SHELVES is a come-back of sorts. With close 20 years of experience in the local indie music scene between the members playing in their previous bands, that itself seems to mean little in todayʼs fast-changing society of instant food, services and music tastes.
The band just put out a 10-track self-titled, on vinyl. Noel Yeo: “We are not doing CDs at all. The idea is that most people just rip the tracks off a CD, and the CD is hardly every touched again. The CD essentially becomes a souvenir. So we thought a piece of vinyl would make a better souvenir. People throw away CDs, but you almost never hear anyone throw away a record. You can still get your MP3 tracks. Each record comes with a download code for the entire album, so there really is no difference.”
For Noel, Melvin, Brian and Robin, they were boys struggling to be men in the 90s. Fast forward to 2011, they are men struggling to be boys again, finding solace in the cathartic arms of playing heartfelt power pop songs that promise the aching melodies reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub, delivered with the urgency of Weezer and insouciance of Pavement. Noel first appeared in the early 90ʼs Singapore underground music scene through three EPs made with indie pop duo Silverspy. He would later form Suchness, whose single ʻSpellweaverʼ won a spot on the now-legendary BigO Singles Club (which was later declared Song of the Month on national radio station Power 98FM). That led to a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell, which gave him the dubious distinction of being the countryʼs first signed indie songwriter from an unsigned band. In 2007, Noel got back in touch with fellow guitarist from Suchness, Melvin, who decided one more punt with a fellow Big Star devotee might be fun. Robin, from seminal Livonia was himself persuaded out of rock ʻnʼ roll retirement to play drums. The final piece of the puzzle is filled by Brian, bassist for indie pop darlings, Leeson.