost impossible to put into words, which makes it also slightly disappointing with the show's small turnout. Everyone needs to experience being in the presence of Daniela’s mesmerizing vocals!

For a YouTuber who gained popularity through song renditions, one would assumed that Daniela would play more of the songs she covered online. But I guess the 24-year-old wanted a different take on her live shows.

The crowd was serenaded by songs from Daniela's EPs, Things We’ve Said and Shore, both of which included songs she performed that sparked familiarity to solid fans. But despite the strong resonation of emotions through songs like Digital Age and Bright Blue, the crowd remained utterly silent - perhaps fans unconsciously knew that the only way to fully immerse themselves in Daniela’s music is to give their fullest attention.

We did have some attention seekers, constantly shouting irrelevant responses to Daniela's questions, but the positivity she radiated in the room was enough to make the audience maintain their full composure even for just a couple of hours during her set.

It was an intimate gig not just because of the small crowd, but mostly because of Daniela looking so effortlessly beautiful under neon coloured lights and as she sang songs like Creep and Crazy, which moved every part of our being. Though I would’ve wished to hear her version of I Will Follow You Into The Dark live, those covers still tugged my heartstrings.

Alternating between an acoustic and electric guitar, Daniela introduced us to a newly written song called Sugar that might be included in her upcoming album. Daniela’s occasional attempt at small talk while trying to tune her guitar filled this constant alternation.

Every song she played with either guitars never fail to give the audience a sense of satisfaction, almost a kind of relief and a heavy sigh that released tension from our tired souls.

She later played more originals, one of which still lingers in my mind is Badly Programmed, a song inspired by an awkward conversation in a social gathering and consisted of her usual effortless yet mind-blowing falsetto notes.

There is nothing more genuine than an introvert trying to play a show in front of a live audience consisting of fans she only used to communicate with online.

An ironic take on life, I must say.

The gig was as solemn as it could get and I have never felt such an authentic connection between a musician and her audience. Daniela's kind-hearted and unpretentious personality radiated through her soulful and delicate vocals, and god, do I just want to be her friend.

 

Photo Credit: The Gathering Asia, @willsputra, @gravityplay, & @jimnin via Instagram

Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun of Twenty One Pilots seem to be pros at everything do, whether it's evoking such strong emotions with their depressive lyrics or channeling their undying bromance. But despite their skyrocketing success with Blurryface and performing on Saturday Night Live (SNL), the duo hasn't lost that certain charm that brought them where they are today.

In their latest interview on Coup De Main magazine, Tyler and Josh share with us facts about each other and some insightful thoughts about their music.

Think you know everything about Twenty One Pilots? Think again!

 

1. Josh’s favourite Halsey song is “Roman Holiday"

No, they're not dating.

 

2. Tyler’s favourite video game of all time is Super Smash Bros

The more you know, eh?

 

3. "Goner" almost didn’t make it on Blurryface

"It was actually the last song that we recorded on ‘Blurryface’ and it barely made the cut - if we ran out of a couple of more studio days we probably wouldn’t have had that song on the record, that’s how close it was." - Tyler

 

4. They’re currently writing new music

This is more of an update, but still, we're excited!

 

5. They advocate acknowledging the darker sides of humanity through their music

This is more of a given fact seeing that most of their lyrics revolve around thoughts most of us are afraid to open up about.

"So, music has kept that alive, to know that it’s still an option to go down there, and keeping some sort of rope behind you so that you can make your way back and not lose yourself. But it can’t be helped to go down there, you just can’t stay down there all the time." - Tyler

 

******

Watch Tyler and Josh test how much they know about each other in this video!

Photo Credit: Coup De Main, 20d0llarn0sebleed (tumblr), rebloggy, giphy, favim

In a world where music is automatically deemed mostly for romantics, Alicia Keys reminds us that melodies aren’t just made to make your heart flutter. It’s also supposed to remind you of the importance of family.

Her genuine and kind soul is the reason why we should be paying attention to "The Girl On Fire." Her new song, Blended Family (What You Do For Love) was inspired by her love for her stepson with husband and producer Swizz Beatz. Taking us back to the early 2000s RnB vibes is a track about advocating “a true testament of love, growth and healing,” as described by Keys herself.

I don’t know about you, but the song totally captures Keys’ precious heart - treating her husband’s son as her own. The song also encompasses A$AP Rocky’s childhood and growing up in an unconventional household.

We need more songs revolving around such topics! Am I right?

Listen to the song here:

 

Photo Credit: Paola Kudacki

Upon One Direction’s hiatus, we haven’t really heard much about Harry Styles. We’ve occasionally read news about him pursuing actingchopping off his hair and donating it to charity, but that’s about it…

Not until the past week where he teased photos of himself on the cover of Another Man magazine.

You’ve probably already seen and swoon over these gorgeous photos, but have you ever wondered how much they represent the struggles of the common man? We have. So here are some you might be able to relate with.

 

1. When you see someone you’re uncomfortable with

 

2. When you see your crush and you immediately decide act cute on top of a trash can

 

3. When someone insults you so you contemplate about life for a sec

 

4. When you’re already dressed up but your parents aren't ready yet

 

5. When there are bugs crawling on your back but you have to pretend to be ecstatic because Instagram aesthetics is LIFE

 

All jokes aside, we truly appreciate Harry for blessing us with such majestic photos and venturing into the world of fashion. Who knows? We might just see him walk on the runway in the future!

 

Photo credit: harrystyles.gq, Ryan McGinley & Willy Vanderperre for Another Man Magazine

WARNING: What you’re about to read is based on a subjective opinion. Read with discretion.

I like to think that Ms Carly Rae Jepsen has saved me from the mundanity of routine, has altered my mood and prevented me from always getting pissed at Singapore’s 30-degree weather.

I listen to her on the way to school, to a gig of some band whose music does not even closely resemble hers, in the shower, and sometimes to sleep. Who knows? Her songs might just end up being a lullaby a few years from now.

This obsession started when she released the masterpiece EMOTION. God, was I taken to an alternate universe with this album and her unique take on pop. Since then, I’ve been listening to her new music religiously. It’s not a complete day without blasting Let’s Get Lost at 6:30 in the morning when I’m getting ready for my dreaded 8:30am class.

With this, I pondered over the gloomy sky while listening to Favourite Colour and came up with 5 reasons why Carly Rae Jepsen should be the Patron Saint of Pop (and hopefully some reasons to turn you into Carly-converts):

 

1. Her aesthetics...

I mean, god. 

 

2. She has salvaged herself from being a one-hit wonder.

 

3. She made a song about our typical response when our parents ask us where we’re going and it's been our jam ever since.

 

 

4. She unites hipsters and pop fans.

 

5. Her song Run Away With Me became the Internet’s anthem...

See what I'm saying?

 

OK, that's enough.

Photo Credit: @carlyraejepsen via Instagram, Giphy, M. Milner

With a unique concept and an eclectic sound, Glass Animals might have just hit the jackpot as they quickly garnered a large group of new listeners with their dream-like second album, How To Be A Human Being.

The well-received album almost has a Wes Anderson-esque theme with a cover that resembles the mustard trademark of the director as well as the characters in his film, The Royal Tenenbaums. Unsurprisingly, How To Be A Human Being was inspired by vivid conversations with strangers whom frontman David Bayley have encountered on tour - just like the varied and almost unstable character backgrounds in Wes Anderson films.

David Bayley described the album as “almost autobiographical” with “anecdotes from fans, taxi drivers and random strangers who felt compelled to unload." It's real life banter turned into euphonious tunes.

With this, it makes How To Be A Human Being the truest form of escapism. Glass Animals was able to flawlessly deliver real human experiences and transform them into sweet, psychedelic, and soft-rock melodies and it was as though the album cover came to life.

It opens with the first track Life Itself, which delves into some fairy tale vibes in the intro through its groovy beats. Additionally, there are songs like Season 2 Episode 3 (Season 2 as in Glass Animals’ 2nd album and Episode 3 being the 3rd song), a reminiscent of a retro video game theme song. Similar to the song Youth, the former induces some kind of nostalgia.

On the other hand, there's also [premade sandwiches], a spoken word interlude that suggests some form of mockery about how most of us live our lives - “People complaining cos' their mum whines… People complaining about standing in line.”

Those who initially snubbed the band's first album, myself shamefully included, will fall in love with the quartet's bold experimentation. A kaleidoscope in itself, Glass Animals' second incarnation takes us to a melodic fantasy that, in my opinion, no record in 2016 has yet to achieve.

 

Listen to the album here:

 

Track gems: Season 2 Episode 3, Youth, Agnes

 

Photo Credits: Caroline Records

What a start to the off track entertainment line up, 3 days of non-stop music and entertainment at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix!

Kylie Minogue rounds it off on Night 1 of the highly anticipated F1 weekend. It was definitely a show all about the glitz and glamour. Her set started promptly after the second practice race at 11:15PM but the crowd started to build from as early as 9:00PM. We knew it was going to be a night of dancing and reliving hits from the past decade or so. 

Cheers and screams grew louder as time ticked away and the band and dancers took their places on the T-stage. She kicked the show off in her sexy red ensemble, starting off with In Your Eyes and WOW. Like every other concert, costume changes are mandatory. Kylie then re-emerged on stage in a number of outfits ranging from one that seemed to be themed for the race, a black pants suit and denim combo that was most apt for the heat in Singapore.

Kylie first performed in Singapore back in 2008 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and 6 years later she is back! The 48-year-old definitely did not disappoint as she brought out the all time favourites like On A Night Like This, Can’t Get You Outta My Head and All My Lovers. During her set, she also took some time to chat with the crowd namely speaking about the street food in Singapore as well as making a mental note to herself to come back as soon as possible. YES KYLIE!

With Night 1 starting with a bang, thanks to 80s popstar Kylie Minogue, solid F1 concert-goers were in full force for Night 2 of the headlining shows at The Padang Stage.

Indie rockers Bastille attracted groups of teenage fangirls that came with large hand-written banners and whose screams brought out the energy from everyone else in the crowd.

Succeeding the release of their latest album, Wild World, the British lads performed new songs like Good Grief, Snakes, and Send Them Off! – all of which are considered more of a dance anthem than songs from their previous incarnation.

However, it’s not a Bastille show without their most popular hit Pompeii, which frontman Dan Smith started off with a mellow piano intro. The short ballad immediately captured the crowd’s attention as it transitioned to it’s familiar beat, leaving fans with an unwavering euphoria as they sang and join the melodic chorus, “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?” But the highlight of their set was when Dan Smith stood right in front of the barrier, allowing some lucky few, including myself, to touch his sweaty arms. For avid fans, it was almost immaculate as some even promised to never wash their hands again. Thanks, Dan!

Just when I thought the event couldn’t get any more diverse, there was a swift change in position as young Bastille fans left the mosh pit and dedicated Queen supporters stepped forward to catch their legendary idols. Sporting Queen T-shirts were middle-aged fans whom I had the pleasure to watch tear up out of sheer joy as Queen and Adam Lambert played the iconic hits, Love Of My Life, I Want To Break Free, and Don’t Stop Me Now. As a millennial who grew up with the vague but familiar songs of Queen, thanks to my parents who always used to listen to them, I experienced a sense of nostalgia that resulted to an unexpected pair of misty eyes and goose bumps. I’ve never felt so alive.

The sassy but comedic Adam Lambert embodied the rapture expected from a lead singer. Though we all can agree that no one can ever replace the legend that is Freddie Mercury, Adam effortlessly belted out Queen’s hits  – Somebody To Love, Who Wants To Live Forever, and We Will Rock You. But aside from Adam’s witty demeanor, the spiritual experience continued with Roger Taylor’s drum solos. We were also blessed with lead guitarist Brian May’s psychedelic riffs which he played as he got elevated on stage against a starry screen while being circled by blinding lasers.

Queen + Adam Lambert’s set captured every range of emotions all humans were capable of experiencing, from several Freddie Mercury tributes as well as a David Bowie commemoration during Under Pressure. It was a night filled with delight, nostalgia, and timeless rock music that I’ll gladly tell my future children about.

The third and final night was nothing but an evening of celebration. Indie singer Halsey performed songs from Badlands for the very first time in Singapore, as she mentioned from our interview.

The 21-year-old came on stage carrying both swag and grace, a vibe that might seem humanly impossible to deliver, but Halsey effortlessly brought out during her set. Accompanied by stunning visuals that resembled the theme of her songs, Halsey got the Singapore crowd on their feet with Ghost, Castle, and Colors. Just like other artists these days, Halsey's set induced some kind of sentimentality as she shared her experiences as a “little girl” who only once dreamt of performing for hundreds of people.

But the most moving part of the show happened just before she performed Hurricane, as she reminded the audience, “You don’t belong to anyone but yourself.” Though Halsey might still be in disbelief about sharing the same stage as her mentors and the next act, Imagine Dragons, she has definitely built a name for herself as a solo performer. Not to mention, she was also able to brilliantly execute songs with Justin Bieber and The Chainsmokers - The Feeling and Closer - by herself on the other side of the world.

While indie fans were enjoying Halsey's set, there was another party going on at the Village Stage as a capella group Pentatonix returned to Singapore yet again to perform their mind-blowing songs... without the help of any instruments. The group showed off their popular mix Evolution of Michael Jackson, as well as a cover of Twenty One Pilot’s Ride.

Despite gaining fame only by doing covers on YouTube, Pentatonix flawlessly executed original songs like Can’t Sleep Love which their Singapore fans have waited for quite some time to hear again live.

With Halsey already heating up The Padang with her Badlands tunes, Imagine Dragons picked up from where she left off as they opened with the catchy intro, “I'm sorry for everything. Oh, everything I've done,” which marked the start of their hit song, Shots. The ecstatic audience was treated with heart-stopping and dramatic stage setting that fully encapsulated the vibe Imagine Dragons was going for - fiery yet soul-stirring.

Lead vocalist Dan Reynolds embraced the task of bringing strangers in a mosh pit together with inspirational sayings before playing a personal favorite, It’s Time.

However, before delving more into original songs, Imagine Dragons did a cover of Alphaville’s Forever Young, which undoubtedly sparked an 80s atmosphere for the older fans in the crowd. After playing the nostalgic hit, the band carried on with their set that included a perfect mixture of songs from their two albums - Night Visions and Smoke + Mirrors.

Like the previous night's shows, Imagine Dragons’ set was not devoid of enthralling drum and guitar solos that accompanied their hits, On Top Of The World, I Bet My Life, and Radioactive.

Imagine Dragons might only have two albums, but the Las Vegas natives perfectly expressed the universal language, that is music, through heart-wrenching harmonies as evident in the melodic song, Demons.

Just like Halsey, Imagine Dragons served as a living book of inspirational quotes as Dan advised everyone with the cheesy but insightful reminder to momentarily forget about everything and spend the night solely to celebrate music. With this, the show left everyone physically exhausted, but spiritually recharged. But not only was F1 Singapore Grand Prix a night of celebration, it also ignited a sense of epiphany that would make it hard for any music events in the country to ever top. 

 

Text: Teejay Vergara and Leong Xinyi

Photo Credit: Singapore GP & Alvin Ho

Halsey might be dominating the charts and touring the world to meet thousands of fans, but the soon-to-be 22-year-old admits that fame hasn’t changed her a bit.

An artist so grounded you could almost feel it just from the sweet sound of her voice, and we’re not even talking about her dreamy vocals yet! You might want to watch out for that on Sunday at F1 Singapore Grand Prix.

Of course, we wanted to give you a taste of what it’s like to virtually be in her lovely presence as she talks about coming to Singapore for the very first time.

She might be a rising celebrity, but the humble New Jersey native shares how she was once an obsessed music fan like the rest of us, hence her strong empathy towards her supporters. With this I ashamedly blurted out my deep admiration for her, to which she responded with genuine gratitude (and lots of “awwws”). Isn't she the sweetest?

Without further ado, here’s what went down during our chat with the lovely Halsey!

 

Photo credit: Singapore GP

Lady Gaga is back and feelin' more alive than ever! This time it's with a brand new song called Perfect Illusion, which precedes the release of her upcoming album. Excited? Pretty much.

With an enthralling hook that dominates most of the song, it won't take long enough for the track to invade our local Cotton On stores. Sooner or later, we'll start humming the melody to the chorus, "It wasn't love. It wasn't love. It was a perfect illusion."

Though, I've got to be honest, Mother Monster seems to translate a less angsty attitude in Perfect Illusion compared to her older material. I'm not saying that she didn't deliver, the song is still worth all the hype, but somehow it feels like there's something lacking...

And with that I found myself going through these 5 stages when listening to the song:

 

STAGE 1: *Gets excited about the newly released Perfect Illusion*

Like any other music enthusiasts, we all get curious about what our friends share on social media. In this case, I did get curious and decided to check out the song.

 

STAGE 2: *Analyzing & waiting for the hook*

This is the part where we all suddenly become critics and start analyzing how good of a song it actually is.

 

STAGE 3: *Slowly getting into the groove then realizing that it's not THAT bad*

This stage occurs in between our doubt and wanting to hop onto the bandwagon.

 

STAGE 4: *Starts dancing along to the beat*

Finally giving in and actually liking the song.

 

STAGE 5: *Song unexpectedly ends with a cliffhanger*

When you're finally into the song, but it immediately ends. A short-lived experience, you might say.

 

******

Listen to the song here and share if you've had the same experience as us!

Photo Credit: Ruth Hogben