Listen! Take Your Stand by Hardihood

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Punk rock band Hardihood kicks off your week-end with their long-awaited debut album, Take Your Stand. Off the new album is the lead single ‘Darkest Hour’, released via a live session video shot during the recording. “The single is inspired by the daily grind of a working class adult living in a cosmopolitan city. We wrote it as a wake-up call for us to take action against the mindless compensations paid to make us turn a blind eye to reality,” says vocalist Halim Ismail.

(from the press release)

Take Your Stand is an emotionally charged collection of 8 songs that’s a fiery blend of post-rock, punk, metal, bluesy jams, and alt-grunge. The overwhelming sound is still guitars, but the record isn’t just another dizzying barrage of distortion; rather, it showcases the versatility of the band’s shred-and-shout approach.

The album was recorded live at Singapore’s legendary TNT studios, engineered by Wong Ah Boy. “We decided not to go with track-by-track recording as we wanted to capture the raw and live feel of playing as a band,” explains guitarist Iskandar M Fawzi.

Hardihood was formed in 2013 when Iskandar, Halim, Yuzaimi and Shahreil met at a gig. Despite their different backgrounds and musical influences, they discovered that they shared one common passion: Punk rock. In 2015, Endra replaced Yuzaimi on drums. The band released their first self-funded and self-produced EP ‘Tomorrow’ in 2015, with engineer and co-producer Bob Kamal. ‘Tomorrow’ showcased the band’s diverse influences and styles, ranging from jazz and post rock to punk rock.

The album will be available through the band’s bandcamp page.

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Listen! TOMGIRL

TOMGIRL-Album-Cover-FULLRES

(from the press release)

Formed by singer-guitarist Cherie Ko and multi-instrumentalist Ted Doré, TOMGIRL’s self-titled album is a 33-minute dark noir ride through cult B-movie homages and outlaw Americana, chronicling the duo’s lawless escapades, deadly criminal encounters and white-hot passion.

Meeting serendipitously in Singapore while sharing their joint passion for live music, the pair formed an immediate chemistry, culminating in a musical collaboration that defied distance and convention. Pressed for time with Doré soon returning to his home of Melbourne, the newly formed duo had to act fast. “We wrote ‘Darker Now’ together one night before Ted flew back to Melbourne. The second song we wrote was ‘Walk All Over Me’ and it was what set everything in stone. It made us realise that this was real, and ‘Darker Now’ wasn’t just a happy accident,” says Ko.

Intermittently writing a handful of songs together and the rest while apart, the vagabond pair produced 10 tracks in just one year, with a compelling story inspired by their love for cult film noir classics. Throughout the album’s 10 tracks, listeners are teleported to a world of gangland lawlessness and reckless abandon, while immersed in the duo’s modern tale of dizzying newfound love, crushing heartbreak and blinding lust for revenge. In contrast to the bright electronic sounds that listeners have come to expect from girl-boy duos in the pop sphere, attitude and danger to explore their story, marked by whirling tremolo guitars, atmospheric tension, and fearless vocal hooks; a sound that is both familiar and refreshed. On distilling the spirit of rebellion in TOMGIRL adopts a sonic signature that brims with their sound, Ko explains, “It’s about letting go and going all out, with no regard for the consequences.”

The album’s opening “[Prologue]” immediately plunges audiences into a grainy, black-and-white fever dream, with the sound of Harley-Davidsons roaring behind surf-inspired guitar licks reminiscent of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse. Like unknown dangers lurking around the corner, “Darker Now” dramatically kicks in with Doré’s distorted guitars setting a thick, smoky atmosphere, while Ko’s velvety vocals narrate the aftermath of a blood-curdling crime. On the cusp of capture, she cautions the perpetrator – or, perhaps, the listeners – of a hell-bound foreshadowing in a crescendo of infectious harmony. Quickly changing pace, “Heartbeats” lulls listeners into a flirtatious garage pop number on the confusing, exciting sensations of a new flame. With soft chimes atop fuzzy guitars and a driving bass line, images of a bubble-gum chewing siren’s encounter with a leather jacket-clad bad boy introduce the first sparks between lovers from different sides of the tracks. Like the fluctuating heartbeats of the protagonists, the listener is taken through shifting paces in the songs that follow as the romance unfolds and cracks begin to surface.

Commenting on the diversity of the album’s tone, Doré explains, “We wanted it to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions and moods – visceral and aggressive one moment, ethereal and moody the next.”

A rollercoaster, it is, as audiences arrive at the viscera of the album’s darkest moment, “Walk All Over Me.” Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and in tribute to classic revenge ballads like Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” TOMGIRL puts its own gritty spin on the country genre. Through sinister guitar rhythms and hard-hearted vocals, the song serves as a warning while chronicling the dissolution of a love that once burned bright, going into graphic lyrical detail about the consequences of crossing the wrong woman.

While TOMGIRL’s filmic muses reprise the sounds of the ’50s and ’60s with a dark noir pop twist, the album is not without its unexpected forays into genres that fall outside the era. Where “Lust To Dust” echoes melancholy riffs championed by the likes of The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, “Mini-Skirt Mob” takes listeners on an unnerving electronic ride that reminisces the electro-punk stylings of American duo, Suicide. Ko and Doré’s enthusiasm for blurring sonic boundaries comes to a head in what might be the album’s most focused and emotional effort, “Alchemy” – a genre-crossing slow number that blends elements of electronica, fuzz and noise rock, desperate voices cry for salvation over pained guitars and electronic instrumentation that culminate in a somber, cinematic conclusion, while leaving listeners unsure of the fate of the law-breaking lovers.

As individual stories, TOMGIRL’s 10 tracks traverse different territories in a wide-ranging spectrum of sound, spanning distinct influences and eras while maintaining a dark noir aesthetic throughout. However, when pieced together, each song represents a chapter in the story as a whole, characterizing the different emotions and expressions of a love that burns so bright it consumes all in its path.“We all experience the full spectrum of human emotions,” says Ko. “Without darkness, we shall never experience the real embrace of warmth and light.”

TOMGIRL’s self-titled debut will be released across all major digital platforms come September 2. The album is also available on translucent blood red vinyl, available for pre-order at www.tomgirlband.com.

The pair will be performing the entire album live at Mosaic Music Weekend on September 4. Limited tickets are still available at SISTIC.

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Listen! Paradise by TLCB

TLCB-Paradise

Photography by @mellowedhigh, Illustration by @oakandbindi

(from the press release)

Bursting from the success of the first single “YAYA” ­ sitting comfortably on the Spotify Singapore Viral 50, charting on 987 top 20 and building over 30K views on YouTube thus far, TLCB is ready to share his full length album, PARADISE.

Available for pre­order on itunes and going live on August 26th on all digital music platforms, PARADISE celebrates Singaporean stories born from love in a tougher place. Regardless if it’s making music in a humble home studio in bukit ho swee or falling in love when you least expect it, there’s a paradise to it all.

Tracklist:
1. HRLY (Harry Lee)
2. YAYA feat Benjamin Kheng
3. Start Already / One Seven
4. New Bounce
5. Interlude feat Charlie Lim
6. Paradise feat Flightsch
7. My Way feat Gentle Bones, Flightsch
8. Decorate feat Aarika Lee
9. Not Over

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Listen! Amy(gdala) by The HubbaBubbas

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(from the press release)

­Pressing on their show­stopping crusade of re­interpreting the ‘Pop’ genre as we know it, the post­acoustic trio we all know and love as HubbaBubbas are launching their long awaited debut ‘EP’ – Amy(gdala) – pronounced uh­mig­duh­luh, come 12th August at Aliwal Arts Centre.

Steph (Frontwoman), Ryan (Guitar), and Mervyn (Beatbox), are no strangers to the music scene ­creating waves since 2012, the trio have since been pushing the boundaries of different musical genres. With their unique set­up, the trio accentuates an electrifying and infectious energy both online, on their social media channels, and offline, live on stage.

The EP is described by Guitarist Ryan as ‘positive and uplifting, yet contemplative’, HubbaBubba’s debut 5­-track EP, Amy(gdala), showcases the unorthodox path these musicians took to reach the maturity of sound that they have now, since their beginnings as buskers. Their single, ‘A dress’, and its much anticipated music video, directed by acclaimed fashion photographer, Lenne Chai, is set to be released on 29 July. The video merely scratches the surface of how passionate the trio are in their craft, with the entire set built from scratch using paper, under the artistic direction of renowned filmmaker Jacky Lee.

The EP will go live on iTunes and Spotify on the same day. Online purchase of their EP can be found on iTunes, and limited physical copies will be also be sold at the event.

The launch will be at Aliwal Arts Centre on the 12th Of August, where they will be joined by Bass Wizard Tim De Cotta, and Keyboard Kung Fu Master Audrey Tengkey. Featuring opening acts JAWN and Jaime Wong. Click here for tickets.

 

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LEVI’S X ATTAGIRL Custom Jackets

ANNUENDO

LOVAGE

MRYDETTE

OAK & BINDI

MIGHTYELLOW

SKLO

LEVI’S SINGAPORE tapped six female artists to put a creative spin on their denim jacket. Featuring bold colors and fun graphics the jackets by artists ANNUENDO, LOVAGE, MIGHTYELLOW, MRYDETTE, OAK & BINDI and SKL0  sold out on Stratosphere in no time, with proceeds going to Andrew & Grace Home (AG HOME), a shelter for troubled teenage girls in the community.

You can eyeball the jackets during ATTAGIRL’s 3rd anniversary party on 30 July at BluJaz Café. Click here for full details of this event.

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