Singapore Scene: New music from Gentle Bones, Electrico

Los Angeles-based, Singaporean multi-instrumentalist and music producer Claire Gohst and Singapore indie rock band Electrico. PHOTOS: PAPER CITIZEN / INSTAGRAM, MARTIN YEOH

SINGAPORE - This batch of music comes from acts representing the past, present and future of Singaporean music.

It includes debut EPs and albums by rising talent such as busking duo JQ x ZUL, genre-bending singer yams and R&B/pop duo Maximilian.

Indie rock stalwarts Electrico have a surprise new EP coming out, their first batch of new songs in 13 years. Gentle Bones, one of the most popular solo English singers in recent years, deepens his foray into the Chinese music scene with his second Mandarin single.

Check out the releases on music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp.

1. Indie Rock/Alternative Rock



It looks like the comeback announced by indie rock stalwarts Electrico is more than just the live renditions of old songs found on B-Sides Live At The Power Station, the EP released two months ago.

On June 4, the band will release Fire In The Sky. It is from a full EP Left Of The Century set to be released on July 16 and their first batch of new songs since 2008 album We Satellites.

Singer-guitarist David Tan says: "It's great that we got off our butts to do it. There is excitement, a rekindling of the feelings we used to have."

Bassist Desmond Goh adds that the EP title is a reflection of current times: "It feels right to us. The recording took a bit of time. Plus, this is our 25th anniversary as a band."

Drummer William Lim Jr says their music has evolved over time. "This EP feels quite different from our past albums, with a more complex and layered rock sound for a modern age."

Fire In The Sky by Electrico and Daily Dose Of Love by Gentle Bones featuring Karencici. PHOTOS: 19SIXTYFIVE, CROSS RATIO ENTERTAINMENT

2. Pop


Gentle Bones featuring Karencici

Singer-songwriter Gentle Bones' second Mandarin single, Daily Dose Of Love, features United States-born Chinese artiste Karencici.

Gentle Bones says of the duet about long-distance relationships: "I think what I wanted to convey was that in a relationship, learning how to respect the rhythm of each other's lives is so important.

"Learning how to balance that with the longing for each other is the hardest part of a relationship."

Karencici, who has written songs for stars such as Jolin Tsai, Rainie Yang and Yoga Lin, adds: "I think long-distance relationships are great, it's just really very hard at first. The fruit of persistence is always beautiful, just like this song. You'll be able to succeed only if you persevere."

3. Alternative/Hip-Hop/R&B



Producer and singer-songwriter yams has not had an easy life. When his mother abandoned his family and his father was admitted to a mental hospital, he turned to music as a coping mechanism. day/dreams is his debut album.

He says: "When I started writing this album, I had three goals in mind - to present an alternative masculinity, to present something authentic and to discuss issues not often discussed in the local music scene."

He hopes the songs will inspire listeners to think about what dreaming means to them.

"As part of a young generation that is still finding its path and purpose, I hope that by asking myself these questions through this album of what home means to me and what it means to dream, I can inspire others to begin asking themselves these questions as well."

day/dreams by yams and For felicia by Maximilian. PHOTOS: CHIA YAIM CHONG, SIVXN

4. R&B/POP



For felicia is the 14-track debut album from R&B/pop duo Maximilian.

It includes the five singles they released since 2020, including ichooseyou. and if only we were awake. It also includes the song im not comin back, which singer Maximilian Tay says is about feelings such as love, apathy, exhilaration and relief.

He writes on lyrics website Genius: "Listen to it once and you may feel the euphoria of your first love on cloud nine. Listen to it again and the sorrow of separation engulfs you. im not comin back evokes a disparity of emotions, similar to how we felt when writing the song."

5. Punk Rock


Rebel HiFi

A year after making their debut with two hard-hitting melodic singles, punk trio Rebel HiFi have finally released their first full EP, Rebel Sound. It comprises five songs, including new number A chorus for us to sing.

The band comprise seasoned stalwarts in the home-grown punk and hardcore scene and include frontman Syed from hardcore pioneers Stompin' Ground and reggae band Bushmen.

Rebel Sound by Rebel HiFi and Nightingale EP by Kiat & Digital. PHOTOS: REBEL HIFI, DEFROSTATICA RECORDS

6. Jungle/Drum And Bass


Kiat & Digital

The Nightingale EP is a collaboration between Singaporean electronic music veteran Kiat, real name Jonathan Kiat, and British jungle pioneer Digital, real name Stephen Carr. It includes two songs that the two long-time friends worked on together, Nightingale and Slugstep.

7. Indie Pop/Ambient Pop


Causeway Youth

This Isn't Where I Want To Be by Causeway Youth. PHOTO: CAUSEWAY YOUTH

This Isn't Where I Want To Be is the debut EP by indie duo Causeway Youth, made up of lead guitarist Esther Lim and singer-guitarist Jazreel-Anne Teo.

The latter says: "This Isn't Where I Want To Be speaks about situations that friends or I personally have been in.

"Initially, it wasn't something I subconsciously decided that the EP will be about, but rather, it just coincidentally happened."

8. Pop/Folk



Singing duo JQ x ZUL's eponymous debut EP comprises songs they have worked on in the past two years.

The pair, singer-songwriters Jonquil Woon and Raja Zulfikaar Abdullah Raja Mohamad Aris, honed their craft by busking in the heartland and were part of youth talent initiative Noise Music Mentorship in 2019.

9. Indie Rock


Paper Citizen

Wandering Ghost is the latest EP from Paper Citizen, a music project by Los Angeles-based, Singaporean multi-instrumentalist and music producer Claire Gohst. It follows her first two EPs, Postcards In Transit (2016) and Distraction (2018).

Included here is the song Won't Be Losing Sleep, which she says on Instagram is about "finding strength in love, even when you feel all alone".

Gohst started out singing and playing the violin in clubs and bars in Singapore before moving to Boston to further her music studies and career.

Wandering Ghost by Paper Citizen and Lost by Nic Soze. PHOTOS: PAPER CITIZEN, NIC SOZE

10. R&B/Hip-hop


Nic Soze

Lost is a four-track EP from singer and rapper Nic Soze.

In an Instagram post, he describes the EP as songs that he wrote and recorded at the end of 2020, a period when he was "experiencing loss in my life and figuring out my self-identity". "I hope this is as therapeutic for you as it was for me. I went out of my comfort zone at the time and explored new sounds on this one."

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