Octover drops debut EP

Artwork by Kiat.

For its fifth offering Syndicate unleashes the highly anticipated debut release from electronic duo, Octover. The self-titled seven-track EP brings the best out of both producer Jason Tan and vocalist Vanessa Fernandez (Vandetta) as they create their own aural palette to present a slick modern blend of R&B, soul and jazz.

For more than a decade the pair traveled separate musical journeys, balancing profile-building productions and pursuits of passion. Sporadically crossing paths on commercial projects, their bond grew steadily stronger through cigarette-laced conversations on the mediocrity of mainstream, the search for new sounds and a mutual appreciation for all things artistic and beautiful.

Since its inception, Octover has been on great stages which include the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Festival and the Esplanade Late Nite sessions.

Spotted! weish

For weish, talking never works. Everyday is a battle with everyday words. Talking through music offers her respite: autonomy from committing to meaning in the way that we are forced to in daily life. Yet it still somehow arrests you, forces you to be uncomfortably honest, confronts you with the mundane, quiet despair of waking up every day.

“Armed with my latest birthday present – the looper – I have been writing, gigging, and collaborating a lot in the past year. I will be playing at Artistry alongside Stacey J Douglas on 30 January, and at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, alongside These Brittle Bones, on February 1.”

Get ready to hear a lot more from weish–she’s just getting started.

A Tough Day At The Beach with Sharon and Darrell

Tough Day At the Beach are Darrell a.k.a Quite Quiet and Sharon a.k.a Percy Plodand, and together they seem to be going for sun-soaked tunes, writing songs with intentionally meaningless lyrics and cool phrases.

You guys met online. How did that go?

Darrell: We met through MySpace and Facebook. We each had our own act, but pretty soon we just decided to make music together. I play the guitar, Sharon plays the keys and we co-write the songs. We record everything in my bedroom studio.

What’s with the band name?

Darrell: Tough Day At The Beach is just something me and my friends used to say back in secondary school when we were having a tough day.

Tough Day At the beach is about ….

Darrell: … showing people that making music is all about having fun and inspiration can come from everywhere and anywhere. We just want to write random stuff, nothing thought-provoking or deep. We feel that some of the more popular songs have no meaning. What they do have is a nice sentences and cool phrases. Sharon: Actually we don’t really believe in inspiration and deep meanings. We are shallow people who just want to make fun of things and make funny songs and do funny things.

What have you been up to so far?

Sharon: We have performed once to a live audience at the Esplanade as part of the Noise Music Mentorship Program with Bani Haykal as our mentor, and we made an appearance on Okto’s AMP program, a series about Singapore’ s young and upcoming artists, musicians and performers. Darrell: We also produced a five-track EP and we did a music video for our single “Gameboy Comma Boy” at almost zero cost.


Colourless Fields by Alexius Cai

“An onerous exploration of the mind. Languid and religious. Guitars traverse the ambient atmospherics that uncover the veneers of human fortitude.”

Piblokto, a solo project by Alexius Cai, recorded mostly at home over a span of two years. The outcome is Colourless Fields, an album that reflects on the tenacity of human fortitude and the search for tranquility amidst the desolation and vastness of the Siberian tundra.

Alexius: “The album traces a physical epic journey from the Siberian wastelands towards the Indian plateau of placid abandonment. Inspired by the music of James Blackshaw, Cian Nugent, Neil Young and Barn Owl, the album distillates the essence of Arctic hysteria which is Piblokto. Each of the seven tracks unravels with a guitar composition which is subsequently laced with a myriad of improvisations through ambient sounds, drones, guitars and violins.”

With the imagination and mastery of Evan Tan, Leslie Low, Andrew Lim and Joan Chew, this record will suck you into a world of irrational behaviour. Listen over and over for lasting effect.

Get your digital download here, here, here and here. Physical copies are available from Ujikaji.

Stocking Stuffer! Christmas in Singapore

It’s never too early for holiday music in Singapore, so we figured you’d want to hear about this brand new album compilation with a difference – Singaporean independent musicians performing Christmas songs for charity.

Christmas in Singapore features fourteen tracks, out of which eleven are originals. The album is filled with gems from the bouncy pop of “Christmas Without You” by Natalie Hiong to Jonathan Meur’s wistful “December By The Isle Of You” to Kevin Mathews’ ‘60s inspired pop sensibilities in “X’mas Dream”. “Give Me Love on Xmas Day” by The Lilac Saints & Friends was first released about five years ago as a single to help raise funds for Boys’ Town. Don Richmond’s “Xmas Without You” and Jack & Rai’s “This Christmas” were previously released digitally. Lunarin gives the Christmas classic “We Three Kings” a modern indie-rock treatment while The Sam Willows featuring Bang Wenfu jazz up “Silent Night”. Two of Singapore’s hottest singer-songwriters Charlie Lim and Inch Chua recorded a beautiful duet covering “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. “

The digital album is available from bandcamp. Physical CDs can be purchased at Starbucks outlets, The Esplanade Shop and Thunder Rock School. All proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the Rare Disorders Society.

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