Laneway 2018: A guide to the Singapore and regional acts
At just 21, Alextbh has already shared the stage with Clean Bandit, Phoenix, The Kooks and G-Eazy. This bedroom musician softens the edges of R&B with his mix of romantic Sad Boi lyricisms and easy-listening electronic tracks that have garnered over two million plays on Spotify. Adding onto the numbers is his latest single, 'Mornings (See You Again)', released in July.
Essential listening: 'tbh'
Haven't heard of him? Listen to this for a TL;DR of this rising singer-producer's sound which consists of declarations of love and wavy segues.
2. Amateur Takes Control (ATC)
Ever since their 2008 post-rock debut release You, Me and the Things Unsaid, the music maverick pioneers has opened for American indietronic band plus/minus (+/-) and Japanese rock bands Envy and LITE. After taking a break in 2013, they're back and moving forward onto their third record, ATC EP2, that will be out in January 2018 with nothing short of stellar instrumentals.
Essential listening: '4207'
Rough, complex layers of riffs aside, ATC's crux of sensitivity shines through '4207' with dialogues between the alarming guitar solos and drums.
This won't be shoegazers Heals' first time in Singapore — they were at Esplanade for Rocking the Region. Emerging from under the radar, they're starting to be heard in the region with their debut album, Spectrum, released in April this year. Rolling Stone Indonesia has even likened them to Britain's My Vitriol.
Essential listening: 'False Alarm'
If Slowdive's Souvlaki is still playing in your head, you'll be all ears for 'False Alarm'.
Being the very first Asian female to be nominated for a MTV Canada Award in rap, Singapore-born rapper MAS1A has worked with some of the industry's heavyweights such as Pharrell Williams, RZA of Wu-Tang Clan and John Frusciante of Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Truly a homegrown gem, she was selected for Singapore: Inside Out Sydney's showcase this November.
Essential listening: 'Warriors Tongue'
From her third full-length LP, Bootleg Culture, 'Warriors Tongue' was produced by Grammy award-winning producer Che Vicious and caught on in Hollywood when it was featured in the trailer for The Fast and The Furious 8.
5. Obedient Wives Club
With Obedient Wives Club's current frisky spectorgaze sound, you can't help but be reminded of Camera Obscura's sparky air. Their self-titled debut album was a promising start after being ranked as Southeast Asia's best indie-pop releases in 2010/11, and their subsequent release Murder Kill Baby received affirmation from UK record shop chain Rough Trade. It doesn't stop there, they worked with Brad Wood, the producer behind Smashing Pumpkins' Adore and Better Than Ezra's Closer for their latest EP, Cinematica, which dropped in July.
Essential listening: 'Baby Bye Bye'
If Cinematica were a person, think New Girl's quirky Jess caught up in heartache.
MIDEM, A3C Music Festival, SXSW, Music Matters Live and the White House State Dinner after party are just a few of the stages THELIONCITYBOY has performed on. He has been hustling since 2010 on bandcamp, known for his smooth hip-hop sensibilities reminiscent of American underground rapper Elzhi, and finally put out his first full-length album Paradise last August.
Essential listening: 'Start Already'
Staying true to his lion city boy street cred, his lyrics possess a localised flavour that give you a taste of Singapore hip-hop.
7. The Ransom Collective
Country: The Philippines
Bringing back the indie-folk days of yore is The Ransom Collective. Tinged with youtful wonder in their jams, their songs make for a perfect road playlist. They clinched the first prize at Filipino band competition Wanderband which gave them the golden ticket to perform at Wanderland Music and Arts Festival 2014. After a hit success with their debut single 'Fools', they released their first album, Traces, in May.
Essential listening: 'Fools'
This would fit perfectly in a remake of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.
8. Tim De Cotta
Influenced by the likes of Frank Ocean, John Legend, Common and Mos Def, Tim De Cotta works across different genres ranging from funk soul to hip hop. His musical artistry leans towards jazz, funk and R&B, reflected in other sonic ventures with The Astral Journey (TAJ), Listen and Believe (L.A.B), Kilo Habit and neoDominatrix. After releasing his debut album The Warrior earlier this year, he's back in the studio for more.
Essential listening: 'Sleep (feat. weish)'
One of De Cotta's own favourite tracks, 'Sleep' explores his encounter with sleep paralysis and alludes to an openness in his music.