Monthly Archives: August 2012

#398 St. Vincent – Dilettante


I can’t wait to listen to Love This Giant, the album-length collaboration between David Byrne and St. Vincent which will be out sometime next month. The band’s third album Strange Mercy (2011), a collection of kaleidoscopic art-damaged songs, is still on heavy rotation of course, and last weekend’s Summer Sonic 2012 festival in Japan provided us with the chance to get acquainted with the evolving music and lead singer Annie Clark’s intense stage performances. The mannered chamber pop of her debut Marry Me (2007) is a distant memory, ceding to wiry musical catharsis, manic guitar soloing and a choice post-punk cover (The Pop Group’s “She Is Beyond Good and Evil”). The studied subversion of “Dilettante” works particularly well in this context, the singer teasing out every twisted nerve and casual vacancy in the song like a sustained illusion: “I got no patience for an estrangement, anyway”. - Keith.

mp3: St. Vincent – Dilettante

Strange Mercy is available on 4AD. You can also pre-order David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Love This Giant here.

Aya Sekine & Sleep Easy live at Syndicate’s Subsessions

Aya Sekine

Aya Sekine was brought to my attention after we received the mailer from the awesome folk at Syndicate that she would be featured alongside Pleasantry’s Isa Ong who will be performing as Sleep Easy the next installment of Syndicate’s Subsessions. Curious, I decided to take a gander at what awaited us this Saturday.

Aya Sekine plays beautiful jazz improvisations on her piano and keyboards. I probably didn’t realise, but I’d heard her play at the Blu Jaz cafe / bar, and I was always impressed by the music I was hearing as it reminded me of a particular jazz bar that I frequented while studying in Perth. What’s really getting me excited is the promise that she will unleash a more experimental side, not just in terms of musicality, but technology as well. In the mean time, I’m happy to pass on a listen of her music.

mp3: Aya Sekine – Syndrome

Sleep Easy

Sleep Easy will also be performing aside the accomplished Aya Sekine, and while she delves into the sometimes manic maelstroms of jazz improvisation, Sleep Easy approaches his craft in a more delicate and simple manner. It does evoke the sort of rising slumber in a field of golden grass routine, but I think it’s the perfect counterpoint to each others’ body of work.

mp3: Sleep Easy – Fingertips

Syndicate’s Subsessions will be happening at The Substation Theater, 45 Armenian Street on 25 August 2012, 8PM – 10PM, and also features visuals by Syndicate’s resident artist, Brandon Tay. Tickets are $20 at the door. There’s more information at Syndicate’s post here.

Music Alliance Pact – August 2012 Issue


SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
MUONAqua Assault
The muon is an elementary particle similar to an electron. MUON is also a musical entity that exists in Singapore, whether as one person (Nick Chan) or more (currently, Jordan, Ren and Adam). Despite its varying states of existence, MUON’s music is rather akin to its sub-atomic namesake with its deconstruction of pedantic structures, but also as intelligent, intense and cryptic aural and visual forms. Always exciting and always new, MUON has been forged in its singularity, and their craft emerges through parallel universes. - Brian.

To download all 34 songs in one file click here. MAP is published on the 15th of every month, featuring a showcase of music handpicked by bloggers from all over the world.

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#397 Chromatics – Birds of Paradise


“Bird of Paradise” seems to push all the right buttons. A processed background terrain crackles with the warmth of vinyl and the uncertain static of broadcast radio. Meanwhile, a singular recurring keyboard melody aims squarely at recalling those haunting, poignant, late night soundtracks, especially when awash with synth strings, inserted at those precise moments you’re held most breathless. And of course the words, with well worn cliches thrown in, sounding as true as they could through the breathy vocals of Ruth Radelet. I’m torn between filing this under “formulaic ballad”, “devious slight of hand”, or “heartfelt stroke of genius”, wondering if sincerity, manipulation and irony could ever co-exist. Perhaps it does in the enchanting but unfathomable world of Chromatics, who claim it’s in fact you who hold the keys to their heart. - Dan.

mp3: Chromatics – Birds of Paradise

Chromatics’ Kill for Love is out now on their own Italians Do It Better label.