SINGAPORE - Home-grown roots-rock quintet Cheating Sons pride themselves of making genre-defying music that blends the best of Western and Asian pop and stands out from the rest of the pack.
Formed in 2008, the band released their eponymous sophomore album in May 2015, a follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut, 2011's Masters, Wives, Daughter.
In their recording for ST Sessions, singer-guitarist Lazarus Wang Renyi and multi-instrumentalist Donovan Loh talk about the lengths they went to in order to record the album as they intended. The result of their fastidiousness: a work that is among the year's best.
Cheating Sons also comprise guitarist Leong Chee Shan, drummer/percussionist Andy Liew and bassist/percussionist Andy Yang.
The new album took them more than three years to complete, including a whole year during which the members took a sabbatical from their day jobs. They converted the basement in Wang's house into a studio, which also served as accommodation for American producer, Manny Nieto, whom the band flew in and out of Singapore from 2011 to 2013 for the recordings.
In an earlier interview with The Straits Times, Wang said: "We had the opportunity to make the album and dedicate all our time to it. Artistically, it took us beyond anything that we could hope for, so you start to reflect more on things, on life and the biggerpicture."
Wang, who writes all the lyrics, also said that the words were centred on the themes of "spirituality, mortality, love and loss".
Here, Wang and Loh talk about how their music defies categorisation:
Watch and listen to the duo play a stripped-down version of Oh Mo' (Keep Your Lady) in a KTV room somewhere in Geylang, dancing LED lights and all:
Here, they perform another song off their second album, The Mercy Of Cain And Abel, a "dark song about death and murder":