Singaporean Music Stars

There’s been a lot of talk about the music circle in Singapore about “supporting local music”. The “support local …” movement extends into things like the performing arts as well, or any other kind of creative talent. Singaporeans just instinctively look outside of their country when it comes to the arts. That said, I do believe that there are some good and still relatively unknown musical acts that you may want to take note of. Being a good blogger, Exalted Salvation will personally listen to some of their songs for you.

1. The Sam Willows

NUS Radio Pulze invited the Sam Willows to perform at Live Lounge once, and we were completely unprepared for the turnout. It was almost like a genuine concert, with fans gushing and cheering. And they should. The Sam Willows is an indie band formed in 2012 (that’s not long ago), and have been performing in places like Australia, Korea and North America, not to mention MediaCorp Singapore’s Countdown Party in 2013. They’re signed on to Warner Music too, so it shows great promise.

This is their PV, “Glasshouse – Lillywhite Edition”, so named because it was reworked by Steve Lillywhite, a Grammy Award-winning producer.

After listening, I wouldn’t say this is my favourite song, because it sounds like choral singing, and has the flavour of a National Day song. That said, good voices!

2. Cashew Chemists

Cashew Chemists is reluctantly appealing. It’s the kind of style where once you listen to their music, you’re like “shit this is so 80’s” and then later it’s “shit I can’t stop listening”. It’s the kind of song which sounds like it belongs to the era of the Carpenters, and that’s also the reason why it simply doesn’t stop giving off good vibes.

Also the lead singer is Yuji Kumagai (I don’t know if he’s Japanese though), who has apparently earned some fame on his own.

3. Pleasantry

Pleasantry was formed in 2010 and consists of 6 members. Their music belongs in the more surrealist kind, or at least, the one I’m listening to is definitely surrealist. This is pretty experimental and isn’t at all catchy. I appreciate their effort though, but I can imagine that this is the reason why Singaporean music just doesn’t catch on like overseas. The members believe too much in following their own style.

That said, the trance-like quality captures one’s attention.

4. Take Two

The new hot campus band in NUS, Take Two drew crowds partly because they played Butterfly by Wada Kouji in the Supernova rock concert in school. Maybe. Other than that, they’re pretty good for university students! They’re also a traditional rock band, so if you’re thrown off by the unique and distinctive styles above, try some down-to-earth rock with this track!

I would recommend a few more, but I don’t know any good ones and it can take a long time to sift out the good from the bad, so I’ll just leave this task to you! After hearing these entirely arbitrary recommendations, you may be encouraged to plunge deeper into the Singaporean music community. Give it a try!


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