ST Sessions: Hear the softer side of hard-rockers Villes

Villes are a metal quintet who aren't too fussed about being the heaviest band around, They gamely played two acoustic renditions of their songs - proving they can rock out while having one foot in the realm of pop music.
The band Villes may have made their name with abrasive, hard-hitting sounds but show their mellow side in their videos in ST Sessions, The Straits Times' online video series featuring home-grown music talents.
The band Villes may have made their name with abrasive, hard-hitting sounds but show their mellow side in their videos in ST Sessions, The Straits Times' online video series featuring home-grown music talents.PHOTO: ST VIDEO

Post-hardcore outfit Villes made their name with abrasive, hard-hitting sounds and high-octane live shows.

But the quintet, which formed in 2011, have their mellow moments too and this tender side is on full display in the latest ST Sessions.

In the eighth and final episode of the third season of The Straits Times' online video series featuring rising talents in the home-grown music scene, the band trade their heavy riffs and screaming vocals for acoustic guitars and gentle crooning.

They perform as a quartet - guitarist Bryan Sta Maria, 24, takes over main vocal duties from singer Dominic Tan, 24, who is currently studying in Sydney.

The band also comprise guitarist Tan Ming Jie, 23, bassist Mark Gabriel Ong, 24, and drummer Benjamin Lim, 25.

Sta Maria says that Villes have never been about just their heavy sound. "It's not all about pushing the heaviness, the technicality or whatever. I really want to make good songs, like proper songs with messages and ideas," he says in the video.

They play two new songs from their upcoming album, The Cure.

Don't You Worry, which was released as a single and music video last month, has a message of empowerment.

Sta Maria says: "Don't You Worry is a song about leaving the naysayers behind, basically the people who tell you (that) you can't do what you want to do, can't be whoever you want to be."

The Levy Part 2 - a sequel to The Levy, a song from their 2012 debut EP, I've Seen The World - is about moving on after the end of a relationship.

As a single, The Levy topped iTunes Singapore's rock charts when it was released in late 2011. The band have since performed at major festivals here including Baybeats, as well as in tours in South-east Asia, Japan and Australia.

ST Sessions' third season is part of a series of digital video programmes produced in a partnership between the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore and Singapore Press Holdings.

The season features eight acts, including indie duo Tomgirl and singer-songwriters bittymacbeth and Shak'thiya Subramaniamm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2017, with the headline 'Hear the softer side of these hard-rockers'. Print Edition | Subscribe