\"Momento\": Listen to the first psych-pop single from Islandeer, Singapore's freshest duo

"Momento": Listen to the first psych-pop single from Islandeer, Singapore's freshest duo

Fatal attraction

Text: Aravin Sandran

Christian Jansen and Michael Garcia, both aged 23, met while studying music and audio technology at Singapore Polytechnic. They decided to band together, but not without some drama in between. The original three-piece group split after the third member decided to go solo. Jansen and Garcia renamed the group and carried on with relative ease, mainly due to their musical chemistry. Their first official single as Islandeer, "Momento", is a sparking psych-pop jam that evokes the sensational synths of popular Australian band Tame Impala. Having previously performed live at selected events such as Urban Ventures and The Pilot Project at SCAPE, the Singaporean duo will be releasing their debut album later this year. We caught up with the boys to find out more. 

What's the meaning behind Islandeer?
Michael: We wanted something related to Singapore, and we also wanted an animal in the name. A lot of bands we liked had animals in their name: The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys and Fleet Foxes. 

I heard there's a story behind your first single, "Momento"?
Christian: I met my current girlfriend at my sister's party a few years ago. She was supposed to come with another friend, but she ended up coming alone. I was kind of drunk by that point and I decided to talk to her. She mentioned there was a Poptart party at Kyo coming up, so we decided to go together. The music was swelling up that night and we were dancing together. I didn't know where the relationship was headed then, but I was mesmerised. The poster of that Poptart night is still in my room. 


The single has a distinct psychedelic sound that is very different from your previous tracks that I listened to on Soundcloud. What drew you to this particular vibe?
Christian: We knew it had the potential to be our first single. I wrote the main riff and we wanted to make it sound as pop as possible. It isn't a departure; we aren't leaving the rest of the songs behind. They will be on the album. We haven't even completed the first album yet, so we aren't disclosing any particular genre.
Michael: This psychedelic sound is probably the most extreme we will go.

It also calls to mind the music of Tame Impala. Were they an influence?
Christian: At the time, Tame Impala's album Currents just came out. When Kevin Parker wrote it, he said that he tried to feature a lot of 80s pop including Kylie Minogue. It made me want to expose myself to more pop features. In this track, we tried to make it as catchy and relatable as possible.

Do you have any dream collaborators who you would like to work with?
Christian: I would like to work with Cravism. I like his lo-fi hip-hop vibe.

When's the album coming out?
Christian: The music video for "Momento" is coming out in the first week of March. The next few singles will be released in the coming months before the album — tentatively titled Nothing is Real — drops in the second half of the year. 

Listen to "Momento" by Islandeer on Apple Music and all other music streaming platforms.