Eddino Abdul Hadi Music Correspondent recommends

Music Picks: Rock With Us

Taiwanese singer Angela Chang
Taiwanese singer Angela ChangPHOTO: ANGELA CHANG/ INSTAGRAM
American singer-songwriter Nick Hexum
American singer-songwriter Nick HexumPHOTO: 311/FACEBOOK
Japanese pianist Aya Sekine
Japanese pianist Aya SekinePHOTO: COURTESY OF AYA SEKINE
The Steve McQueens: Tape Ends
The Steve McQueens: Tape EndsPHOTOS: UMAMI RECORDS
Straits Records pop-up store
Straits Records pop-up storePHOTO: THE SUBSTATION


Taiwanese singer Angela Chang will join home-grown artists and musicians including Joi Chua, Jeremy Monteiro and Jimmy Ye for this online concert that raises funds for Darul Ihsan Orphanage.

Hosted by Taiwanese host Mickey Huang, the multilingual concert will run for about two hours.

Other acts performing include Taiwanese singer-songwriter William Wei, also known as WeiBird, home-grown singers Alemay Fernandez, Rudy Djoe and Jordin Tan, as well as veteran local club band Jive Talkin'.

WHERE: Several online platforms including IMC Live Global's Facebook page (facebook.com/IMCLIVEGlobal) WHEN: Sept 23, 9pm ADMISSION: Free but viewers are encouraged to donate at bit.ly/2F3cMMY


American singer-songwriter Nick Hexum will appear in this upcoming episode of local podcast Words & Music, hosted by concert organiser and former radio and television host Lauretta Alabons.

Hexum is the frontman of American alternative rock band 311, known for hits such as Amber (2001) and their 2004 cover of English rockers The Cure's Lovesong. He will discuss 311's 30th anniversary celebrations as well as how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the band's live performances.

WHERE: Several platforms including apple.co/32c8jQE and spoti.fi/336fFV6 WHEN: Thursday, 8pm ADMISSION: Free


Three prominent musicians in the Singapore jazz scene - Japanese pianist Aya Sekine, American bassist Christy Smith and home-grown drummer Aaron James Lee - will perform in this online concert. They will take on music by American music icons Jerome Kern and Duke Ellington, as well as original songs by Sekine.

The gig, part of Sekine's online music series Aya Music Today, will also feature guest musicians Shawn Letts on tenor saxophone and Tim De Cotta on vocals.

In recognition of the African-American community's role in creating and popularising jazz music globally, all proceeds from the concert will be donated to United States civil rights organisation NAACP, or National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.

WHERE: bit.ly/3bHkKqO WHEN: Sunday, 8pm ADMISSION: Viewers can pay as much as they want but are encouraged to give $20 a household. Payment is to be made via PayLah! or PayNow (phone number 9660-5471) or at PayPal.me/ayasekine. Indicate "Jazz Anthology" for both modes of payment.



The Steve McQueens

4 stars

Singapore soul/jazz outfit The Steve McQueens are a prolific bunch. They are currently working on The Observer, the follow-up to 2017's sophomore album Terrarium that is scheduled for release next year.

In the meantime, the quartet - comprising singer Eugenia Yip, keyboardist Joshua Wan, bassist Jase Sng and drummer Anson Koh - have released a six-song EP, Tape Ends. But this is not a stopgap until their next full-length album. Tape Ends features finely crafted, previously unreleased songs from their 2018 Tape tour that saw them play shows in Singapore and Japan.

A freewheeling spirit permeates the songs, but there is also a distinct intimacy - mostly thanks to Yip's fluid and penetrating vocals.

Cosmic Terrain 2.0 is a wild, psychedelic ride, while Go To Sleep is a lush, yet trippy lullaby. Lead single Firefly starts out eerie but takes a left turn with snatches of electronica.

That sums up the EP - you think the song is going one way, but the band surprise with delicious twists.


Singapore record label and music store Straits Records, a stalwart of the independent and underground music scene here and in the region, has a physical presence again. The 25-year-old company founded by Mr Ridhwan Ghany, also known as Wan Vegan, closed its last retail space in Balestier in 2016 due to rising rental costs.

Its current space at The Substation might be temporary, but like the record store, the arts centre has long championed the non-mainstream scene in Singapore.

Besides an eclectic collection of CDs and vinyls, the space also hosts workshops ranging from live-screen printing to zine-making as well as music-listening parties. It is part of The Substation's Front Of House Project, which features local independent retailers operating a bi-monthly pop-up store at its box office.

WHERE: The Substation, 45 Armenian Street WHEN: Until Oct 11; Wednesdays to Fridays, 2.30 to 7.30pm; weekends, 1 to 8pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2020, with the headline 'Music Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe