Top 5 ST Sessions performances by Singapore music acts

Clockwise from top left: Singer-songwriters Linying, Inch Chua and Charlie Lim, roots-rock outfit Cheating Sons and progressive-rock outfit In Each Hand A Cutlass
Clockwise from top left: Singer-songwriters Linying, Inch Chua and Charlie Lim, roots-rock outfit Cheating Sons and progressive-rock outfit In Each Hand A CutlassPHOTOS: ST FILE, AIMEE HAN, WARNER MUSIC SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Since early 2015, The Straits Times' video live performance series ST Sessions has featured home-grown music talents making a buzz in Singapore's growing independent music scene.

The third season, featuring eight acts, was launched in early December 2016 featuring singer-songwriter Theodora Lau, and new episodes will feature online every other Friday.

Here are my top five performances from the first two ST Sessions seasons from 2015 and 2016.

1. Charlie Lim - Bitter

Taken off troubadour Charlie Lim's double EP titled Time/Space, Bitter is steeped in melancholia. A complex and winding rumination on a love lost, it features Lim's rich vocals and affecting delivery.

Lim recently released the vinyl version of Time/Space as well as a new music video for Conspiracy, a song off the release.

Read more about Charlie's pursuit of his musical dream here.

2. Inch - MouseDeer

In a visually-rich episode, The ST Sessions team took a boat to Pulau Ubin to interview singer-songwriter Inch Chua and film her perform stripped-down versions of tunes from her 2015 EP, Letters to Ubin.

MouseDeer features the intriguing folktronica sounds that make her one of the more prominent names in the local indie circuit.

The multi-talented artist will also be in the cast of upcoming musical comedy Detention Katong, which will be staged at the Esplanade Theatre from Feb 17 to Mar 5, 2017.

Read more about how Inch draws inspiration from Pulau Ubin here.

3. Cheating Sons - The Mercy Of Cain And Abel

There is a whole lot of soul in this raw and unplugged performance of The Mercy Of Cain And Abel, an arresting tune by roots-rock outfit Cheating Sons.

Taken off their eponymous sophomore album released in 2015, it is performed by two of the band members, singer-guitarist Lazarus Wang Renyi and multi-instrumentalist Donovan Loh, performing in a KTV room in Geylang.

Known for blending Western rock 'n roll sounds with Asian pop sensibilities, the band is currently working on its third record.

Read more about the genre-defying music Cheating Sons pride themselves on making here.

4. Linying - Sticky Leaves

Singer-songwriter Linying seemingly came out of nowhere earlier this year. By the end of 2016, she was already doing shows all across Europe as well as playing in major music events here like music festival Neon Lights in November 2016.

Here, she puts in a poignant performance of Sticky Leaves, her breakout single that has chalked up close to three million plays so far on music streaming service Spotify, an impressive feat for a rising act from Singapore.

Her debut EP, Paris 12, was released in September 2016.

Read more about how Linying's music is going places here.

5. In Each Hand A Cutlass - Overture

In Each Hand A Cutlass' live performance of Overture is a seven minute-long instrumental as sprawling and colossal as The Kraken, the mythical monster this song's album is named after. It was first released in 2015.

Known for their intricate tunes and virtuoso musicianship, the progressive-rock outfit toured Singapore, Australia and China earlier in 2016.

One of the band's songs, Glaciers, taken off 2011 debut album A Universe Made Of Strings, will be used to soundtrack the fireworks display at the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2017.

Read more about the band's two-year labour of love here.