Jon Chong’s “State Of My Mind”

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One could never imagine 29-year old Jon Chong, who holds an Engineering PhD from the NUS and SMA, as the latest aspiring singer songwriter to hit the scene, releasing his debut album titled “State of My Mind’.

Having written songs for over a decade to capture and express his thoughts and experiences, Jon views music as a natural extension of who he is. In his songs, he delves honestly into the themes of life and love and why, and stirs us to consider our unique place in the world.

Jon about his music: “I strongly believe in the power of music to influence lives for the better. I strive to create music that reaches deep into the soul, leaving an indelible impression. Ultimately, I hope to inspire people, to pursue their passions and dreams by carving out their own opportunities and breaking stereotypes if necessary, and have as much fun as possible along the journey.”

The album is an eclectic mix of genres—pop, rock, blues, jazz, funk, and soul—all commonly linked by Jon’s original interpretations on the acoustic guitar.

“State of My Mind” is currently available at HMV, That CD Shop,Gramophone, CD Plus, Laser Flair, RDH and is distributed by Top2 Music Pte Ltd. The album can also be purchased online .

Dawn of the Midnight Shift

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Singapore’s electronic music scene receives a long-overdue jolt, with the pitching up of a brand new afterhours party. One that was always there but never seen. A strictly invite-only party, Midnight Shift opens its doors at 1am with a musical call to the industries of the night.

Built by a team of music creatives determined to change the flaccid local party modus operandi, observe the fundamentals of a new scene in order: It’s the second wave, the encore, the b-side. For those who have just warmed up to get their bedtime fix.  International and local music souls will be playing sounds from as early as the 70s to the present (and future) with the right purpose and service to the transcendent; the Zeitgeist, the Aufhebung.

The first Midnight Shift will happen on October 23rd at sound signature Helipad. Two mysterious guest, revealed only by word-of-mouth from those in-the-know, will collaborate for the first time. Log on to mnshift.com to reserve your seats at the ringside club, and to find out who else is up on the Shift.

amberhaze: then we saw the stars again

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Here’s my on-repeat-all-morning song for the day, courtesy of KittyWu Records. The track is from Giuliano -amberhaze- Gullotti’s debut full length album which will hit the shelves today.

Recorded throughout 2008 and produced with Nick Chan at Wallwork Studios in the Spring of 2009, the album expands the sonic palette displayed on amberhaze’s Newborn EP and shapes new facets to a project in constant evolution.

According to the press kit, the album combines the lush layers of shoegaze guitars with more contemplative natural and electronic sounds. Borrowing its title from a line in Dante’s Divine Comedy, the album takes the listener on a small journey of everyday wonders. Trough these 12 soundscapes, love and passing often meet with nostalgia and hope. At times intimate and personal, the record is a diary without words, a collection of feelings and thoughts put into notes.

You can pick up the album at Straits Records, Roxy Records, and Gramophone Music Stores, or via mailorder at KittyWu’s e-shop.

Inch Chua: The Bedroom

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I figured the best way to send everyone into the weekend, is through a sneak-peek  into Inch Chua‘s ‘Bedroom’. Come Monday, she will be releasing a free-for-download EP which combines her love of both acoustic singer-songwriters and kooky electronica into a unique brand of folktronica.

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Without the boisterous guitar jams of her regular rock outfit Allura, Inch’s lyrics take a step into the introspective with matters close to her heart. The gentle guitar arpeggios, the urgent beats and her trademark vocals drive the EP, and a good listen to above tracks will give you the idea.

‘The Bedroom’ will be released on 24th August, and coincides with Inch’s performance at Baybeats. Be sure to head down and show the girl some love!

The Super Lard Bros OST: Free Download

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The Super Lard Bros OST is conceptualised as a soundtrack to an imaginary console game. The game is a rehash of games in the 80’s Nintendo side-scrolling classics such as Super Mario Brothers and Double Dragon. Being working middle-class adults, the duo known as The Lard Brothers do not have the resources to develop the game.

However, they did manage to come out with the soundtrack which is an album of remixes of Singapore music acts. Each remix is a re-imagination of the original tune, re-conceptualising rock songs and electronic lullabies into hip-hop tunes. Unlike its predecessor Forest Action Team which is a mixbag of originals and covers of Singapore indie bands, The Super Lard Bros OST is purely a remix project. However, what both albums have in common is a free download on National Day.

The album cover by local game designer Tan Teck Lee, is a throwback to 80′s Nintendo 8-bit games like Super Mario Bros and Double Dragon.

Track listing:
1. My Grandmother Can Remix Better Than You, Fatboy!
2. Lunarin – Ariel (File Under Easy Listening remix)
3. The Great Spy Experiment – Flow (G.E.E.K remix)
4. You And Whose Army? – Misplaced (The ‘Place’ remix)
5. I \ D – Hot Boy (Meets Hot Girl remix)
6. Breakbeat Theory – Serial Killers (Love You remix)
7. DJ KoFlow – Bank St. (I Miss Her remix)
8. amberhaze – Crush (Heartbroken remix)
9. Camra – White Hearts Lane (New Shop Mode remix)

The Pale Rose of Wool by April Lee

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“The Pale Rose of Wool” is a photo exhibition by April Lee for a sound piece entitled The Setting Sun by Japanese musician Fjordne, set in a parallel universe inspired by the novel of the same name by Osamu Dazai. Encapsulating stillness, nostalgia, and the lyrical rhythm of quotidian familiarities, this collection of images seeks to explore the fragility of quiet reflections welling up from a hidden world that exists between the modern sentiments of “The Setting Sun” and the original novel set in 1947.

April is an artist and photographer, and one-half of music project aspidistrafly. She also curates the burgeoning Kitchen. imprint and has exhibited in Japan and Macau. Using the medium of film photography, April quietly articulates her own microcosm of the familiar in the everyday.

The exhibition opens 1 August at 4pm and will remain at Polymath and Crust (86 Club Street) until 31 August.

For This Cycle EP Launch

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Listen to the EP Sampler.

Hopefully everybody reads this in time because you would be terribly upset if you did something wasteful tonight, like going shopping or watching TV, when there is some good music on offer.

Launching his debut at 7pm tonight, is Weiwen Seah aka For This Cycle. Having lived in different countries around the globe, Weiwen has experienced contrasting cultures. Being influenced by artistes such as Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Teddy Geiger, and Jason Reeves, his music is inspired by everyday things.

The EP features five original songs, and the press release says it is wrapped with honest and observant lyrics and addictive pop melodies. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Roland Lim, the EP also features collaborations with local veteran guitarist Daniel Sassoon (ex-Electrico) and drum wizard Jordan Cheng (ex-Rafe). Starting off with the song “Wishful Thinking”, Weiwen’s sincere vocals make it seem like he is sitting right next to you. The EP also features “Oceans”, an energy-packed acoustic rock song, and “Paper Feet”, a sweet and catchy feel-good track.

Tonight, 7pm at scape. Tickets are at $15 (inclusive of the EP).

The Fire Fight “Henri”

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After two years of hard work, The Fire Fight will be releasing their debut full-length album “Henri”. The Fire Fight blazed onto the local music scene three years ago by earning a coveted performance slot at Baybeats 2007. Since then, they have opened for American indie-rock darlings Anberlin & Copeland, Grammy-nominated alternative rock band Switchfoot and most recently became ambassadors for Youth.SG’s national “Feed Me” campaign.

Working with local illustrator and musician Jon Chan (Plainsunset), the band has produced a visual story of Henri the bear on his journey: fourteen watercolour paintings accompany fourteen songs in a manner reminiscent of a children’s book, drawing you into the whimsical city of Elemenopee to bring you a more eclectic side of the album. The band elected to work with Jon Chan due to his ability to produce art that communicated an understated form of elegance to compliment the band’s indie outlook.

With the impassioned melodies of Joshua Tan (vocals, guitars), the modest innovative tunes of Jonathan Leong (guitars), the dynamic-compelling rhythms of Iain Tham (drums) and Jbarks (Bass), The Fire Fight combines diverse influences ranging from The Promise Ring and Maritime to Death Cab for Cutie and Jamiroquai to bring you music with a raw, early 90s indie-rock sound with a hint of modern expression.

The Fire Fight will guide you through the story of Henri the Bear -told through both album artwork and song- on 31 July, 9:30pm at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets: $25 from SISTIC.

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