Top acts for Singapore's Laneway festival on Jan 30

Chvrches' lead singer Lauren Mayberry was a target of sexually offensive comments after appearing in a short black dress in the music video of Leave A Trace (left).
Chvrches' lead singer Lauren Mayberry was a target of sexually offensive comments after appearing in a short black dress in the music video of Leave A Trace.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry speaks up against online misogyny and bullying ahead of her band's performance here at next year's Laneway Festival

While Scottish indie/synthpop trio Chvrches have been building up buzz for their anticipated sophomore album, Every Open Eye, the video of a new song from it turned a nasty spotlight on its singer.

Lauren Mayberry, who wears a short black dress in the video for Leave A Trace, last month found herself the target of sexually offensive comments - and she fought back, taking a bold stance against online misogyny and bullying.

Many lauded her move in calling out trolls who left sexist and abusive comments on the online bulletin board 4chan.

"Hopefully, my action resonates with someone who is experiencing something similar. You have to be aware that there are a lot of young people following the band, so if what we're saying resonates with them and makes them feel less isolated then I think that's a good thing," she says in a telephone interview with Life from Glasgow, adding that she hopes that such moves will help to empower victims of online abuse.

Mayberry, 27, and her two bandmates, Iain Cook, 40, and Martin Doherty, 32, are among the more significant acts coming here for next year's edition of Laneway Festival.


    WHERE: The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay

    WHEN: Jan 30, 10am

    ADMISSION: $165 for early bird tickets until Oct 5, after which prices will be $180.



  • Battles: Experimental rock trio from New York, the United States

    Beach House: Dream pop duo from Maryland, US

    Big Scary: Indie pop duo from Melbourne, Australia

    Cashew Chemists: Indie rock 'n' roll quartet from Singapore

    Cheats: Indie band from Manila, The Philippines

    Chvrches: Synthpop trio from Glasgow, Scotland

    DIIV: Shoegaze band from New York, US

    East India Youth: Electronic music artist from Bournemouth, Britain

    Flume: Electronic music artist from Sydney, Australia

    GDJYB: Math-folk band from Hong Kong

    Grimes: Electronic music artist from Vancouver, Canada

    Hermitude: Electronic music duo from Blue Mountains, Australia

    Hudson Mohawke: Electronic music artist from Glasgow, Scotland

    Intriguant: Electronic music artist from Singapore

    Metz: Noise rock band from Toronto, Canada

    Purity Ring: Electronic music duo from Edmonton, Canada

    Riot !n Magenta: Indie/ electronic act from Singapore

    Shamir: Electronic music artist from Las Vegas, US

    Thundercat: Eclectic musician from Los Angeles, US

    Tobias Jesso Jr: Indie singer-songwriter from North Vancouver, Canada

    The Internet: Neo-soul band from Los Angeles, US

    Violent Soho: Grunge band from Brisbane, Australia

She says that she is looking forward to coming back to Singapore. The band played here twice last year, at Laneway in January and at their own show at The Coliseum in November.

Their fans here are quick to catch on to their new material, she notes.

"We had this song in the Hunger Games soundtrack and it had just come out when we played it in Singapore, but the people knew all the words. It was just so nice that people put so much time and passion into the band," she says, referring to the song, Dead Air, which was included in the soundtrack to sci-fi dystopian film Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

Laneway, the annual indie music festival which is holding its sixth Singapore edition at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay, on Jan 30, will feature its largest line-up to date.

Besides Chvrches, 21 other acts have also been confirmed. These include bands such as American dream pop duo Beach House, eclectic American musician Thundercat and British electronic music act East India Youth, as well as returning acts such as acclaimed Canadian electronic music act Grimes and American experimental rock band Battles.

Like in recent Laneway festivals, home-grown acts are also on the bill. This year's stages will see sets by indie rock quartet Cashew Chemists, electronic-indie band Riot !n Magenta and electronic music act Intriguant.

Chvrches' fans can look forward to a lot more new music from the band at the upcoming show, which will feature tunes from the new album, which Mayberry says they worked hard on to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump.

After a long tour around the world to promote their 2013 full-length acclaimed debut The Bones Of What You Believe - which made the lists of best albums of the year in music press such as Billboard, Rolling Stone and NME - the trio went back to Scotland and hunkered down in their studio in Glasgow to work on the songs that ended up in Every Open Eye.

Mayberry says: "I think we were aware going in recording that there was an audience for the band now, more than there was when we were making the first record.

"The reason we wanted to come back to Glasgow was because there's comfort and normality here. The last few years have been amazing, pretty amazing, but have also been pretty insane and mental, it didn't feel like reality some of the time."

Mayberry, a former journalist who also founded feminist collective TYCI (Tuck Your C*** In) to support female musicians and artists, says she is very much aware that the band's increasing profile will make her a more prominent target for Internet trolls.

Still, she is more than happy to use her fame to speak out on the issues of sexism and bullying and to get people talking about it.

"People always say you're never gonna change what those people think. But to me, that's not the endgame. It's encouraging for us to see that discussions are happening."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2015, with the headline 'Top acts for Laneway'. Print Edition | Subscribe