Tag Archives: laneway

Laneway Singapore 2012 – The Horrors

Photo courtesy of Chugg Entertainment

And what costume shall the poor boy wear? Lest we forget, it’s every effeminate mod’s fantasy to play in a guitar group such as The Horrors — I believe Vince Noir of The Mighty Boosh can attest to that, skinny legs policy notwithstanding. In their jaundiced gloom and unhealthy obsession with the ghosts of post-punk past, there’s no other outfit in this year’s Laneway lineup that quite share similar sensibilities with The Horrors. Not that it fucking mattered. Summoning energy and strange currencies from the darkest recesses, the band proceeded to whip a raucous storm that matches the cagey, crepuscular tone of their records. “Scarlet Fields” picks up on lead singer Faris Badwan’s bummed-out romanticism that always makes for compelling listening. Onstage, the song’s torrents of synth-plus-guitar contortion are rendered with dreamy gusto, a sense of conviction that their path to glory is indeed one paved with dark silhouettes. Collapse into dream, collapse into dream. – Keith.

mp3: The Horrors – Scarlet Fields

The Horrors is part of the roster of recording artistes on XL Recordings.

And it’s a wrap! We’ve had lots of fun putting this together, and can’t wait to see you at Laneway 2013! Thanks again to Heineken and Allan from Iris Worldwide in Singapore.


Laneway Singapore 2012 – Feist

Photo courtesy of Chugg Entertainment

While those familiar with Feist’s live show antics and visual spectacles from The Reminder tour may have been hoping for a sampling of it at Laneway 2012, her more minimal performance was still nothing short of amazing. On tow for her debut performance in Singapore was a tight six-member band providing just the right amount of bedding for Feist’s enamoring voice to lie in.

With half of the setlist being from new release Metals, the crowd received a good mix of old and new tunes, with old tunes going as far back as “Mushaboom”, a gem rearranged into a wonderfully minor-ish and more brooding rendition. “How Come You Never Go There”, a track from Metals, very quickly reminded listeners that her sound was still similar, albeit simpler. Cheekily suggesting it was crazy to do “So Sorry”, a “delicate flower of a song”, in such a festival setting, she went for it anyway and delivered perfectly. The set continued to undulate with “Comfort Me” and “Graveyard”, woven nicely into set-closers, “ I Feel It All” and “Sealion”, creating a sonic journey of emotions that left you smiling at the end.

In all, an appetite-whetting tidbit of a show that leaves one with bated breath for the much needed return of Feist to Singapore. – Adrian.

mp3: Feist – Mushaboom

Adrian Yuen is a Producer / Composer based in Singapore who enjoys superlatives.

Laneway Singapore 2012 – Toro Y Moi

Photo courtesy of Chugg Entertainment

I was wondering if Toro Y Moi was going to fit in with the rest of the festival line-up, seeing how festivals tend to be guitar driven affairs. However, I was really itching to check out how Chaz Bundick and band were going to pull off their live show and introduce their much hyped “Chillwave” sound to Singaporean music-goers, or even to let my own ears believe it was more than just hype.

Well, I’m positively thrilled to report that all my preconceived notions were unfounded. Toro Y Moi held their own, and then some, confidence brimming with every distinct groove and just the right touch of euphoria on those warm synthesiser swells. ‘Chillwave’ was just a word that writers use to embellish Bundick’s tasteful songwriting, but you could feel it in the air that night, the warmth as psychedelic tones and lights washed over you, as you basked in its glow, swaying to the haze of alcohol and moving bodies.

Toro Y Moi gets my vote for a new breed of producers that offers warm soul and groove with the treble rolled just slightly back, and I’m definitely looking out for his next record dropping in the first half of this year. – Brian.

mp3: Toro Y Moi – Go With You

Toro Y Moi‘s music can be bought at his blog. His latest album, Old Joel, is scheduled for an April 2012 release.

Thanks again to Heineken and Allan from Iris Worldwide in Singapore for letting us enjoy Laneway 2012, and not needing to queue for beers!

Laneway Singapore 2012 – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Photo courtesy of Chugg Entertainment

The other band I had eagerly awaited was The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, one of my favourite indiepop revivalists who I guessed would go on to draw quite a following, but never quite expected to become big enough to perform internationally, let alone Singapore. But it seems that our gig-starved days of yore are coming to an end, while the C86 sound has resurrected and found itself a wider and younger generation of fans.

Still, the Brooklyn band were very much the babies of the day’s lineup, perhaps in character with the naive innocence much associated with the genre. Their opening was nervous and shaky, and on top of that plagued with such distracting glitches that they had to stop for the technical problem to be sorted after the second song (“Say No To Love”), which they gallantly played to the end anyway. When the set eventually restarted, that unbearable crackling static was finally exorcised, but seemingly along with it all semblance of intended distortion, leaving behind Peggy Wang’s keyboards and an all-too-pristine and jangly guitar section. Stripped bare, the band sounded thin and uncharacteristically clean, even if still winsome and eager to please.

Thankfully, things ended on a high as the band fought hard to regain their confidence, urged on by an encouraging crowd. It helped too that they saved their best for the latter half of the set, playing their older and more familiar fare like “Come Saturday” and particularly “Everything with You”, which was attacked harder and more incisively than any other song on the setlist. The stars were finally crashing through, but if only that high could have come a bit earlier and lasted that little while longer. – Dan.

mp3: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Everything with You

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart puts out most of its records on Slumberland.

Laneway Singapore 2012 – Twin Shadow

Photo courtesy of Chugg Entertainment

While it’s only been my second time at any real festival, I’ve come to a conclusion that there are two phases in any all-day festival – day and night. While there’s sunlight, there’s a warm, positive vibe in the atmosphere; everybody relaxes, and you start getting to know new people. Come the night, the artificial lights spin out of control, and the culmination of all that pent up fun unleashes itself in a full blown frenzy.

Then we have Twin Shadow, taking the stage just as the sun was setting, bleeding out the horizon, and finishing it off as a glorious welcome to the night. It was rather special to be treated to their 80’s influenced synth pop while the entire festival ground chased light and ushered in the last leg of Twin Shadow’s Laneway tour.

Perhaps it was because of such inevitability that George Lewis Jr gave a most urgent and intense performance that night. Despite the machinations of future sounding synths and rhythm parts, his lead guitar lines were beautifully organic and lush on lead moments like “Forget”, or shimmering through sparkly syncopations as on “Shooting Holes”.

Like his namesake, two shadows seemed cast that magical evening, born from sunlight and moonbeams. It was special and I loved it – a perfect moment for any transition between phases. – Brian.

mp3: Twin Shadow – Shooting Holes

Twin Shadow released his latest album Forget in 2010 under 4AD and can be bought at the 4AD store or online on iTunes.

Thanks to Heineken and Allan from Iris Worldwide in Singapore for letting us enjoy Laneway 2012, and not needing to queue for beers!

Laneway Singapore 2012 – Girls

I could have simply filled this post with “Whitney Tribute”, linked the above video in all its tender, touching and tearful glory, and it would have fit Dan’s brief for this series nicely. But that would have been playing to the gallery.

I was really looking forward to my imaginary fiancée Feist’s set, but it fell short of my expectations. (Sorry luv.) What lived up to my expectations was Girls’ excellent set. From the 1-2-3 opening punch of “I Will Always Love You”, “Lust for Life” and “Laura”, through the earnest “Love Like A River” and to the rip-roaring “Morning Light”, Christopher Owens, Chet “JR” White and their band harmonised with the emotional frequency of Saturday’s tragic news, and never let up except during the strangely muted closing chorus of “Hellhole Ratrace”. The crowd sang along, Owens cried (“Don’t cry!”), pumped his fists, climbed up the drum stand, and at the end of the set the band threw the flowers gracing the stage – their stage trademark – into the audience.

The set closer “Morning Light” was signature Girls circa Album – the band punched very hard all song yet emoted sweetness and vulnerability through Owens’s wide-eyed croon. If Nirvana and The Pixies popularised loud-quiet dynamics, Girls are the masters at embedding a soft, sensitive core within a hard, tough body of sound. It’s easy to think that they are mellowing when you compare their recent output to the debut Album, but in truth they have always had an emotionally delicate DNA. – Eugene.

mp3: Girls – Morning Light

Girls’ releases, including their debut Album, are available on True Panther, via Matador Records.

#240 the xx – shelter

we weren’t planning to go at first, but at the last minute, b and i got ourselves passes to see the xx and florence and the machine at the esplanade (many thanks v and a!). bursting with enthusiasm, florence delivered a spectacular show of epic proportions, with impressively high energy levels sustained to the very last song. in very stark contrast, opening band the xx operated with the barest of setups, presenting every note and breath to the audience’s scrutiny. barring some rather disastrous sound engineering for the first few songs, the atmosphere they created was indeed crystal in the air, with songs that threatened to break into a party always reined in just in time in deferment to their consistently brittle state. but there were also times when chill also meant more tension and build-up, like “shelter” which the band seized by the throat and cruelly refused to let go, leaving it throbbing with such haunting and terrifying beauty. – dan.

mp3: the xx – shelter