Dum Dum Girls Too true, too good Also: Liars Fred Perry Lana Del Rey Band of Outsiders Topshop x Ashish And California dreaminâ€™ Free
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26 ABC: Lana Del Rey The pop provocateur in 26 letters and less 31 Rewind: Hole’s Live Through This Ugly, pretty and gosh-darned angry 64 Incoming: Dum Dum Girls “Understand your position and life will be so much easier” 66 Feature: Summer Sonic How 1967’s Summer of Love changed all following summers 68 Talk: Liars “There’s this point after you make a record where you lose control of it” 70 Feature: Fest Bests This summer’s haul of festival fun
12 Buzz: Topshop x Ashish Spring/Summer 2014 Welcome to Paradise Hotel 24 Collection: Band of Outsiders Resort 2014 Made for lounging by Hockney’s swimming pool 32 Trending: The Teddy Jacket Still the star player on the sporting field and the runways 34 Shop: SUPERSPACE The zany and beautiful newcomer to our retail scene 42 Paint: First Aid Beauty “Our philosophy is that less can be more when it comes to treating your skin” 76 Feature: All Right, Fred 105 Brit-proud songs to mark Frederick John Perry’s own 105th year
82 Play: Icons Pop culture iconography, imagery and immortality 85 Nosh: Life Is Beautiful A new kitchen and bar that’s bringing New Orleans soul to the table 88 Listings: Brave The Rave A night made for outlasting and outraving 92 Parties: Lomography Blue Hour Sessions Finale The sun sets on our Blue Hour
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#26: The Hot Issue The approach of high summer isnâ€™t just a mere rise in temperature. As our array of festivals, resort collections, poolside fashions and Dee Dee Penny will have you know, this season is hot and sizzling in more ways than one. Taking a cue from the sun, sea and California dreams, this issue clears a path straight to the beach and the festival site, calls for a summer playlist and catches the rays with a hot tropical wardrobe. Weâ€™ve made it hot, but surely, you can handle it.
Editor in chief
Min Chen firstname.lastname@example.org
Lydia Foo email@example.com
Yu-Jin Lau firstname.lastname@example.org +65 9844 4417
Indran P email@example.com
Editorial and Marketing Intern Amanda Ang
Alison Isbell Celine Hutchinson Cheo Cheang Zhang Emma Neubronner Jeremy Fong Kendrick Wong Marine Rivoal Melissa Yong Priscilla Eng Spark Kim
Jarrold Tham firstname.lastname@example.org +65 9820 2126
Assistant Account Manager Alex Ho email@example.com +65 9008 2175
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publishers. The views expressed in ZIGGY are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. Every effort has been made to ensure all information in the magazine is correct at the time it is sent to print. MCI (P) 083/04/2014 ZIGGY is published every month by Qwerty Publishing Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore by Also Dominie Pte Ltd (L029/09/2013)
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“You’ve got to get out and pray to the sky to appreciate the sunshine. Otherwise, you’re just a lizard standing there with the sun shining on you.” – Ken Kesey
Hard Style Hercules And Love Affair come out swinging on The Feast of The Broken Heart Text: Indran P
If the searing heat of summer has kept you indoors and comfortably in the throes of air-conditioned languidness, you now have a reason to bust out the moves and get your sweat on. Venerable nu-disco provocateurs, Hercules And Love Affair, are back to put the dance in summer with a new album of alchemic disco and house jaunts. The Feast Of The Broken Heart, as it’s called, is the collective’s third full-length release and looks set to further the evolving strain of groove-accented kineticism that characterised its two prior albums. This time, though, expect the velvety, voluptuous sounds to come hard and fast.
Along with its shape-shifting line-up that at very beginning included the art-pop savant, Antony Hegarty, and the positively divine r&b chanteuse, Nomi Ruiz, the group’s sound has also been constantly reimagined at the altar of dance. Taking off from the catchy ‘70s disco revivalism of its self-titled debut and the tactile house of sophomore, Blue Songs, Broken Heart twins the musical forces of both and fires the mix up with a dashing newfound edge. “I wanted nasty basslines, stormy, bleary-eyed sounds, fiery, rough, tough and ragged old school house productions that sounded almost techno. I didn’t want polite, I wanted aggressive”, says the group’s creative director, Andy Butler, of the beating heart behind this latest opus. And with this new combustibly propulsive spirit coursing through the group’s widescreen dance sounds, the new drop, “Do You Feel
the Same?” feels just like how Butler described it. With twitching hi-hats flying over tides of rippling bass, the track goes from gradually raising spirits to evoking a paradisic realm of assertive but rapturous sounds. And fitting the gender-ambiguous aesthetics of the group like a sequined glove, the lush, androgynous croons of new collaborator, Gustaph, ushers some gold-hued disco sheen into the cavorting digital sounds. Building a scenic bridge between the old and new schools of dance, and revving up the group’s elemental body-movin’ power, Broken Heart is the perfect summer jam. The Feast Of The Broken Heart is out now on Moshi Moshi Records.
Ashish x Topshop Spring/Summer 2014 Text: Min Chen
A decade after they first bumped fists, Topshop and Ashish continue to enjoy an alliance that runs on fun, sass and a shared vision of offbeat femininity. Since stepping onto the runway in 2004, Ashish has firmed up a reputation for zany postmillennial fashion statements that burst with beautiful craftsmanship (his use of sequins is legendary) and a youthful exuberance (those slogans too). It’s no wonder Britain’s finest high street label took note and extended its ongoing support to the London-based designer for nine good collaborative outings. This season, then, is the 10th milestone in the Ashish and Topshop partnership, and their joint chic remains firmly on point. Ashish’s motivation here lies firmly in the summer’s bounty of pool and beachcentered good times, for which he has devised a capsule collection of sporty and beach toweling pieces. Fabricating his own dream resort, Paradise Hotel, the designer has splashed its logo across a hoodie, bathrobe and shorts, while covering towels with such hospitable slogans as “Please Service” and “Do Not Disturb”. The kitsch level is further elevated on a series of cheeky jersey T-shirts that allow you to announce your name, room number and – making the most of the prevailing selfie culture – Twitter/Instagram handle too.
Out of the Paradise Hotel bedroom, and onto the beach, Ashish has also got our summer ass covered with high-cut fluoro-coloured swimsuits, bikinis and “Dirty Beach” towels. Also make room in your bag for key accessories including a transparent backpack, a toweling eye mask and a pair of platform sneakers with litup heels. The entire collection is as fun as it is funny, and just the thing for your upcoming run of pool parties and beach soirees; after all, according to Ashish, “They have the best ones at the Paradise Hotel!” Available at Topshop at Knightsbridge.
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High Art Hustle Wu-Tang Clan takes Shaolin to the galleries Text: Indran P
“Cash rules everything around me”, begins the hook from arguably the most revered song by the Wu-Tang Clan and now, more than 20 years after its release, Wu honcho RZA is contributing to the malaise he so vividly diagnosed in the Clan’s anthem of struggle. Well, sort of. After an extended hiatus following 2007’s 8 Diagrams, the last album to feature all surviving members, the almighty Wu is set to re-stamp its mark on our neural grooves with The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Only this time, just one physical copy of the album will be produced and then toured through galleries,
museums and festivals before being sold to a single buyer for a price that, in RZA’s own words, is “in the millions.” Simmer down. Though your (and everyone else’s) anger is righteous and justified, the peculiar and unseemly rollout of Shaolin is a thoroughly considered reaction by RZA to the reductive manner in which music has come to be regarded today. In an impassioned manifesto accompanying the album, he compares the work of
hip hop heavyweights to that of esteemed visual artists and posits the kicker, “Is exclusivity versus mass replication really the 50 million dollar difference between a microphone and a paintbrush?” Recorded in secret over six years, Shaolin is a 128-minute-long, 31-track double disc collection of songs that will be housed in a hand-carved nickel silver box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. No music has
been teased from this project except the cut, “Keep Watch”, from A Better Tomorrow, yet another album that may or may not be released with Shaolin, depending on whether the other members of the collective acquiesce to RZA’s statement-making modus. In the meantime, know that an unknown bidder has pledged for Shaolin to the tune of $5 million, proving that, like it or not, hip hop is no longer by or for the streets. Eat your heart out, Jay-Z. The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is slated to be released in July.
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Bug Out Sophia Webster Spring/Summer 2014 Text: Priscilla Eng
Delightfully playful yet always erring on the bright side of chic, Sophia Webster’s designs have never fallen short of their quirky and kooky promise. Since arriving in Spring/Summer 2013 with a pastel and printmad collection that would do Yayoi Kusama proud, the Nicholas Kirkwood protégé has flourished with more bold designs and a whimsical style that besides drawing all the right attention, has also scored her the Emerging Accessory Designer accolade at last year’s British Fashion Awards. Her shoes and accessories have only grown in creativity and covetability
in her short career, and Sophia’s latest collection proves – quite literally – that she’s got some blossoming talent on her hands.
kitten heels, the designer has also introduced new styles, like sandals, wedges and espadrilles to ensure a mix of different heel heights.
Inspired by Japanese photographer and director Mika Ninagawa, who’s known for her brightly coloured photographs of nature, Webster debuts a fantasy world of flowers, butterflies and ladybugs for Spring/ Summer, using a palette of intense hues combined with a dollop of edge. Aptly and cutely titled Super Dupa Fly, the range of footwear goes hard on rich jewels, laser-cut butterflies, floral adornments and neon-bright accents, alongside Webster’s signature speech-bubble clutches. Aside from the usual stilettos and
In Sophia’s words, she creates shoes for “someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously, is colourful and likes to have fun with what she wears, and expresses her personality through her shoes”. And judging by her latest line-up of wildlife-crazed shoes and twee accessories, there’ll be no lack of fun and colour to supplement your personality. With these, you’ll be walking off with more than just those heels on your feet.
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Text: Indran P
Jack White: Lazaretto
Boris: Noise The Japanese noise-metal giants have always tempered their pummelling stokes with a tongue-in-cheek verve and to this end, Noise is the aptly titled follow-up to their 2011 opus, New Album. Musically, too, the spirit of savage zaniness continues to reign as the tectonic swells of noise, skyward solos and deathmetal-parodying screams of “Quicksilver” reveal. Out 17 June
Tireless, sagely and inventive, Jack White is set to fire our synapses yet again with his second solo outing, Lazaretto. A singular musician, White is peerless in his blurring of free-wheeling experimentation with show-stopping rock firepower. And while his previous solo effort, Blunderbuss, was shot through with that, Lazaretto is the evolutionary convergence of all the rock, blues and punk sounds that White has been deconstructing and reanimating throughout his career. “It’s definitely not one sound”, he recently said of it and to see how right he is, hit Popcaan: play on “High Ball Stepper” and the Where We title track, and receive the revelations Come From to come. Dancehall has been making Out 10 June great inroads into A-list pop
sounds lately and Popcaan has been Jamaica’s most coveted export. Paving the way for his debut full-length is the single, “Everything Nice”, a woozy, auto-tuned candy shop of slick, bodacious textures and generous low-end. Break out the rum and get in on the feelgood lushness. Out 10 June
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Days Of Abandon
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal
Capital i indie rock is all but a pipedream in this age of maximalism, but the Pains are back to remind us of what’s been missed. Days marks a resurgence of quaint, twee pop sounds with a touch of gleeful bite. “Simple and Sure” and “Eurydice” are oh-so heartbreak chic. Out now
Louder, ruder and faster, the New York punks are back with another slamming set of songs. Marrying fists-up punk rock with rock-hook immediacy is what made the band hot property last year, and Sunbathing Animal takes this volatile mix even further with its nod to ‘80s hardcore. Take it from us, the title track alone will bruise you. Out 2 June
Sam Smith: In The Lonely Hour
The Antlers: Familiars
When his velvety croon graced Disclosure’s smash “Latch” last year, Sam Smith clued the world in on his fantastic chops. In The Lonely Hour is his debut full-length statement and going by the widescreen pop of singles, “Lay Me Down” and “Money on My Mind”, it’ll be a sterling showing. Out now
Threading dream pop with post-rock in devastatingly beautiful fashion over three prior albums, The Antlers have announced a comeback with Familiars. The three-piece have gone big on this one, as teaser “Palace” indicates with its gushing waves of guitars and horns making for a grandeur that’d put the Arcade Fire to shame. Out 16 June
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Paradise Regained Prada Resort 2014 Text: Melissa Yong In describing Prada’s spirited Spring serving of art-smart dresses, Miuccia Prada plainly remarked, “My instrument is fashion. I use my instrument to be bold.” And it’s a mighty instrument that Prada continues to wield as she sets off on the label’s Resort collection. In here, nothing is tamed or subdued, but
overgrown with the season’s wildest flora and fauna in the richest of hues. Though built around a Hawaiian flower motif, this tropical outing sidesteps the usual garden path by opting for a darker and dreamier mood. These prints blossom on sportswear silhouettes, which host 1940s-inspired cuts, the occasional crystals, and
a refreshing colour palette that sees somber shades of burgundy and navy juxtaposed against pop pastels. There’s also a haul of haute jewellery – geometric bangles, cuffs and earrings – as well as the highly covetable Hawaiian Saffiano bag to guarantee you’ll be properly seduced into Prada’s paradise.
Spanish League Yoshio Kubo Spring/Summer 2014 Text: Melissa Yong Working largely in abstraction and on conceptual terms has meant that Yoshio Kubo’s collections continue to err on the right side of unpredictable and unconventional. His Spring/ Summer 2014 presentation, unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Fashion Week, may be tame by the Japanese designer’s standards (see his Autumn/
Winter 2013 excursion), but it still showed derringdo in its juggling of prints, colour blocks and edgy cuts. Taking a leaf out of the heat and passion of Spanish culture, Kubo has invited a wild smattering of botanic patterns, matador vignette prints, nautical accents and Mediterranean Sea-blue motifs onto casual separates,
knitwear and outerwear. Put together, the collection looks fashion-fit for any European resort, but closer inspection reveals the avant-garde detailing (the cuts on the tailored jackets) and inventive textures (the raffia-like embroidery on shirts and shorts) that prove Yoshio Kubo’s still marching to his own off-beat.
Sun’s Up! 10 sun-kissed songs to fire up your summer Text: Indran P
Delorean: “Endless Sunset”
Wild Nothing: “Ride”
The proof is in the title. Compressing a multitude of sepia-toned Balearic beats, this rave anthem is the best herald to the purple-hued time of day when the heat lifts and spirits rise.
Pavement: “Summer Babe”
Queens of the Stone Age: “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” Dashingly authoritative, Josh Homme, the Big Daddy of hard drinkin’ contemporary rock ‘n’ roll is not known for his subtlety. So, when he writes a song so titled whose only lyrics are, “Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol”, you don’t doubt that his version of kicking it loose during the summer is a lot wilder than ours or yours. No matter, the heat-seeking rush of the revved up guitars is narcotic enough. Best ingested loud.
The Men: “Candy”
Opening with the line, “I just quit my job now I can stay out all night long”, “Candy” is an invitation to whip out that acoustic guitar, crack open the brewskis and indulge in some summer blues.
On those night drives when your thoughts tend to unspool with particularly vivid detail, you can be assured that the lush, teeming sounds of this purpose-built song will make for a great and snug embrace while you put those miles behind you.
Love is always in the air during summertime and leave it to the heroes of indie rock’s golden age to sweetly and quaintly pen an ode to one-sided yearning. The irony here’ll go down great with your Coke Zero.
Wavves: “King of the Beach”
The Sex Pistols: “Holidays in the Sun”
Wavves always made the most brutal kind of surf rock and “King of the Beach” was its crowning glory. Scorching pop that rips toward the hook, “You’re never gonna stop me!”, this one’ll make you feel royal whether or not you’ve got a beach bod.
Escaping the turmoil and disarray in London in 1977, the Pistols thought it fit to vacation in the island of Jersey before tearing up West Berlin and basking in “other peoples’ misery”. Still too soon, guys.
Built to Spill: “Car”
No summer can be spent without a campfire where you huddle up and have heart-to-hearts about the Big Questions. And if on such an occasion, the need for a powerful, contemplative song arises, don’t say we didn’t have your back.
This one’s for the hot lonely nights when exuberance clears out for introspection and when you’re looking up at the starspangled sky, trying to make sense of it all, to the tune of some transcendental guitars.
Iron & Wine: “Boy with a Coin”
Japandroids: “The House that Heaven Built”
With the careening majesty of its guitar and drum blasts, Japandroids offer a sonically resplendent tapestry of selfaffirmation. Remember, you are “born of a bottle from heaven’s hand”. Find yourself in volume this summer.
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A Bigger Splash Band of Outsiders Resort 2014 Text: Min Chen
Once, Band of Outsiders’ womenswear collections fell under two capsules: Boy., which offered menswearinspired tailoring and Girl., a more fluid and feminine option. Confusion naturally abounded amongst retailers and consumers, so come Resort 2014, Scott Sternberg has decidedly done away with Boy. and Girl. to instead combine and deliver his womenswear (and menswear) collections under the simple heading of Band of Outsiders. As above, so below. But even with the dissolution of those two capsules, their twin shadows are still smartly and lovingly blended on Band’s newest serving. “They are really one in my mind,” said Sternberg of Boy. and Girl., and the proof is right there in Band’s Resort outing that makes an equal fuss of boyish tailoring and girly separates. True to its Californian heritage, Band finds itself in the backyard and by the pool this Resort season, with Sternberg’s inspiration lying in his “version of the ‘80s, which means I was thinking about David Hockney”. The English painter’s influence meets Israeli artist Guy Yanai’s angular prints (in turn a
tribute to Hockney) on this collection, amplified in its pop tones and colour blocks, which bedeck maxi skirts and silky dresses. There’s even a multi-hued version of Band’s signature bandage skirt, as well as lounge-y jodhpurs, Breton stripe tops, sweaters and loose jumpsuits that underscore the Resort feel. Still with one eye on menswear, the collection also supplies tailored pieces in the form of blazers, cigarette pants and leather jackets to make for ultra-smart ensembles. Other key pieces like the double-breasted satin playsuit and dresscoats further the cross-pollination between what used to be Boy. and Girl. Sporty and smart yet feminine, Band’s Resort wear makes good on Sternberg’s promise of an ‘80s Californian summer setting, with all the dressy and dapper trappings his label has to offer. The pool awaits.
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Lana Del Rey
The pop star, provocateur and meme icon gets stripped down to the very last letter Text: Indran P
as in community service. Lana’s got a heart and you’ll be delighted to know that she’s been giving back. Shrugging off a botched album deal at age 20, she moved to a trailer park and for the next five years, did outreach work for the homeless and drugaffected elements of society.
as in “Dark Paradise”. Widely regarded as the weakest of Born To Die’s six singles, “Dark Paradise” saw Lana yet again rehashing one of the album’s major themes: her love for a nameless, faceless “bad boy”. Only, in this song, according to insiders, Lana reminisces about the times she had with an ex-boyfriend now dearly departed.
as in God. As an undergraduate in Fordham University, Lana, then Lizzy, majored in philosophy, specialising in the branch of metaphysics because she was intrigued by how it “bridged the gap between God and science.”
as in A$AP Rocky. Lana has been open about her admiration for Lord Flacko. One of her many feather-ruffling exploits involved him playing John F. Kennedy to her Jackie O and Marilyn Monroe in the video for her single, “National Anthem”. In our last chat with her, she also stated that Rocky is amongst “the only people [she] relates to these days.”
as in Born To Die. Drawing heart-onsleeve devotees and naysayers alike, LDR’s debut LP, Born To Die, was a multi-platinum musical panorama of Gatsbyera opulence tinged with an artful melding of trip hop, hip hop and indie sensibilities.
as in Film. The giddily swooning strings that feature prominently in her music is a nod to one of her key influences, film. Counting the first two installments of The Godfather as well as American Beauty as her favourites, Lana has stated she’s always wanted to be a screenwriter and that film is “[her] happy place”.
as in Elizabeth Woolridge Grant. So, Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant. When asked about her choice of pseudonym she gave us this answer: “I had a vision of myself that was as beautiful as I wanted the music to be.”
as in H&M. Like a slew of other brands, H&M hopped on the Lana train. Capitalising on the beauty’s smoky, retro-fabulous style, H&M made her the face of its Fall 2012 collection. Winter too got the same treatment.
as in “I Don’t Wanna Go”. Existing also as “Tonight” and “Black Leather Moonlight”, “I Don’t Wanna Go” is an unreleased song that was recorded and leaked in 2012. With her love-lorn purr cresting over lush atmospherics, it’s pretty standard Lana fare. Super-producer Rick Nowels lends a hand.
as in Kill Kill. The first EP ever released by the chanteuse, Kill Kill saw Lizzy Grant strut her stuff as Lizzy Grant. Essentially the more minimal precursor to the swollen pop she would make under her new moniker, it was a herald of what was to come.
as in Maleficent. Lana recorded a cover of Tchaikovsky’s “Once Upon a Dream” for the dark re-interpretation of Disney’s animated classic, The Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie, the film’s lead actress personally sought her out to record the song.
as in Nancy Sinatra. The original bad girl has been a guiding light in the Lana Del Rey universe. Lana herself has been candid about how she has modeled her persona around Nancy’s searing sexuality, calling herself a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra”.
as in Paradise. Released ten months after Born To Die, the Paradise EP saw Lana serve up an addendum of eight new tracks. Hewing largely to the same musical MO as Die, Paradise stands out for the hypersexual nature of some of its songs. “My p***y tastes like Pepsi Cola”, from “Cola”, should give you a sense of the EP’s bubbling tension.
as in “Song of Myself”. Like film, poetry has long been an artistic concern for Lana. She counts the great American bard, Walt Whitman’s seminal, “Song of Myself” as amongst her favourite works. She herself has also rather poetically alluded to Whitman in her music with the line, “Whitman is my daddy”, from “Body Electric”.
as in Amy Winehouse. Lana has long counted the late singer as a musical reference point. Shortly after Winehouse passed away last year, Lana furnished a succinct tribute with, “I believe in Amy Winehouse. I know she’s not with us anymore but I believe she was who she was and in that way she got it right”.
as in “Ride”. “Ride” is one of those songs whose music video completely eclipses its actual musical elements. At 10 minutes – twice the song’s length – the video, nay, short film, sees Lana getting passed around by different men amidst a backdrop of ennui, loneliness and general purposelessness.
as in Tropico. Getting her film on again, Lana enlisted “Ride” director, Anthony Mandler for her version of “an epic tale based on the Biblical story of sin and redemption”. As with her other forays into the medium, Tropico makes sweeping gestures and offends only those who care enough to spoil for a fight. Otherwise, Lana’s acting as Mother Mary and Eve is just a spectacular visual feast.
as in Ultraviolence. The upcoming third album in the Lana canon, Ultraviolence, features Black Keys frontman, Dan Auerbach, behind the boards and song titles like “Shades of Cool”, “Money Power Glory” and “F**ked My Way to the Top”.
as in “Off to the Races”. The second song off Born To Die, “Off to the Races”, is the best example of the album’s juxtaposition of baroque arrangements with contemporary hip hop styles. As a chronicle of a life spent looking for love in all the wrong places, it sees Lana shouting out her lover with: “Light of my life, fire of my loins”.
as in vocals. It bears repeating that Lana has one of the most distinct vocal styles in modern pop. Earthy, sensual and emphatic, her contralto vocal range can make anything sound smoulderingly sexy, whether or not the occasion calls for it.
as in “Young and Beautiful”. In a fitting meeting of minds, the machine behind the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby enlisted Lana to pen a song for the film. A dramatic and high-stakes companion to the film, the song is written for Carey Mulligan’s character, Daisy Buchanan.
Here Comes The Sun Pull & Bear Spring/Summer 2014 Text: Melissa Yong Coated in the summer sun’s rays, Pull & Bear’s newest seasonal threads are certainly nothing short of golden. It’s a wardrobe that doesn’t just thrive on new colours, prints and textures, but also on the kind of simplicity and spontaneity that mark out the best summer day. And providing the appropriate scenery for the array of style, the ladies’ collection steps right up with a handful of trend-led themes juxtaposing a preppy approach against a faded ‘50s glamour, and introducing separates that hit the perfect balance of
fun and femininity. There’s Blue Paradise, which proffers menswear-inspired cuts in a spectrum of blues from azure to lavender; Tropical and Blossom Green, both of which boast prints of flora and fauna, as well as a vintage elegance; and New Nude, where sporty influences meet structural fabrics and architectural lines. The gentlemen won’t be going naked either with themes that span from Sunset Baja and Surfing Weekend’s surf-styled beachwear, to Late Harvest’s technical Nordic-inspired outerwear, to the oceanic leitmotif on Seaweed Jungle’s shorts and shirts. Urban styles also reign on Lower East
Black, where biker jackets and skinny fit jeans work hard for your rock chic, and Seattle Riot, which does as it suggests on its acid-washed, tie-dyed label. And lest you doubt the warm-heartedness of the collection, its accompanying campaign – helmed by British director Liam Gleeson, shot by Catalan photographer Xevi Muntané, and featuring the likes of Gracie Van Gastel, Travis Smith and Nicola Wincenc – will leave you with a surfeit of effortless, sunkissed good vibes. Sun’s up, surf’s up and so’s the summer duds at Pull & Bear.
Text: Min Chen
Maison Scotch Spring/ Summer 2014
WeSC Spring 2014 WeSC’s roots remain plain to see as it sticks its head out for Spring. Still guided by the culture and vibrations of the street, the label continues to deliver on an energetic set of sports and urban wear, now kickin’ it with a bright seasonal sheen. Culling equal inspiration from the ‘70s and Native American patterns, both the men’s and women’s collections are replete with preppy cuts on outerwear, patterns that look sharp on shirts and dresses, and other funky graphics that cover staple tees and hoodies. There’s also a quality line-up of denim that sees the introduction of the Hook jean jacket for the gents and Amia high-waisted shorts for the ladies. All over, colours boldly scream green, pink, blue and red, and with personality and attitude running a record high, the summer’s pavements are yours.
Pharrell Williams for UNIQLO: i am OTHER UNIQLO’s latest launch of UT (all 1,000 styles) comes extra heavyweight this season, thanks in no small part to Pharrell Williams. The music man behind the recent G I R L has lately stretched his design muscle for the Japanese brand, working closely with UT’s Creative Director, Nigo, to produce 14 T-shirts in a myriad of patterns and colours, alongside seven baseball cap styles. Dubbed i am OTHER, the collection is particularly bold for its individualistic message, spelled out in slogans like “Think Other”, “The Same is Lame” and “Unlike Any Other”. No better time to get OTHERwise, then.
PUMA Brasil Lifestyle Spring/ Summer 2014
The year’s biggest and wildest party is about to rock Brazil and lo, PUMA is already there to kick it off. Packing the country’s renowned passion, sensuality and energy into its Spring/Summer Brasil Lifestyle collection, the brand has revived its iconic footwear silhouettes like the PUMA Classic Brasil and PUMA Suede with brash new hues and brushstrokes, with the innovative Brasil 70 Windbreaker and Grip Bag paying further tribute to the World Cup host. Also seek out other key apparel styles like the Clash Track Jacket and Tropical Print Windbreaker for a striking rendering of Brazil’s pixaçăo illustrations and exotic rainforestry.
Well, Maison Scotch is certainly taking on Spring/ Summer lightly. To meet the sun, the Amsterdam-born label is working a carefree and playful angle into its basic wares: loose-fitted shirts and hoodies abound, cigarette pants stay sharp, and jumpsuits and party dresses are given a due pop of colour. Those sassy silhouettes aside, Maison Scotch’s radical graphic solutions drive the collection with a liberal allover application of checks, stripes, animal prints, tropical motifs, florals and batik patterns. These prints are ripe for mixing, matching and clashing, so you can have your summer fun and wear it too.
No B.S. music
This Machine Has Soul Behold Hundred Waters’ electric heart Text: Indran P There are two major facts about the LA-based outfit, Hundred Waters, which cast it in stark relief from other uppercase-i indie bands. Firstly, the band is signed to vanity record label, OWSLA Records, owned by a certain Sonny Moore, whom you might know as the Grammy-winning brostep extraordinaire, Skirllex. So, yes, Hundred Waters has as their boss, possibly one of the most antithetical figures to indie-anything. But what’s more important and more striking than this merely payroll concern is the band’s enigmatically implacable sound. Flying in the face of conventional indie wisdom that seems to dictate that any non-rock or non-folk (read: non-guitar-centric) indie
outfit is a de facto maker of its own version of synthpop (that’s right, Chvrches), the band has set buzz alerts ablaze by threading folk, electronica, baroque pop and found sound into a mélange that for all its hook-resistant inaccessibility, is deeply transfixing. Led by frontwoman, flautist and keyboardist Nicole Miglis, the band also includes multiinstrumentalists Trayer Tryon and Paul Giese, and drummer Zach Tetreault. High-school friends, Tryon and Giese had long been playing music together in a pop-punk band they called Awesome, before meeting the rest of the members of what would become Hundred Waters at the University of Florida. Since then, the band has been committed to, in Tryon’s words, making “music like we listened to growing up… music that we just loved and knew every single word to, that meant so much to you – and it still does now.”
If statements like that sound rehearsed and press-releaseperfect to you, and even if you don’t doubt the impassioned sincerity of their import, know that the virtuosic ingenuity of every level of the band’s musicianship transcends any charge of PR-ready sentimentalism. Making a quiet storm with the entrancing electronic-folk hybridity of its self-titled debut in 2012, the band has raised the stakes immeasurably on its recently released sophomore, The Moon Rang Like A Bell, a shape-shifting gem of a collection. There’s the neor&b slowburner, “Xtalk”, where Miglis’ quivering vocals bring to life the resolve of a wounded lover over spectral keys and incandescent textures; the ponderous showgaze number, “Down From the Rafters”; and the orchestral grandeur of “Cavity”, where a sting-led climax furnishes the album with its most cathartic moment. Resolutely beautiful, the album sees Hundred Waters bringing gorgeous, crushed-out heart to digital sounds in a more defining extent of singularity. Who would’ve thought that Skrillex’d make a good call in music? The Moon Rang Like A Bell is out now on OWSLA Records.
Pretty In Punk How Hole’s Live Through This broke all the rules Text: Indran P
the album had to be great by necessity since Love herself would later say that she “was really competing with Kurt.” Looking back recently, the record’s engineer, Sean Slade, revealed just how high the stakes were: “The only memory I have of any kind of goal she had was when she walked into the control room almost crying and said, ‘This album has to go gold.’” And it did. In fact, it went multi-platinum within just a year of its release.
History may never Against the impossible odds forgive Courtney There are many reasons why Love for her alleged Live Through This occupies an involvement in Kurt esteemed place in the annals Cobain’s tragic end of alternative rock. But the and in the dissolution spirit of savage confidence of Nirvana, and that made the record a classic emanated from one central the shambling and fount: Love’s competitiveness. at times utterly marriage to the godhead embarrassing moments Her of alternative rock had framed of her coked-out her in the public imagination as personal life have nothing more than, to quote, her bandmate Patty Schemel, only underscored her “Mrs. Kurt”, a reliable source ignominious rep as of fodder for the gossip rock ‘n’ roll’s most columns. It almost seemed like reviled pariah. But were we to turn back the clock to 1994, we’d light on a moment where Love and her band, Hole, defied everyone and took their place at the summit of one of modern rock’s greatest epochs. Live Through This, the band’s sophomore album, was that moment.
Furthering the trajectory of Love’s subversive ethos, Live Through This marked a point where her social outlook congealed with the band’s punk aesthetic into a devastatingly inescapable view of feminist consciousness. As its cover art suggested, Love was taking aim at the one archetype that served as a repository of all of society’s assumptions about femininity: the prom queen, the pageant-winning Barbie of the class. The rape-alluding opener, “Violet”, sees her addressing her sex with the clenched-fist imperative,
“You should learn how to say no!”, while on “Doll Parts” and most notably on “Miss World”, she rends herself with her own satirical scalpel to crushingly but illuminatingly confessional effect, bringing her drug habit and body image issues to the public eye: “I’m Miss World / Somebody kill me / Kill me pills”. Indignant and uninhibitedly stinging, Love/Hole’s artistic impression never burned more brightly than it did here. Reflecting on her performance on the record earlier this month, Love had this to say, “To find your female scream and not withhold is so liberating. You can do anything then. It’s like you can fly. It gives you superpowers.” If for the briefest instant, Love’s female scream more than mattered.
Alternative and meaning it
She’ll be turning 50 this July but in her heyday, Love was the lipstick-smeared, dirty blonde who presented a urgently compelling flipside to the ideologically enforced mainstream. At a time when Madonna’s idea of “rebellion” was a series of strategic headline-grabbing antics (and outfits). Love dared to be ugly and through Hole, made a strong case for the ‘90s concern of “alternative”. “We look the same, we talk the same, we are the same, we are the same”, she bemoans on the buzz-saw punk of “She Walks on Me”. The genre may be a dead sound now but at the height of its cultural sway, Live Through This was amongst the works that gave it its revelatory power.
Ace of Base
A.P.C Kenickie teddy jacket
The teddy jacket is still a star player Text: Min Chen
Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014
Amidst Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 2014 presentation of menswear for glamorous beach rats lay an iconic slice of American academic culture: the teddy jacket. Just as denim has attired generations upon generations of the American workforce, so this jacket has warmed the shoulders of the country’s athletic student body since 1865. First breathing life amongst Harvard University’s baseball team as a flannel uniform embroidered with the institution’s letter, these specimens would develop into woolly letterman cardigans, sweaters and jackets that indicated one’s sporting allegiance and merits. In particular, the letterman jacket would spread from colleges to high schools, before hitting a homerun with big league baseball, softball and basketball teams. This
development also saw the varsity jacket being treated with a fresh approach: instead of being produced in standard wool and leather, they were now crafted with satin. Being widely available and in cheaper material meant that varsity or teddy jackets would easily find a bigger audience on the street. From the ‘90s onwards, the hip hop likes of Run-D.M.C. and N.W.A. would proudly don varsity colours, with labels from Stüssy to Nike to New Era cementing the jacket’s enduring appeal amongst the fashionable cliques. Its appearance on the Saint Laurent runway is only another stripe on its sleeve – it having found favour with people like Alex Turner, Keith Richards and A$AP Rocky, and with other big-name labels following suit. Then again, as much as the teddy jacket may be back with a seasonal bang, its many stars and stripes only prove that this player’s never really gone away.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Panelled cotton and satin bomber jacket
Saint Laurent Teddy jacket in black and white satin
Maison Kitsuné Teddy paisley varsity jacket
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To SUPERSPACE and beyond Text: Celine Hutchinson
All things edgy, zany and beautiful have now made their merry way to SUPERSPACE, a spanking new retail experience that’s just landed at orchardgateway. Well honed in the ways of the cutting edge, the shop-and-salon hybrid promises a feast of maximalist and minimalist fashion – from cult international and local brands such as evenodd, KTZ, Agi & Sam and Ling Wu – as well as the opportunity to get your locks in order under the auspices of Ritz Salon. Borne out of the shared creative vision and drive of style connoisseurs Gilda Su (RÊVASSEUR), Samuel Wong (evenodd), and the duo of Bobby Luo and Ritz Lim (The Butter Factory and Nightvision), SUPERSPACE will be just the place to get your street swag and ‘tude in order. We had a chat with the team to find out how SUPERSPACE is gonna rock.
How and why did you choose the labels for your store? These labels have been favourites of our own for a while. They are what we wear, what we love and believe in, so it was only natural that we carry them at SUPERSPACE. How did you come up with the idea for SUPERSPACE? SUPERSPACE was a spark of an idea that started off with a simple conversation. We were hanging out in the smoke room at The Butter Factory and talking about having our own shop just got us all so excited. Before we knew it, we were having a meeting to make our dreams into reality. Why did you decide to explore the idea of combining a store and a salon? We believe that fashion and style is a complete package of clothing and hair. Ritz Salon provides cutting edge beauty options for men and women, and the retail leg of SUPERSPACE intends on offering unique designs for customers in Singapore looking for something modern and special.
What can you tell us about the design of the space itself? The design of the space was not easy, given that we have four different partners at the store and all with very different ideas for branding. Many, many, many meetings took place and it wasn’t the easiest process. In the end we settled on something simple and modern – the clothes should really take centre stage and the decor should help shine a spotlight on them. As for Ritz Salon, they have been in business since 1994, and have undergone different looks over the years. With a new venue, they are going a level up and taking on a sleek look! What were the challenges involved in bringing this dream to life? As mentioned, because of our different aesthetics, it was a lot of give-and-take,
and countless discussions to decide how we can take the best of our brands and create a one-of-a-kind environment for SUPERSPACE! How will SUPERSPACE bring a fresh approach to the local retail scene? Through SUPERSPACE, we hope to create a brand new retail environment filled with intriguing brands that the majority of Singaporeans have never seen before. We hope to shake up the retail scene with something a little more exciting and not too commercial. SUPERSPACE is located at orchardgateway, #02-18.
Billabong Neon Safari Collection Text: Priscilla Eng
Founded on the Gold Coast of Australia in 1973, Billabong’s range of surf and beachwear has become synonymous with the sun, sea and sand. But however much it’s now the name on everyone’s lips when it comes to functional and durable surf gear, the label has oft been fueled with enough wanderlust to take leave of the beach for other exotic inspirations. The results have been collections that err on the side of the fashionable, without losing its outdoorfacing perspective. Proof is in Billabong’s latest Neon Safari women’s collection, which piles some undeniable bohochic onto the label’s signature active threads.
Making its merry way to South Africa, the Neon Safari collection steals visual cues from the country’s breathtaking landscapes and the culture of its Ndebele tribe. Hence a palette of rich hues, tribal prints and beaded embroidery that adorn the range of swimwear and casual togs. The bohemian styling here is high on point, aided by patterns like the Desert Bloom, and easy-wearing and loose-fitting cuts as seen on the Forever Sand dress. Must-have key items like the Botswana jacket and Zanzibar bikini also boast a cultural twist in their striking beadwork and bold tones. Indeed, amidst the riot of bright reds, browns and yellows, Billabong’s newest excursion can lay claim to an ethnic textuality and warmth to match the South African sun.
Let’s Get Ethereal Postiljonen bring the dance to dream pop Text: Indran P
If you thought that dreamy, wistful sounds should be excluded from the lexicon of dance music, Postiljonen will show you that it’s about time you put away your Beach House records and crank their dancefloor-ready tunes. Fusing the driving cadences of popular dance styles like electro and EDM with the pristine melodies of folk and dream pop in a scenically ingenious stroke, the trio, comprising Swedish multi-instrumentalists Daniel Sjörs and Joel Holm, and Norwegian singer Mia Bøe, has been getting bodies moving in the indie circles of its native country and beyond for the past three years now. So adamant about their kinetically driven purpose that when we asked them if they considered themselves a modern dance act
despite their lyrically replete songs, the band more than allayed our doubts with, “We want to make people dance, so YES!”
musical backgrounds” are paired with a shared love for “everything” about the ‘80s for the end result that is Postiljonen.
It’s this heart-on-sleeve ardour that makes Skyer, the band’s 2013 debut, the colossal but brightly festooned edifice of sound that it is. But just before we get to its music proper, it’s important that we get a handle on the serendipitous circumstances that made it possible. Meeting at a music school in Stockholm, it was, in the band’s own words, “music at first sight”, as they began making music “the first very day [they] met.” And if the rarity of such an occurrence wasn’t already remarkable, that the roots of its musicality corresponds perfectly to each member’s preferences is even more so. As they tell us, “Joel swears by hip hop, Daniel to pop and jazzy tunes and Mia to folk and r&b”. These “different
Twinning its reverence for the past with its acutely modern dance sound, the band made one of the biggest statements of its career with “All That We Had is Lost”, a stunning reworking of Whitney Houston’s 1985 mega-hit, “How Will I Know”. Over sweeping atmospherics, Mia’s stargazing vocal lines go the distance in adding to
the transportive rush of the entire song. We just had to know how it happened and Mia remembers: “It was around the time when Whitney Houston had just passed. I was really bored in the studio. A friend came by and suggested I do a cover of a Whitney song. And so I did. I never intended for it to become what it did. But I’m really happy we made the tribute to Whitney, she was such an amazing artist and singer.” With the legacy of the past informing their dashing take on modern sounds, Postiljonen nimbly ride the line between pop classicism and modern dance exuberance. It’s a winning formula if there ever was one and though Daniel, John and Mia say that they “want to just keep doing what [they’re] doing”, we know it’ll bring them far.
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Ecstasy in Slo Mo The rise and fall of chillwave Text: Indran P Illustration: Marine Rivoal
Of the four seasons, it is summer that inspires celebratory joy. It’s for this exact reason that the “summer music” tag is a discerning and authoritative metric in awarding ubiquity to the song(s) that’ll be (over)played all summer long. Last year, Daft Punk, Pharrell and Nile Rodgers claimed that honour and re-envisioned the tenor of the pop zeitgeist with their retro-leaning global smash. Which is why, this year, we’re keeping it indie by eulogising a sound that not only pre-dates the pop world’s newfound fetischisation of the past but which is also fundamentally and spiritually tied to the sundrenched vibes of summer. Dearly beloved, let us clasp hands in remembrance of chillwave.
The good times we never had
As a genre and subsequent musical dirty word, “chillwave” officially came into being in the summer of 2009 when Carles, the fire-breathing blogger behind the hipsterbashing site, Hipster Runoff, coined the term to describe the music made by a small constellation of musicians whose homespun, DIY stylings shared common stylistic reference points and a similar musical outlook. Surveying the early music of Neon Indian, Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, bands that started out as indie curio only to emerge as the holy trinity of the newly baptised sound, Carles homed in on their shared musical DNA of nostalgic, grainy and fuzz-blanketed reproduction of ‘80s pop. Feel-good to the letter, these bands also evoked a vision of a bucolic summer through their vividly sepiatoned sounds that harkened to an idea of a perfect past that they experienced as children or not at all. Like its music, chillwave was picture-perfect but only in the mind’s eye.
Dancing on the shoulders of giants
Elevating the mode of pastiche to a legitimate musical form, chillwave’s vanguard wore their losttalgic hearts on their sleeves in the unabashed referencing of their influences. Affirming that it was a music born entirely on the weight of its forebears, music scribe, Simon Reynolds rightly identifies the phenomenon as a time when “performers assembled an identity through taste, through conscious selection of influences”. And testifying to its largely homogenous form, the genre’s poster-child Ernest Greene aka Washed Out, gave a concise lengthand-breadth appraisal of it: “For sure, we share the same influences – old shoegaze, synthpop, Beach Boys”. The
latter mention is crucial since the band’s 1970 song “All I Wanna Do”, with Brian Wilson’s wistfully romantic lyricism and syrupy, droning textures, is widely regarded as a proto-shoegaze song that lit the way for chillwave precedents like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. So, whether you’re blissing out to Neon Indian’s debut, Psychic Chasms, or throwing shapes to Washed Out’s Within and Without, or just trying to find yourself in the fragmented lo-fi of Toro Y Moi’s Causers of This, know that all roads lead to the Beach Boys.
Time Capsule Blues
Five years on, Ernest Greene and Chaz Bundick, the man behind the Toro Y Moi moniker, have shrugged
the chill off themselves with Greene expanding his vocabulary on the widescreen pop of last year’s fantastic Paracosm and Bundick serving up Dilla-inspired r&b on his ambitious third album, Anything in Return. Tellingly Neon Indian honcho, Alan Palomo, hasn’t released anything else besides a remix album of his chillwavereprising sophomore, 2011’s Era Extraña. Enjoying a quaint and memorable run, the movement ended when its architects decided to gaze at a musical horizon that was beyond their bedrooms. But for its commitment to a romantic sense of sun-kissed happiness, the music of chillwave will serve as a time capsule of the moment when indie rock vacayed in a cosy, euphoric clime.
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Summertime Hues Hot and sizzling beauty wares fit for your beach bag Text: Melissa Yong
Make Up For Ever Aqua Collection
Sephora Diva Carioca Collection Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence with BB Great skin and UV protection now come with a single drop of Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, which offers the twin effect of a BB cream and a sunscreen. Being Japan’s number one sunscreen brand means that Bioré is already well primed with its lightweight waterbased Aqua Rich formula that protects as it blends seamlessly. Added to that is BB coverage that supplies a natural-looking finish, as well as a 3D Brightening Effect that enhances facial contours and conceals lines. Too fresh and fuss-free.
Off to sunny Brazil with ya! Sephora’s latest beauty collection attempts to capture the rhythm and beauty of Rio in its line-up of electric hues and neon splendor. All is flash and flamboyance here: from the Neon Sephora Rouge lipsticks that are saturated with sexy shades like Flamingo and Samba, to the Rock’in Brazil Liquid Eyeliners that are bold and joyous in their pops of duo colours, to the Sol de Rio Bronzing powder that’ll power your next beachy glow. It’s the ultimate exotic cocktail that in a few sensual tints, lets you know summer is truly here.
Ciaté London Beach House Collection Here’s how to get that bright summery glow right down to your last fingertip: with Ciaté London’s newest array of sun-kissed polishes. The Beach House Collection presents you with the slickest seaside manicure in five brilliant shades, including Pepperminty, Hopscotch and Knickerbockglory, which run the gamut from the utterly fresh to the intensely rich to the glittery glamorous. Your bikini surely won’t be the only colour on you this summer.
No mere lounging by the pool for Make Up For Ever this summer, as the label dives headlong into the deep end with its Aqua Collection. Besides boasting all the requisite aquamarine shades, the range is also special for its fresh effects and waterproof qualities. Its Aqua Liners and Aqua Creams arrive in a surplus of tangy colours and effects that’ll glide and blend easily on your eyelids, while your lips will be well covered with the long-wearing Aqua Lips and its waterproof bounty of sherbet tints. Also make way for the season’s hero, the Aqua Smoky Extravagant mascara, which offers a super waterproof formula, and voluptuous curling and thickening of your lashes. And rounding off its life aquatic, the Mist & Fix setting spray will improve the holding power of your make-up, while providing essential health and moisture for your skin.
A Doll’s House We say yé-yé to France Gall’s fresh, sun-kissed beauty Text & Styling: Melissa Yong
Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub
Chanel Joues Contraste blush in Sakura
Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm
Butter London Sweet Somethings nail polish in Doily
RMK Ingenious Eyeshadow in Shiny Bronze
Laneige Water Drop Lip Tint in Apricot
The Body Shop Aqua Boost Sorbet
Kate Tokyo Eyebrow Color in BR-2
Urban Decay Ink for Eyes Waterproof Precision Eye Pen
Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Extravagant mascara
Balmain Extatic eau de toilette
More Than Skin Deep
The FAB Fam: Lilli talks us through the label’s prized newcomers Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads These are great for maintenance and for keeping blemishes at bay. It’s got tea tree oil, which inhibits the bacteria that leads to acne, and it’s got antioxidants and Evermat to shrink pores into controlled oil and sebum production.
Lilli Gordon on the rescue mission that is First Aid Beauty Text: Min Chen
Lilli Gordon’s dedication to skincare is such that in the brief five years since she kicked off First Aid Beauty (FAB), the label’s already amassed an array of core products that do exactly as they say on the tin. Targeting sensitive and other tough skin conditions, FAB has formulated skincare solutions that besides being therapeutic and remedial, also offer a luxurious experience. Basically, these are products that work as good as they feel, servicing your skin from the inside to the out. And in a world of bland and ineffective formulations, FAB’s simple beauty cause has almost been revolutionary: its products – in particular, its hero, the Ultra Repair Cream – have flown off the shelves and reviews continue to testify to their miracle work. Here, Lilli illuminates the commitment that has brought FAB in to our lives and hers too.
Who would you say FAB is for? Everyone! It’s for everybody, especially for women who are intelligent and aware. Part of our philosophy is that less can be more when it comes to treating your skin. I think that the ultimate for any person is to know their skin well enough to know what their skin needs on any given day. Could you recount some of the highlights in FAB’s career? I shouldn’t say this! But it was the month where they told us that our Ultra Repair Cream was outselling a Clinique product dramatically. I was like, YES! Or when they told us that our Face Cleanser was the number two seller. It was great to think that we have core products that are in the top 10 and have been able to really penetrate the market, even though we don’t have a big company or deep pockets behind us. Give us a little background about the Ultra Repair Cream too. It’s one of your champions. Yes, it’s been unbelievable! It’s your ultimate moisturiser. Back in the States, people have dry and itchy skin, and they’re using Aquaphor or Eucerin or prescription products. All of it is gross and none of it feels like beauty. I think that dry skin is probably is one of the most universal skin challenges, so I wanted to solve that with
products that were not only effective, but felt good too. I worked with a board-certified dermatologist to develop the active ingredients that we wanted the formula to have, and to get this really beautiful texture that felt rich but not too heavy and that felt nourishing but was absorbed immediately. What are some FAB products that are a part of your own beauty routine? My biggest challenge is that I love so many of our products, so I’ll alternate most days. I use our Face Cleanser every evening to remove my makeup and then I use our Dual Repair Serum, Dual Repair Eye Cream and Dual Repair Moisturizer, because those products don’t just deliver anti-aging ingredients but they’re also meant to make your skin barrier more robust. In the morning, I wash my face with our Facial Radiance Exfoliating Wash and I follow it with our Facial Radiance Pads, which give your face and your skin life. It’s been five great years of FAB. How’s it feel looking back on its many achievements? I’m thrilled! We started advertising in the Fall in the states, and a lot of the social media and YouTube bloggers have really helped us. Our business has gone from nice and steady to an explosive growth, and it’s a really exciting time.
Eye Duty Triple Remedy This is one product I’m particularly excited about: it’s a complete eye treatment that not only instantly brightens and awakens the eye area, but also nourishes it over a long time and delivers serious antiaging benefits. Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery This is a water-based product, but it has Propolis extract and red algae to soothe and calm the skin. I love it, and reviews on sephora.com are raving that they can’t believe a product based on water can make such a difference on the skin!
Ultra Repair Wash This is your basic body wash. It doesn’t have fragrance or harsh chemicals, and it’s very, very creamy and nice to use. Ultra Repair Lotion The Ultra Repair Lotion has the same ingredients that our wash does. It still has that airy feeling that disappears into your skin and we’ve formulated it for warmer climates.
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Scuba Dupa Superdry Watches Spring/Summer 2014 Text: Amanda Ang
Marrying Japan’s iconic street style with vintage Americana and traditional British tailoring has worked well enough for Superdry that a decade after its humble founding as a T-shirt company in Cheltenham, it’s now quite the force in the casual wear department. Not content with its international hold on the market, the brand also took time into its own hands last season with the debut of Superdry Watches. Aiming to take care of your wrist with the same pop and preppy punch that informs Superdry’s apparel lines, these timepieces champion the label’s transcontinental design cues, while ensuring that functionality and quality stay right on point. This summer, the brand has released a new fleet of timepieces and namely, some bright and bold variations of its now-iconic silhouette, the Scuba. The Scuba first saw life with a design inspired by divers’ watches, and came complete with a cleanly scrubbed dial, stainless steel casing and silicone strap. It’s enough of a classic design that this season, has been translated into a host of modern pieces that are subtle yet strong, and fit for a myriad of lifestyles.
Minimalism finds it way onto the Scuba Mirror, with its sleek mirrored dial and strong silver markings that take simplicity to a whole other dimension, while on the other spectrum, a dash of electrifying hues colour the face of the gents-only Scuba Pop. The collection’s crowning jewel, though, remains the Scuba Luxe. Arriving in a gloss white with pink/purple/cyan detailing for the ladies, and in a brushed gunmetal grey for the men, the Luxe features top-notch stainless steel hardware, strong dial details and robust style that make it well and truly a Superdry creation.
adidas Originals Spring/Summer 2014 Text: Amanda Ang
adidas Originals has never been the type to shy away from a bold stroke or a vivid hue (just ask Jeremy Scott), so as Spring/Summer rolls around, you bet it’s heading out to paint the town all sorts of shades. Building on more than six decades of athletic know-how, contemporary design and authenticity, the label’s latest haul of timepieces is a multicoloured serving that makes a good note of Originals’ street spirit, as much as adidas’ lineage of cutting edge sporting excellence.
In line with the growing World Cup fever, patriotism is in full view on adidas Originals’ Spring/Summer collection, aptly titled Show Your Colors. The iconic Santiago timepiece, effortlessly bold with its silicone strap and an oversized Trefoil logo on the dial, arrives in six variations this season, each revitalised with the colours of the world’s most recognised flags. Amongst the highlights: Brazil is represented with an all-over paint job boasting a yellow strap, and a poppy blue and green dial; Italy is personified
in subtle accents of green and red; while Japan is portrayed in minimalist red and white. Whichever you pick to tell time, your wrist won’t want for a global cull of colours of the liveliest order. Though coming straight off the football field, these timepieces also possess adidas Originals’ fresh and contemporary approach to make them a veritable hit on the street.
The coast is golden and so shall your beach bag be Text & styling: Min Chen
Topshop High Summer 2014
Marc by Marc Jacobs Isle de Sea XBody bag
Kate Spade Saturday iPhone 5 case A.P.C. Tooshie swimsuit
Neil Young On The Beach
Mr Hare Pool slider in black/yellow Ashish x Topshop Dirty Beach towel
Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2014
Ray-Ban Metal aviator mirrored sunglasses
COS White shirt dress
Raf Simons Cotton checked shirt
Orlebar Brown Bulldog printed swim shorts A.P.C Sandals
ASOS Striped shorts
Saturdays Surf NYC Mineral printed swim shorts
Kate Spade Saturday Cut-out one-piece swimsuit
Banana Republic x Marimekko Printed caftan
Tsumori Chisato Grey nylon mesh top
Hot Tropic Only exotic flora and fauna, pineapples and palm trees under this canopy Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2014
Agyness Deyn x Dr. Martens LTT boot in deep mahogany
ASOS Teddy Jacket
Peter Pilotto Resort 2014
Topshop Palm print playsuit Celio Khaki top
New Look Straw trilby hat
Maison Scotch Printed short-sleeved shirt Miharayasuhiro Cotton-blend feather print shorts
Pull & Bear Printed denim shirt
Roxy Music Stranded
Saint Laurent Printed silk shirt
New Look Yellow pineapple shorts
Izzue Floral printed T-shirt
Tatty Devine Floral necklace
Kate Moss x Topshop Satin pyjama coat
Pull & Bear Printed shorts
If youâ€™re boldly going, make sure youâ€™ve got some good colour on ya
Max Mara Resort 2014
Saint Laurent Classic baby duffle bag in neon pink leather Massimo Dutti Polka-dot scarf COS Yellow top
Izzue Mustard jeans
Lanvin Spring/Summer 2014
ASOS Green top
Cedric Charlier Neon orange polyester-blend shift dress
Tout a coup Pink skirt
Kate Moss x Topshop One shoulder chiffon dress
Sport b. Homme All-over embroidery shorts
Mika Life in Cartoon Motion
Kate Spade Saturday Overlap mini-skirt
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Platform Plus sneaker in nightshade
Sport b. Femme Ankle lace-up wedge sandal
Alexander McQueen Printed cropped sweater
Orlebar Brown Bobby lightweight cotton T-shirt
COS Army green trousers
Cherry Bomb! Photography: Spark Kim Stylist: Alison Isbell Stylist Assistants: Subrina Mohr, Carly Caparros and Melissa Ward Schorsch Hair: Jason Murillo @ Kate Ryan Inc Makeup: Mark Edio @ See Management Model: Chelsea Wichmann @ Women Direct
Full look by Adam Selman, and boots by Dr. Martens
Jacket by Marc Jacobs
Coat by Burberry, and fur vest by Adrienne Landau
Full look by CĂŠline
Dress and coat by Marni, and fur stole by Adrienne Landau
Jacket by 3.1 Phillip Lim
Full look by Marni, and fur stole by Adrienne Landau
Full look by Marc Jacobs
Coat by Burberry, fur vest by Adrienne Landau, knickers by La Perla and boots by Dr. Martens
Jacket and bodysuit by Adam Selman
Jacket and jumper by CĂŠline
Full look by 3.1 Phillip Lim
Too Good and Too True
The Dum Dum Girls tell all on their new sound Text: Indran P
“What a vivid sound / what a vivid sound”, coos Dee Dee Penny on the twoand-a-half-minute stomper, “Little Minx”. And she’s so right. Exploding as it does from a swirl of lavender-hued fuzz, the song, like the entirety of Dum Dum Girls’ excellent third full-length, Too True, shines a dashing ray
of light on the all-new force of sound that the band has become. Beginning as a solo bedroom project by Penny, the band has gradually gone on to titillate and expand indie rock’s musical vernacular, with releases like the 2011 album Only In Dreams and 2012’s End of Daze EP, showing with spellbinding grace just how sublime pop, punk and rock
‘n’ roll could be with the right woman at the helm. And on Too True, released in January this year, the band delivers the fullest expression of its existence yet with an alluring grandiosity that takes the spectrum of human emotion skyward. All kinds on enchanted, we sought out Dee Dee herself to bring us up to speed on her vividly entrancing ways.
65 Hey Dee Dee! What’ve you been up to lately? Hey! We just finished a very long and demanding tour in Europe. I’m in Zagreb, Croatia right now. Imagine a musician from Berkeley, California, finding herself in Zagreb! The tour was great, though. With Too True, we allowed some ease time so the audience was familiar with the new songs. Yes, you’ve started the year on a magnificent note with Too True. Could you fill us in on how the record came about? Well, thank you! As the cliché goes, I had my whole life to write my first album. We’ve always been a heavy touring band and I’m constantly writing. That’s also why I do EPs; four or five songs complete me. But after End Of Daze, I had 10 to 15 songs written in my usual way and I just felt the need for reevaluation. So I followed my gut and set them aside. I felt that I had to make them more intentional. For the first time, I sat down with the intention of writing an album. So, I locked myself at home, drank a gallon a coffee and worked 14 hours a day. It wasn’t so much an out-of-body experience and neither was there any concept to it. I was just in the moment. So Too True is a break from how you normally work? Yes. Another difference with this album is that I wrote it straightaway on electric
guitar. Normally, I start the songs out gentle on acoustic guitar and flesh them out with electric guitar as I go along. This time, I just started with that. I was already thinking of bass tones and drum patterns very early on with my producers. It was a first for me – I sat down and wrote it all at once. It was fully realised from the get-go. It had an identity from the very start. And it definitely shows. The record is your grandest, lushest work to date. The sound is here is a lot thicker and fuller than your lo-ficentric earlier work. Why is this record so different? The main thing I felt about this record is that it needed to have urgency. And I felt that it had to be conveyed throughout the record, in the production and in the music. I just had to make something that was big, dark and, I keep coming back to this word, “intentional”. That’s why, as you pointed out, “Lost Boys & Girls Club” has the most melodramatic guitar line I have ever written. But that doesn’t mean I sat down to write an absolute ripper. I just wanted to do different things and try stuff I hadn’t done before. I decided from the start that I wanted the songs to be treated this way and have this consistency about them. They feel like a family now. Do you see Too True as a point of evolutionary convergence in the Dum Dum Girls universe? Yes. But that’s how I see every record. It’s just that Too True has higher production value and style. It all makes sense to me. Every step of my learning process has been captured on record. Like, my first record was the first time I played the guitar. It’s been a natural evolution. I just don’t ever want to do the same thing twice. That’s the point of my goal.
Lyrically, the mood here is darker than on your earlier work. Was the process of putting Too True together an emotionally trying one for you? Yes, this record does show a darker side but that’s because of my leaning. But I don’t exactly want to call it lighter or more freeing. Only In Dreams was written about very specific emotional incidents. On Too True, I finally felt like I’ve moved forward. I’m at a better place in terms of my understanding of myself. “Rimbaud Eyes” is amongst your best work. Could you take us through how the song became what it is? Thank you! I wish I could send you the demo but I don’t know where I put it! It must’ve been the second song I wrote. I started with a bassline and I sampled a basic drum pattern, probably from the Patti Smith Group. I had no idea what it was going to be. This was the first song where I used faster downstrokes rather than my normal shuffle on guitar. There’s also a backstory to the song. Rimbaud is my favourite writer and for years, my husband had this shirt with his picture printed on it. It was a badly printed image but his eyes were just so piercing. It felt like there was there was another person I was living with. Along with Arthur Rimbaud, you’ve said that works by Symbolist poets like Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine were a big part of what inspired the record. How did these influences impact the process of making the record? It wasn’t so much of me reading this or that. I was already on a mental trip and all the stars were aligned. I’ve always been a big reader,
and I’m always surrounded by books and music that I love. And no offence, I just feel that you’d write a better a song if you were reading anything by Leonard Cohen than if you were reading the Ramones songbook! Obviously, there’s room for both; I still celebrate the simple persuasion of a pop song and I’m a big Ramones fan. But there’s a difference. On “Evil Blooms”, you sing, “Why be good? / Be beautiful and sad / It’s all you’ve ever had”. What does this line mean to you? It’s completely related to the gist of the album, to its more forlorn side. I wanted to say, “Stop fighting with who you are. Understand your position and life will be so much easier.” Your pseudonym is as much a part of the band’s identity as the music. Why did you feel the need for a separate persona? Historically, half of all my musical idols chose a new version of themselves. Also, when I first started, there was a degree on anonymity that I wanted to maintain. It’s two sides of me. There’s also a sentimental aspect: Dee Dee is my mother’s name. As a long-reigning fixture in the indie world, what do you make of indie rock’s big dip into r&b recently? Oh, I love it! I have a fullspectrum appreciation of music. I think it’s the flavour of the times. And I would love for Dev Hynes to produce one of my albums! I want to re-establish myself and the idea that Dum Dum Girls can be whatever I’m into. Who knows, my next album could sound something like ‘80s Sinead O’ Connor! Too True is out now on Sub Pop Records
Summer Sonic How the Summer of Love changed rock ‘n’ roll forever Text: Indran P
At this time almost 50 years ago in San Francisco and to a smaller extent, London, a coalescing of historical events occurred to add an entirely new chapter to the canon of pop cultural mythology. It was the summer of 1967, immortalised as the 12-month long Summer of Love, where opposition to the Vietnam War, the
abject marginalisation of African-Americans and the larger injustices perpetrated by the spectre known as The Man – such as the culture of soulless commercialism and puritanical restrictions on sexual conduct – manifested itself in the vividly colourful “flower power” movement which elevated the hippie to the level
of a countercultural icon. That psychedelic drugs – especially LSD, then in vogue – peace and love were the watchwords of the time is by now a cultural commonplace, endlessly reproduced online and off. What’s revelatory about that year though, was how, as writer Peter Doggett states, rock ‘n’ roll emerged in an entirely new
incarnation to “overturn the old order and replace it with a new climate of liberation that would free body, mind and soul”. The aims of its makers were lofty (and drugaddled), but in its heat-seeking ingenuity, it was beautiful and transcendental. Take our hands as we dive back into the revolutionary sounds of the Summer of Love.
A new rock ‘n’ roll to trip on
The advent of drug culture into the very visible mainstream had a concomitant effect on the music that was being made and released in 1967. A whole new variant of free-wheeling, convention-defying rock ‘n’ roll was born that summer. Forged in the LSD-fuelled minds of the period’s most questing musicians, this musical revolution defined the fearless and uninhibited character of the times, and was as significant as the larger social and political developments that defined it as a moment when everything changed. Writer Tom Wolfe christened this new music “acid rock”. Expanding the already amorphous form of psychedelic rock with its disregard for linear song structure and lyrical topicality, acid rock also ushered extended improv jams and instrumental solos into the understanding of what constituted a “song”. A host of San Francisco bands took to this new sound, but none more prominently than Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. Playing what they called “fo-jazz”, a combination of folk and jazz, Jefferson Airplane released one of counterculture’s defining works with its sophomore, Surrealistic Pillow. Reframing its earthy instrumentation into otherworldly melodies, the band also extolled the perception-altering effects of drugs in their lyrics, most notably on “White Rabbit”, where singer Grace Slick intones, “One pill makes you larger / One pill makes you
small / And the ones that Mother gives you / Don’t do anything at all”. The Grateful Dead, however, chose more straightforward means to articulate the tenor of the new sounds. “Acid rock is what you listen to when you eat acid”, stated bassist and founding member Phil Lesh. And to this end, the band would go on to merge blues, country, reggae, jazz, psych and prog rock in headily enchanting ways for the next 30 years.
The new sonic tidings were in no way confined to just the States. Across the pond, London too was sounding in on the new, expanded language of rock ‘n’ roll. For all intents and purposes, London was the site at which two universally feted albums were released that year which became unsurpassable musical and artistic touchstones which ineffably altered the form of rock ‘n’ roll forever. “Rad” might’ve been an American coinage, but these two England-born works were something else entirely. The first was from The Beatles. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the band’s eighth full-length and it marked a sharp left-turn from anything the band had done before. A riot of contemporary and anachronistic Western styles and classical Indian music, Sgt. Pepper was the first-ever concept album to be released. On hearing it the first time when he brought it
to his London hotel room, Bob Dylan said to Paul McCartney, “Oh, I get it. You don’t want to be cute anymore.” Upon its release, critic Kenneth Tynan called it “a decisive moment in the history of Western civilisation”. Listening to it today, almost half a century later, we can still concur. The other album was issued by a musician who would come to occupy the most hallowed levels in the pantheon of rock ‘n’ roll and popular culture. Are You Experienced, with its psych-blues that took guitar amplifier feedback to byzantine levels, by the Jimi Hendrix Experience is universally regarded as the amongst the greatest rock albums ever made. Journo Shawn Levy provides a succinct estimation of Hendrix’s significance to the times: “He looked like nobody else, he sure as hell played like nobody else, and he frankly made the most important guitarists in London – Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend among them – piss their pants.” Messianic and, yes, revolutionary to the letter, Hendrix was England’s response to the sounds of the future emanating from San Francisco.
Music, love and flowers
In every revolution, there is one moment that marks the crystallisation of all its disparate energies and defines it in a collective form. For the Summer of Love, that moment was the Monterey International Pop Festival which unfolded over three days, from 16 to 18 June at the
Monterey County Fairgrounds in California. “Be happy, be free, wear flowers, bring bells – have a festival”, was the message on the program book of the shindig. And for the estimated 200,000 people who gathered there, Monterey came as close to the vision of utopia that the flower power movement held as its end. Hippies and squares stood arm in arm, while black and white acts shared the stage to, as documented in underground newspaper, the San Francisco Oracle, “talk to each other in their own form of musical sounds”. Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Steve Miller and even sitar maestro Ravi Shankar debuted themselves to an exponentially larger audience and together with the rest of the artists on the bill, stood as definitive testaments to the musical, social and cultural openness that the summer came to be remembered by. As Lou Adler, principal architect of the festival, would later recall, Monterey was the moment that saw “the spirit of Music, Love and Flowers take over”.
After the party
And just as quickly as it blossomed into one of the most iconic moments in the history of counterculture, the revolutionary zeal of Summer of Love dissipated with puzzling abruptness. As the coming of autumn marked
the resumption of the school term, many hippies dusted the flowers and marijuana leaves off themselves, left California and went back to college. It might have been a time of ecstatic hedonism, but socially and politically, the status quo prevailed largely undisturbed. The Black Panthers still strove for civil rights and the Vietnam War would go on for another eight unfortunate years. While in England, as journalist Ray Connolly remembers, reacting to the sputtering of impassioned fervour stateside, “British youth – not many – imported something else to rebel against.” After all, as Nik Cohn wryly opines, “Hippie was largely a summer sport. Bare feet and silks and universal brotherhood –these things were not created for an English January.” But the sum of events that made the summer of 1967 the Summer of Love would go on to have far-reaching influences on the subsequent flash points in modern history across varying social and political contexts. As Joe McDonald, frontman of Country Joe and the Fish, affirms, “The Summer of Love became the template: the Arab Spring is related to the Summer of Love; Occupy Wall Street is related to the Summer of Love.” It was a time when people dared to dream in the most uninhibitedly dazzling ways. And then, there’s the music. In the songs of the Summer of Love, the fire of revolution will blaze on eternally and unforgettably.
The Bold Get Bolder Liars continue their daring streak
Text: Indran P
They’ve done it again. Announcing its presence to world with the bristling exploratory post-punk sounds of its debut album, the bafflingly experimental outfit that is Liars has taken us on a thrilling trip through noise rock, indie and electronica, before reimagining EDM on its recently released seventh full-length, Mess. Yes, you read right. Taking the idiom of the current dance craze, and reconfiguring it with their manic and genre-defying sweeps, Liars have served up a bounty of floor-
shaking sounds that come imbued with a psychedelic pound. At a time when the lines of divisions between guitar-centric music and low-ended digital sounds are all the clearer, the band has shown that an electronic pummel has as much rabble-rousing rock ‘n’ roll power as the more time-honoured analogue forms. Intrigued and still surprised, we caught up with frontman, Angus Andrew, to find out more about the workings of the Liars universe and about the Mess he made.
Talk Congrats are in order for the glorious Mess. How did the record come together? Thanks! We had been touring for a long time on our previous album, WIXIW, and so we took some time off. I went to the Philippines, which is where I was born, for a while. It was refreshing. I came back to LA and without being consciously aware of it, started writing new songs. It was unintentional. Our schedule didn’t dictate work on a new album beginning so soon but I was excited to make music that felt less pressured. I wanted to just have fun making songs for the sake of making songs. In the end, this is how we started making Mess. You’ve said before Mess is more or less the opposite of WIXIW. What were you hoping to do differently with this record? We wanted to be more impulsive and immediate with our decision-making. WIXIW was a very long and drawn-out process wherein we really laboured over every idea and nuance. I wanted Mess to be more fun than that; to get back to a process of making music that was more
69 instinctual and less cerebral. Many critics are calling Mess a subversion of contemporary dance music. Do you agree; how do you see the record? You know, there’s this point after you make a record where you lose control of it. The work is taken out of your grasp and interpreted by the world. It’s an interesting time that requires the acknowledgement that the way the music is perceived is no longer in your hands. I think that when making Mess, we had no real subversive statement about contemporary dance music. I’m not even certain we’d consider what we made as dance music. What I do know is that we utilised a lot of the same tools as EDM and applied them in a way that appealed to us. Essentially, we co-opted a foreign language for our own particular story. Another startling feature of the album is just how starkly the mammoth sounds contrast with the palpable anxiety and indignation of the lyrics. Would you say that this is your most socially and/or politically charged work yet? Hmm, that’s tough to reconcile. I feel like we’ve
made some pretty definitive political and social statements in the past, [our second album] They Were Wrong So We Drowned being the most obvious to me. Still, yes, Liars’ music often makes use of the common modern-day issues of paranoia, anxiety and fear and Mess is no different. The change with this record, however, is the perspective on those issues. Where before they seemed crippling and hard to overcome, with Mess we were able to co-opt certain social floors for a more productive and positive statement. It was catharsis.
I wouldn’t say so specifically. I think it’s more palpable to acknowledge that our approach to making music has always relied on a certain naiveté or childlike approach to the instruments. We’ve never aspired or claimed to be super technically proficient musicians. Instead, our goal has been to approach music with an excited air of experimentation. I see this as reason for what you hear to be elements of tribal, repetitive and chant-like qualities. We approach music simply, awarding instinct over technical proficiency.
The terrific single, “Mess on a Mission”, is one of your most accessible songs to date. It’s got a killer hook too. Would you agree that it’s a fantastically off-kilter pop song? This makes me chuckle! I just find it really difficult to judge or define the work that we create. Our goal when making music is to express ourselves in a way that no other artistic medium can achieve. I love that you’ve responded to “Mess on a Mission” this way. It excites me just because there is no way on earth I could have sat it the studio and said, “Okay, let’s make a fantastically off-kilter pop song”. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s so interesting how ideas in art and music are interpreted.
The vocal element in your music has also been particularly fascinating. What motivates you, vocally? How do you see your vocals in relation to the instrumentals; and which singers do you look up to? I’ve always been mostly inspired by female singers like PJ Harvey, Björk and Karin Andersson of The Knife. This is not to say I aspire to sound like these people; I just look up to them. Mostly, for me, the music comes first. I certainly spend a lot more time working with sound than I do on vocal delivery. In this way, I see my voice as secondary music; something like an equal element to a drum beat or a synth melody. This is not to say I feel the same way about the words, though. Those I believe to have significant importance.
What influenced the recent shift towards electronics from your jagged, guitar-heavy earlier work like Liars and Sisterworld? Primarily an excitement to experiment with new sounds and new tools. Working with electronic instruments is like stepping onto a whole new continent of musical possibilities. It seemed like a bold new frontier for us to explore that was extremely challenging and immensely rewarding. Looking back on your entire body of work, there’s an interestingly medieval strain running through your music, from the intoning vocals to even the percussive and almost tribal-like repetition of your more recent work. Was this a consciously devised part of your aesthetic?
We love your remix of Moby’s “Almost Home”. Do you see yourselves making more inroads into pop? What are your thoughts on contemporary pop, anyway? Thank you. Once again, I get a bit stumped when discussion turns to classification and genre. I don’t really consider music this way; whether I’m making it or listening to it, I don’t consciously define it. For example, I like to listen to Lady Gaga. Now, whether this is because she is a pop star or because she’s a talented musician and artist, I don’t know and don’t give a lot of thought to. I’m interested in everything and anything that expresses ideas in a new and interesting way. If this comes under the umbrella of pop or ambient noise, I don’t mind.
What do you make of the “dance-punk” tag that has accompanied your music throughout your many stylistic incarnations? It’s sometimes hard as an artist to make peace with the labels and pigeonholes the world uses to categorise your sound. Early on in Liars, I found it almost overwhelmingly frustrating. Over time, though, I’ve come to understand these ideas as simply descriptors and tools that people use to communicate. It’s okay. Dance-punk is almost laughably ridiculous but I can comprehend it. Our approach to music can be linked to some long forgotten ideal of punk and our sound has almost always enjoyed some danceable qualities, so it’s fine. The band has more than 10 years of boundary-burning, unclassifiable music to its name. At this stage of your career, how do you see Liars? This is the kind of question that excites me because I start to think about what’s next for us. Maybe we’ll move to Singapore and start working entirely with hadrah drums and this will become what defines Liars’ music. It’s literally possible. It’s hard for me to imagine us being known as something as simple as a “rock-leaning outfit” or “electronic act”. I expect us to continue exploring new and different ways of making music until any possible definition of what is Liars is completely useless. Is there any musical style/ direction that you would consider off-limits to the Liars name? We have a fun game on tour where we ask ourselves and others what music would be playing in our vision of hell. It’s interesting because it really makes clear what style of music is off-limits to us. My answer often changes but generally, I would say that the particularly Southern California brand of ska music is a style I will never want to explore. Mess is out now on Mute Records.
This summer’s crop of festivals to take you back to the garden Text: Min Chen
The festival quintessence
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, EXIT Festival 2013
EXIT Festival 10 to 13 July @ Novi Sad, Serbia
Phoenix, Lollapalooza 2013
1 to 3 August @ Grant Park, Chicago It may no longer be as exclusively alt as in its ‘90s heyday as a Jane’s Addiction-specific concern, but Lollapalooza’s friendly music policy still promises the soundest and roundest live weekender. On its lineup are the most familiar of rock, punk, hip hop and indie sounds, while its merry ol’ experience (now with branches in South America) has made Lolla nothing short of a staple festival. Must-sees Outkast, Arctic Monkeys, DARKSIDE, Lykke Li, Calvin Harris, Lorde Tickets Platinum passes are available at lollapalooza.com
The best summer fun that Serbia has to offer is right here at EXIT. Over its 14-year reign, the festival has drawn record millions to Novi Sad’s Petrovaradin Fortress, hosted the finest acts from all genres of life and for all that, walked off with the Best Major European Festival honour at last year’s European Festival Awards. Don’t sleep on this one. Must-sees Damon Albarn, Jamiroquai, Disclosure, Tiga, Carl Craig Tickets Festival packages are available at exittrip.org
Roskilde Festival 3 to 6 July @ Roskilde, Denmark
One of Europe’s most epic of festivals, Roskilde’s got more than 40 years’ worth of good times on its back and it ain’t stopping anytime soon. Dedicated to the creative community, the festival is 100% non-profit (all its proceeds go toward charitable causes) and in its week-long celebration of music and art, is 200% all-party. Just check this year’s line-up for a motherload of excellent indie and dance acts, one wildly anticipated reunion and one greatest band in the world. Must-sees The Rolling Stones, Major Lazer, Outkast, Haim, Earl Sweatshirt, Trentemoller Tickets Available at roskilde-festival.dk
The loud and proud
Fuji Rock Festival 25 to 27 July @ Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata
Japan’s penultimate festival experience, Fuji Rock’s standards have remained in place and on point ever since it emerged at the base of Mt. Fuji in 1997. Besides priding itself on its naturally lush and clean environs, the festival can be counted on for programs that cull the crème of the rock and electronic crop that are then spread across seven massive stages. Always dependable, Fuji Rock’s all-lovin’ music policy continues to ensure that 2014’s line-up looks as good as it sounds. Must-sees Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, Manic Street Preachers, Damon Albarn Tickets Available at ganban.net
Roskilde Festival,by Jacob Dinesen
22 to 24 August @ Daresbury, England Since launching itself in 2000 on a racecourse in Ireland, there’s not a year that Creamfields hasn’t been a Mad Decent colossal hit. Besides growing Block Party in numbers (capacity now 26 July to 21 September stands at 60,000 revellers @ throughout America per day) and in locations (as This was once an annual party far as Australia, Brazil, Mexico thrown for the Philadelphian and beyond), the fest can be community, though something counted on for a reliable dose this mad and massive obviously of emerging and established can’t be contained in one place. dance that deals in everything These days, the Mad Decent from 4/4s to dubstep. Block Party is a traveling circus Electronic music has never lived of the newest that hip hop, harder, better and stronger electronic and rock has to offer. than over a Creamfields Hitting up a host of American weekend. cities, these Parties continue Must-sees Calvin Harris, Maya to uphold all the loud, proud Jane Coles, Showtek, Seth and utterly fresh sounds that Troxler, Jochen Miller Diplo’s label stands up for. Tickets Available at Must-sees Outkast, creamfields.com Flosstradamus, Diplo, A$AP Ferg Tickets Available at maddecentblockparty.com Diplo
The cutting edge
The view from here St. Vincent
Hopscotch Music Festival
Sleigh Bells, Pitchfork Music Festival, by Rebecca Smeyne
Pitchfork Music Festival
18 to 20 July @ Union Park, Chicago
With its finger already on the pulse of emerging indie, hip hop and dance, Pitchfork’s own festival experience has not fallen short of its musical inclinations. The Pitchfork Music Festival, then, is a sonic feast of all that’s utterly fresh and up-and-coming in indie, hip hop and dance (plus some established kingpins), on top of a welcoming atmosphere and affordable tickets. All is discerning and intelligent on this festival program, and the cutting edge is ever so close. Must-sees Beck, Slowdive, Neutral Milk Hotel, Kendrick Lamar, FKA Twigs, Speedy Ortiz Tickets Available at pitchforkmusicfestival.com
23 to 26 July @ Durham and Carrboro, North Carolina Merge Records turns 25 not just with any ol’ birthday cake, but with a four-day festival lined with great musical entertainment. Marking its grand milestone in championing quality independent music, the label has lined up the finest horses in its stable to take over a handful of venues in North Carolina, so that the sounds you’ll be hearing will be distinctly Merge. Must-sees Superchunk, Teenage Fanclub, Neutral Milk Hotel, Wye Oak, Caribou Tickets Full festival passes are sold out, but some day tickets are still available at mergerecords.com/ merge-25-festival
4 to 6 September @ Raleigh, North Carolina For three days in September, Raleigh belongs to Hopscotch Music Festival, which unveils an adventurous line-up in various venues across town. In between a large outdoor main stage and cosy club shows, the event goes overground to present its all-embracing love for the experimental and the cutting edge – in rock, folk, electronic, hip hop – in the most fan-friendly atmosphere available. Must-sees St. Vincent, De La Soul, Spoon, How To Dress Well, Sun Kil Moon Tickets Available at hopscotchmusicfest.com
Neutral Milk Hotel
1 to 3 August @ Katowice, Poland Staying way clear of anything trendy or easy, Poland’s OFF Festival’s been proudly and exclusively championing the alternative, the challenging and the unconventional since setting up shop in 2006. “Sorry, that’s just how we roll,” says OFF. But no apologies necessary; not when this year’s program can already boast indie’s indie choices from Perfume Genius to the regenerated Neutral Milk Hotel. Roll on, OFF. Must-sees Neutral Milk Hotel, Perfect Pussy, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Deafheaven Tickets Available at off-festival.pl
The Secret Garden Party 2013
The Secret Garden Party
24 to 27 July @ Huntingdon, England If all that mainstream festival fare isn’t exactly your cup of tea, here’s The Secret Garden Party, working as its name suggests. Emerging from the fringes, and committed to an alternative cause, this is a weekend for discerning music to sound, for merriment to be pursued and for nature to be revelled in. And there’ll be enough of the latter, for the festival happens within the gorgeous grounds of a Georgian farmhouse, where a river, a lake and landscaped gardens may gently aid your escape from the might of the masses. Must-sees Hercules & Love Affair, Maya Jane Coles, The Amazing Snakeheads Tickets Available at secretgardenparty.com
Forecastle Festival 2013
18 to 20 July @ Louisville Waterfront Park, Kentucky A meeting of art, music and activism, Forecastle has grown from a little neighbourhood event to a full-blown festival weekend. The big draws remain the fest’s bill of classy rock and electronic highlights, as well as art exhibitions and installations, all of which come beautifully framed by Louisville’s lush Waterfront Park. The sonic feast aside, the backdrop of the city’s urban skyline and the Ohio River promise a stunning visual boon to that “Seven Nation Army” sing-along. Must-sees Jack White, Spoon, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, Band of Horses Tickets Available at forecastlefest.com
Dirty Beaches sheds light on the noise Text: Indran P
Imagine a pop so blackened by layers of distortion that it becomes a ponderous and even intimidating enigma – this is the music of Dirty Beaches. For almost a decade, Taiwanese-born and now Lisbon-based musician Alex Zhang has been hacking a path through the indie world as one of its most fearlessly uninhibited provocateurs. Disregarding the old rules of form and structure, Zhang strips rock down to its bare viscera and presents it as a tapestry of noise with an emotional eloquence that is both poignant and powerful. And taking the scorched-earth pop of his groundbreaking album Badlands even further on his 2013 opus, Drifters / Love Is The Devil, Alex has once again elevated the expressive potential of noise. We met up with him before his first-ever local showing for a chat that was as candid and as unhinged as his reeling tunes.
2013 was a great year for you. What’s kept you busy in 2014? We just did a one-off performance at a theatre in Lisbon. It wasn’t a regular concert. We did some installations with televisions and different images. And we played only instrumental songs. It was really interesting playing a non-band show. It’s interesting that you said that. For much of your career, you’ve been operating alone. What is it about playing solo that you like? Yes, it was only two years ago that I started playing with Shub [guitar and synths]. For me, I want to make Dirty Beaches go beyond the idea of what makes a “band”. There are lots of things I want to do with Dirty Beaches, not just music. You released Drifters / Love Is The Devil to rave reviews last year. What made you decide to record a double album? At first, me, Shub and one of our other friends who used to be in the band, Bernardino, had just come back from our Eastern European tour. We recorded Drifters in Montreal in our practice space. But I had to bail for personal reasons. So I moved to Berlin. It was there that I worked on the other side of the record, which came to be Love is the Devil. I wanted to release it as a sequel to Drifters but the label felt that it’d be better if both were released as a double album. It’s all the same story, just presented in very different perspectives. One is the fantasy of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and the other is reality – the price you pay for living your dreams.
Badlands took the indie world by storm and since then, your music has become even more complex and esoteric. We just have to ask, when did you first start playing and how did your musicality come to be? Well, Shub and I both played in bands growing up. We were the kind of musicians who would just play guitar or bass in the background. Later, when I was in Montreal, I started making music on my own because I couldn’t find anyone to play with. The dynamics of trying to work with other people are very different. There are two types. One is, you have a band with all your friends. The other’s one where there’s one guy who writes all the songs and tells the others what to do. I didn’t want to be in a band like that. When I play with Shub, we take all the experiences that we’ve had and we try to make it work through music. It’s very different; not just like, “Oh, I have a riff. Let’s break it down.” We work with computers now and I’m playing a saxophone. Everything’s changing. We’re just shifting and adapting to wherever we move to. There is no set process. Besides reflecting the places you’ve been, your music also possesses a very interesting sense of time. Tell us more about your fascination with the past. Badlands was inspired by the ‘50s. It was a very specific album. I think that anyone making music is tied to the past. The idea of sounds has been around for centuries. As humans, we take ideas and we perfect them over and over again. Just because something is modern doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any connection to the past. A lot of people are deceived by that. For us, it’s less
about pretending that our music is modern and more about adapting to the kind of equipment that we can afford. We use a lot of cheap stuff and cheap stuff doesn’t really sound that great. We do everything ourselves and each record sees us evolving as we learn new things. That’s a good way to do it. When I first started, no one believed that I could make people like my music. But when I sell out venues in New York or LA, people are like, “Oh, I guess you can.” Since nostalgia is an important artistic concern for you, what do you make of the pop world’s A-listers like Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and Timbaland recreating the sounds of the past so diligently right now? I think it’s always been like that. People have always borrowed from the past. For our generation, it doesn’t matter if it’s indie or mainstream. It seems like every era but ours has had a very specific sound. But the good thing about this is that we’re much more open. We’re the archive generation because we know so much and we have all this access. I think this phenomenon will turn into something new. There’s something brewing and I think a lot of barriers will be broken. Are you bothered by the lo-fi tag that’s been affixed to your music? No, because we’re just working with what we have. What I don’t understand is rich kids having enough money to work in nice studios but still layering distortion over clean recordings. There’s a difference between doing that and really just recording with bad equipment. If there’s anyone who wants to give us $50,000 to record in a nice studio, you can Paypal me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given the extremely personal nature of your music, are you ever worried about not appealing to a wider audience? I feel like a lot of things are circumstantial. Sometimes, I admit that I take my music too personally. I feel like it’s like my background. I was born in Taiwan but I’ve lived in Hawaii, Montreal, Berlin and Lisbon. Things just happen. I don’t deny that my music is personal. I’m open to that. I just don’t like it when people pigeonhole me as one type of artist. You’ve said before that a lot of your music stems from geographical displacement. Having lived in as many places as you have, is being Asian still an intrinsic part of you or do you think it’s something that cannot be defined? It’s always a part of me. What I’m really proud of is that I never picked sides. A Pakistani and a Mexican were two of my best friends growing up. I don’t reject being Asian and neither am I ashamed of it. I’ve just grown beyond it because I’ve been to so many places. And that’s hard for me and Shub because when we go back to where we’re supposedly from, people look at us like we’re foreigners. I really like this question because this is what Dirty Beaches is about. We’ve met so many displaced people whose stories have really touched us. At the end of the day, no one can be defined in just one way.
Up In The Air
Into the heart of Owen Pallettâ€™s staggering sounds Text: Indran P
What do the Arcade Fire, the National and Taylor Swift have in common? Well, they’ve all been treated to the soaring orchestral maneuvers of Owen Pallett. For almost a decade, the one-man string section has been lending his celestial touch to the music of both indie lifers and pop mainstays alike. But Pallett’s breathtaking poise in the midst of the divergent classical music and contemporary pop schools was first heralded in his solo work which dates back to the early aughts, where under the Final Fantasy moniker, and in no small part through the Polaris Music Prize winning album, He Poos Clouds, he elevated the expressive scope of both styles to swelling highs. And with his recent fourth release, In Conflict, already clinching the mantle of universal acclaim, Pallett has more than underscored his rep as a gatekeeper to the sounds of the future. And lest you think that the art-pop auteur is cloistered in some ivory tower, our chat with him will show just how powerfully he has his finger on the pulse.
Where are you now and what’s got you busy lately? I am in Columbus, Ohio. And, well, I’ve been on tour with the Arcade Fire since September last year, playing synths, violins and keyboards. This is what I’ve been up to throughout the year. Congrats on the Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for Her. How do you feel about the nomination? Thanks! I actually came in late to the game. The rest of the band had been working on it for a year. I only got involved in the last six weeks and my contributions were fairly small in comparison with the rest of the band. But I must say that the nomination seemed to make my family very happy! Your music puts contemporary styles in conversation with classical elements. What drew you to experiment with both in the way you do? I’ve always felt that the real challenge and stumbling block in music history is that people feel they have to make either pop music and serious stuff or serious stuff and pop music. With me, there’s no stylistic agenda. Whatever I do always comes naturally and it takes the shape it does because I like both pop and classical music. So, you wouldn’t say that your music is more challenging and more demanding than pop? No, not at all. Do you think what I do is more challenging than what Rihanna does? I don’t break a sweat when I play. She does way more than me!
We never thought about it that way! Now, do you see your work as Final Fantasy separate from your other solo work? Also, why did you retire the Final Fantasy name? No, I don’t see it as separate. It’s all coming from the place. And you’re right about me retiring the name. When I first named the band, it sounded very anti-establishment and humourous. Just like if some garage band called itself Pepsi Cola and someone said they played a bad show, it’d have to mean saying that “Pepsi Cola sucks!” Unfortunately, there was no easy way for me to reconcile my music with the video game.
chose to write the songs about were associated with duality, with being one thing and feeling another way. I went on to examine this dysphoria, but more as a conceptual tool rather than a narrative one. Brian Eno was a significant part of the album’s recording process. How did he come to be involved? Oh, he wanted to do some backing vocals. He has always said that they were a special thing and he thought he had the voice for it! We met at a festival in Norway not too long ago and we’ve had a good rapport since then.
Much of your music, and in particular, He Poos Clouds, is inspired by science fiction and fantasy. What is it about these alternate realms that draws you to them musically? I like fantasy because it is the easiest genre to write a social satire with. You can say anything you want and not offend anyone. Historically, all the greatest political literature has been set in fantasy worlds.
The record’s first listen, “The Riverbed”, has such a powerful sound. Was this a conscious move on your part? The song started out in E flat. I was banging on the piano one day and feeling the insistent shift of the music, so I decided to make a song that felt contained but grew outwards. That’s why the bassline only comes in near the end. I always thought that distorted violin was the worst sound in the world but for this song, I had distorted violins on the left and right amps as well as bass. I feel like this is my first rock song!
Let’s talk about In Conflict. Would you say your approach here has been different from that of your prior work? I actually had no vision at the outset. I was just inspired to write songs that examined things that happened in my life, which was definitely different from my fantastical older songs. But looking at what I had written, it seemed like I was a different person from song to song. There was a unifying theme of dysphoria – a state of being ill at ease. This is not because I’ve had a miserable life. It’s just that the memories I
You’ve written a series of essays defending big pop hits like Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” on theoretical grounds. Why made you take up the cause? It started with an article I read by the talented and esteemed jazz critic, Ted Gioia. He made the point that pop critics didn’t know enough pop crit. To me, there is no link but I found it both absurd and accurate. I love both pop music and music theory and I just wanted to see pop music talked about in theoretical terms.
You’ve worked with indie bigwigs and the cream of the pop world. How different are both spheres? That’s interesting. No one’s ever asked me that before. Usually, I get asked about the divisions within the indie world. “Indie” – I don’t think I know what that word means anymore. 10 years ago, it referred to bands in the vein of Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire. But for me, it meant bands like The Smiths and Polvo. Now, it’s a culture industry that surrounds particular sounds, especially those that soundtrack television commercials for cars. It’s a negative connotation. I see “mainstream” as a term that points to artists like Katy Perry, but there’s only a mechanical difference between what she does and what a band like Perfect Pussy does. Katy has the mechanism of Capitol Records to put her on the charts with full force. Perfect Pussy don’t. That’s not to say that Katy isn’t talented, definitely not. It’s just that some people have to buy their coffee while others have it brought to them. In Conflict is out now on Domino Records.
All Right, Fred
We celebrate Frederick John Perry’s 105th year with a mega mix of 105 Brit-born tunes that evoke his eponymous brand’s heritage, style and subculture ties Text: Min Chen
A Mod’s World: You gotta be somebody Stop Everything: The British are here
The Kinks: “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” In The Kinks’ satirical hands, fashion really only is fashion David Bowie: “Queen Bitch” Oh, to be young and fabulous The Rolling Stones: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” The Stones’ fine slice of youthful disillusionment and discontent The Yardbirds: “Heart Full of Soul” A sitar-driven highlight of the ‘60s London blues scene The Beatles: “Glass Onion” The Fab Four, in a prized moment of self-lampoonery The Creation: “Painter Man” A classic UK garage band with classic art school grievances
Brit Goes Pop: We celebrate ourselves
The Style Council: “Wanted” Paul Weller’s post-Jam business polishes up its soul for today The Beat: “All Out To Get You” A minimal and effective use of a ska backbeat and all that teen spirit The Jam: “In The City” In here would lie the sparks for the ‘70s mod revival: “Because the kids know where it’s at”
The Troggs: “Wild Thing” Sowing the seeds of punk and garage
Madness: “The Prince” A tribute to Prince Buster that snaps and pops with ska goodness
Pink Floyd: “Interstellar Overdrive” Pink Floyd’s psychedelic ditty that tears open the gates of space
Dexys Midnight Runners: “Geno” The young soul rebels tip their hat to Geno Washington with pop and circumstance
T.Rex: “20th Century Boy” Marc Bolan kicking ass with three chords and a feather boa
The Selecter: “On My Radio” 2-Tone arrives all crisp and clear
Roxy Music: “Virginia Plain” Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno went to art school
The Ordinary Boys: “Maybe Someday” The mod lineage glows on
Gang of Four: “At Home He’s A Tourist” A primal cut of post-punk, where the personal takes a turn for the political The Sex Pistols: “Anarchy In The UK” Johnny Rotten’s roaring entrance onto the scene has yet to be matched
The Who: “The Kids Are Alright” Pete Townsend: “When I wrote this song I was nothing but a kid, trying to work out right and wrong through all the things I did… And somehow I’m alright.” The Specials: “Friday Night Saturday Morning” A mod’s night out measured out in with sinister reggae pulse
That’s Punk: The revolution of everyday life
The Slits: “Shoplifting” A glee and a joy that borders on criminal Wire: “Mr. Suit” Wire’s fast and fresh punk vehicle that heads right outta here Primal Scream: “Loaded” It’s summer and as the man says, let’s get “loaded and have a good time” Elastica: “Stutter” Elastica’s smart and sharp knife that rips even the best of ‘em to shreds
Graham Coxon: “Freakin’ Out” The ballad of a charming man Oasis: “Champagne Supernova” It’s big and it makes no real sense, which means it’s Oasis
Blur: “Girls & Boys” Blur’s party is better than yours
Pulp: “Underwear” Pulp’s note-perfect rendition of vulnerability: “How the hell did you get here, semi-naked in somebody else’s room”
The Stone Roses: “I Am The Resurrection” So let’s celebrate!
Ash: “Kung Fu” The Britpop-pers’ alt-rock version of Jackie Chan
Suede: “She’s In Fashion” Suede’s big pop number with a suitably big pop subject
Manic Street Preachers: “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” The Manics’ unblinking political eye finds its glittering crescendo
The Charlatans: “The Only One I Know” Baggy lives on! Supergrass: “We Are Young” Gaz Coombes: “It isn’t about being 19, but really 13 or 14, and just discovering girls and drinking. It’s meant to be lighthearted and a bit of a laugh…” The Verve: “Bittersweet Symphony” Britpop would be lesser without this
Radiohead: “Just” Thom Yorke and crew unleash the riffs and the swagger
The Damned: “New Rose” Britain’s first punk single that aptly begins: “I got a feelin’ inside of me / It’s kinda strange like a stormy sea” Buzzcocks: “What Do I Get?” Punk’s DIY flag-bearers provide spiral and existential scratch
Pop Art: Uneasy listening These New Puritans: “En Papier” Jack Barnett: “Most people don’t like good music, so there’s no point trying to do something for them.” Wu Lyf: “Heavy Pop” A celestial body Adam & The Ants: “Antmusic” It’s not new wave, it’s not disco, it’s Antmusic The Fall: “Totally Wired” A weird, wired and wonderful cut of The Fall from their storied Rough Trade period Factory Floor: “Turn It Up” An electro-industrial racket fit to cause fires on the dancefloor
77 Shoegaze Special: A beautiful noise
Urban Hymns: The sounds and soul of the city
A New Wave: This is a pop song
Amy Winehouse: “Tears Dry On Their Own” The late Winehouse remodels heartbreak into modern soul Duffy: “Mercy” Duffy’s one big hit works hard to recall the smoky ‘60s hues of London’s Soho
The Cure: “Boys Don’t Cry” The Cure’s minimal “idiot pop” and maximal emotions
Sam Smith: “Stay With Me” The baring of a young soul: “I was sad and I wrote about being sad. Hopefully I’ll be happier soon and I’ll write about that.”
Morrissey: “First of The Gang To Die” Love and violence continue to be entwined in Morrissey’s house
Massive Attack: “Teardrop” The slinky grooves and bass thumps that gave birth to trip hop
ABC: “The Look of Love” The dawning of a new pop
James Blake: “Retrograde” An urban-electronic heartbeat, worn on sleeve The Streets: “Dry Your Eyes” Mike Skinner lends a shoulder King Krule: “Easy Easy” Archy Marshall’s potent postInternet punk-rap cuts right to the heart and hell of the matter Gorillaz: “Clint Eastwood” Post-Blur, Damon Albarn tackles virtual reality and an urban vista SBTRKT: “Hold On” A downtempo jam that locates its soul in the heart of dubstep Jessie Ware: “Running” Jessica’s warm blend of rhythm and blues AlunaGeorge: “You Know You Like It” Sassy-ass electronic pop with the earmarks of tomorrow The xx: “Crystalised” Britain’s newest nocturnal creatures enter with stealth Blood Orange: “Chamakay” Dev Hynes plays it smooth Portishead: “Glory Box” A mastering of the Bristol sound that chills and compels in equal measure Spiritualized: “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” No chemical assistance required
Orange Juice: “Rip It Up” The new wave of punk intent Mystery Jets: “Young Love” All love, all fresh The Smiths: “This Charming Man” The Smiths’ flirty little number that involves a nod and a wink: “I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a stitch to wear” Belle & Sebastian: “The Boy With The Arab Strap” The dainty line between the precious and the peculiar Hurts: “Wonderful Life” Synths that work as hard as those suits Duran Duran: “The Wild Boys” New wave and all its grandiose plans Bombay Bicycle Club: “Evening/Morning” The sound of indie running wild on the streets of North London
My Bloody Valentine: “You Made Me Realise” Colm Ó Cíosóig: “I think there are a lot of out-of-focus qualities in our songs… and it’s easy to imagine things in them that aren’t actually there.” Ride: “Vapour Trail” Nailing all the swirling guitars and whispers that make for shoegaze The Big Pink: “Dominoes” An unlikely lovelorn pop chorus that stands amidst dark noise and feedback The Horrors: “Sea Within A Sea” Yesterday’s goth children discover shoegaze Jesus & Mary Chain: “Just Like Honey” The Reid brothers make noise and play nice all at once
The Big Beat: The call of the dancefloor Ladytron: “Destroy Everything You Touch” A heavy-duty electro-pop anthem that minces none of its words or beats Disclosure: “Latch” The Lawrence siblings’ garage-house goes pop Fatboy Slim: “Praise You” Yes, the big beat, too, can be a religious experience The Chemical Brothers: “Hey Boy Hey Girl” Ed and Tom’s unstoppable monster of a dance track Gorgon City: “Ready For Your Love” In the sumptuous house of the North London up-and-comers Atoms For Peace: “Judge, Jury and Executioner” Thom Yorke and crew stage a fine haunting
Definitely Indie: To be young, loud and snotty
Jake Bugg: “Two Fingers” Adolescent shenanigans complete with the two-finger salute: “I’m alive but I’m here to stay” Peace: “Wraith” Swirls and swaggers like it were Madchester all over again Franz Ferdinand: “Darts of Pleasure” A shrewd and angular cut of art-punk that is rightly “super fantastisch”
English Heart: We live here
Lily Allen: “LDN” Lily Allen waxes lyrical on the best place to be, whilst rhyming “nice” with “lies” Small Faces: “Itchycoo Park” It is indeed all too beautiful on this Small Faces’ psych-pop outing
The Amazing Snakeheads: “Here It Comes Again” Glasgow’s newest rock ‘n’ rollers crack their knuckles
The Pogues: “Dark Streets of London” Shane MacGowan’s love-hate relationship with London writ large and quite jolly
Blood Red Shoes: “It’s Getting Boring By The Sea” Because teenage angst should be played at full volume
The Clash: “London Calling” For three heart-stopping minutes, The Clash makes London the center of the world
Arctic Monkeys: “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” Liam Gallagher: “I don’t dance, ‘cos I’m the fookin’ singer”
The Rakes: “22 Grand Job” The Rakes get to their point with speed and wit to spare
Savages: “Husbands” A tightly wound number on the terrors that begin at home Teenage Fanclub: “The Concept” Alt rock, as rendered by four dudes in Scotland Patrick Wolf: “The City” Patrick Wolf emerges from the shadows for this big and brassy love letter The La’s: “There She Goes” Rarely comes a purer and sweeter ode to love Friendly Fires: “Kiss of Life” Friendly Fires’ ode to the sun, the sea and the stars hits its mark Bloc Party: “Helicopter” Indie that puts its college education to use The Libertines: “Don’t Look Back Into The Sun” The Libs’ myth and madness in one sparkling indie-garage number Art Brut: “Formed A Band” It is indeed that easy
Life After Punk: Rip it up and start again Joy Division: “Transmission” The doomy mood and tenor of Northern England given vent Public Image Ltd: “Public Image” The search for image and identity in a world after punk Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: “Enola Gay” F**k punk, let’s dance! Soft Cell: “Tainted Love” A Northern Soul staple repurposed for an ‘80s dancefloor New Order: “Blue Monday” Seven scintillating minutes that the dancefloor is still thankful for
And The Queen Too Queen: “Bicycle Race” The only bicycle race to feature Jaws, Superman and income tax
Home Club 20 Upper Circular Road Kyō 133 Cecil Street, #B1-02, Keck Seng Tower Taboo 65/67 Neil Street The Butter Factory One Fullerton, #02-02/03/04 Zouk Singapore 17 Jiak Kim Street Mansion Bay 8 Raffles Ave, Esplanade
actually Orchard Gateway #03-18 agnès b. Ion Orchard, #03-24; Wisma Atria, Isetan Orchard; Shaw House, Isetan Scotts; Raffles City Shopping Centre, #01-26; Takashimaya Department Store, L2 Ben Sherman Paragon, #03-48; VivoCity, #01-24 Dr. Martens Orchard Central, #03-05; Wheelock Place, #02-17A Flesh Imp *Scape, #02-20/21/22; Bugis Junction, #03-22 Fred Perry Orchard Cineleisure, #03-07A; Ion Orchard, #B3-01 Front Row Raffles Hotel Arcade, #02-09 Granny’s Day Out Peninsula Shopping Centre, #03-25 J Shoes City Link Mall, #B1-22 Leftfoot Orchard Cineleisure, #02-07A; The Cathay, #01-19/20 Little Man 7C Binjai Park Mdreams Wheelock Place, B2-03 New Balance *Scape, #02-15; 112 East Coast Road, #02-25; Tampines Mall, #02-18; Velocity At Novena Square, #01-39/42 Porter International Wisma Atria #03-06 P.V.S Orchard Cineleisure #02-05 Rockstar Orchard Cineleisure, #03-08 STARTHREESIXTY Wheelock Place Unit #02-08; Marina Square #02-179, VivoCity, #02-09; Paragon, #03-08 Strangelets 7 Yong Siak Street Surrender Raffles Hotel Arcade, #02-31 The Denim Store Mandarin Gallery, #03-09/10/11 Topshop & Topman Knightsbridge, #01-05/06; Ion Orchard, #B201 & #B3-01B; Raffles City Shopping Centre, #02-39; Tampines 1 Mall, #01-26/27 & #02-16; VivoCity, #01-72 Vans Orchard Central, #01-22/23; Marina Square, #02-160; Bugis Junction, #01-43/44; Orchard Cineleisure, #03-07; VivoCity, #02-111/113 Victoria Jomo 9 Haji Lane Wander Wonder 65A Haji Lane Wesc myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens, #01-04; 112 Katong, #02-19
Hair & Nail Salons
Acid Bar 180 Orchard Road, Peranakan Place Alley Bar 180 Orchard Road, Peranakan Place Bikini Bar 50 Siloso Beach Walk Sentosa #01-06 Blu Jaz Cafe 12 Bali Lane Club Street Social 5 Gemmill Lane Maison Ikkoku 20 Kandahar Street Outdoors Café & Bar 180 Orchard Road, Peranakan Place Overeasy One Fullerton, #01-06 Paulaner Brauhaus Millenia Walk, #01-01 Sauce Bar Esplanade Mall, #01-10/12 Tanjong Beach Club 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa The Merry Men 86 Robertson Quay, #01-00 The Vault 23 Circular Road
Bar Bar Black Sheep 879 Cherry Ave; 86 Robertson Quay #01-04; 362 Tanjong Katong Cake Over Heels Midview City, #02-06 Coq & Balls 6 Kim Tian Road Cupcakes With Love Tampines 1 #03-22 Doodle! Pasta Oasia Hotel, Novena Square 2 Estee 47 Duxton Road Forty Hands 78 Yong Siak Street, #01-12 Habitat Coffee 223 Upper Thomson Road IndoChine Restaurant 47 Club Street Island Creamery Serene Centre, #01-03; Holland Village Shopping Mall, #01-02 IZY 27 Club Street Kuro Clarke Quay, Blk 3C #01-11 Little Part 1 Cafe 15 Jasmine Road Loysel’s Toy 66 Kampung Bugis, Ture, #01-02 Oblong Place 10 Maju Avenue, Balmoral Plaza #B1-07 Oceans of Seafood PasarBella, #02-06 Open Door Policy 19 Yong Siak Street Outpost St. James Power Station, #01-11 Papa Palheta 150 Tyrwhitt Road PARK. 281 Holland Ave #01-01 PasarBella 200 Turf Club Rd Selfish Gene Cafe 40 Craig Road Shots 90 Club Street Skyve 10 Windstedt Road, Block E, #01-17 SPRMRKT 2 McCallum Street SuperTree 18 Gardens by the Bay, #03-01 Sushi Burrito 100 Tras Street Symmetry 9 Jalan Kubor #01-01 The Forbidden City Clarke Quay 3A Merchant’s Court, #01-02 The Fabulous Baker Boy The Foothills, 70 River Valley Road Veganburg 44 Jalan Eunos; Golden Shoe Carpark, #01-28D; Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, #02-05; 200 Turf Club Road, #01-32 Wheeler’s Yard 28 Lorong Ampas
Artisan Hair 42A Lorong Mambong, Holland Village Choeur Raffles Hotel Arcade, #02-23 Essensuals Orchard Central, #B1-20; 1 Vista Exchange Green, #B1-22 Kizuki Raffles Hotel Arcade, #03-03/04 Manicurious 41 Beach Road Next Salon 271A Holland Ave, Holland Village; ION Orchard, #03-24A Prep Mandarin Gallery #03-34 Toni&Guy 170 East Coast Road; 24B Lorong Mambong; Rochester Mall, #02-01
LaSalle College of the Arts 1 McNally Street, Block E, Level 1 Reception Nafa School of Performing Arts 151 Bencoolen Street NTU Students Activities Centre 50 Nanyang Avenue, Level 1 NUS Radio Pulze National University of Singapore, Office of Student Affairs, Level 3, Yusof Ishak House, 31 Lower Kent Ridge Tembusu College University Town, NUS, 28 College Avenue East, #B1-01 Thunder Rock School 227A Upper Thomson Road
Hotel 1929 50 Keong Saik Road Klapsons The Boutique Hotel 15 Hoe Chiang Road New Majestic Hotel 31-27 Bukit Pasoh Road Sultan Boutique Hotel101 Jalan Sultan, #01-01 The Club Hotel 28 Ann Siang Road The Quincy Hotel 22 Mount Elizabeth W Hotel 21 Ocean Way, Sentosa Cove Wanderlust Hotel 2 Dickson Road Wangz 231 Outram Road
And Everywhere Else
BooksActually 9 Yong Siak Street Bottles & Bottles Parade Road, #B1-83K/L, Parkway Parade; 10 Tampines Central 1 #B1-28; 131 Tanglin Road Tudor Court Shopping Gallery Camera Rental Centre 23 New Bridge Road, #03-01 Creed Cycle 20 Waringin Park Grafunkt Park Mall, #02-06; 85 Playfair Road, Tong Yuan Ind. Bldg, #02-01 Hairloom 11 Collyer Quay, The Arcade, #03-08 Hounds of the Baskervilles 24 Bali Lane Lomography Gallery Store 295 South Bridge Road, #01-01 Mini Habitat (Showroom) 27 Leng Kee Road Ocbc Frank Vivocity, #01-160; Singapore Management University, Li Ka Shing Library, #B1-43; Nanyang Technological University, Academic Complex North, Ns3 01-01; Singapore Polytechnic Foodcourt 5, (Fc512) PACT 181 Orchard Road, #02-16/17/18/19 Orchard Central Show Ning Lab 751 North Bridge Road, #02-02 Supplies & Co Raffles Hotel Arcade,#03-07 Tokyobikes 38 Haji Lane The Central 6 Eu Tong Seng Street The Panic Room 311A Geylang Road The Substation 45 Armenian Street What He Wants 181 Orchard Road, #03-30 Singapore 238896; The Cathay 2 Handy Road, #01-06 Vinylicious Records 35 Selegie Road, #01-26 Parklane Shopping Mall
Rest of the World Bonjour Records 24-1 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Zouk Kuala Lumpur 113 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Review Text: Indran P
Mac DeMarco: Salad Days
“Salad days” is a Shakespearean coinage that refers to the carefree, unthinking idealism of youth. This is what makes the christening of DeMarco’s second album all the more ironic and intriguing. In just two years, the Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based singer and multi-instrumentalist has experienced a surging rise in profile. But evolving as he has from a niche concern to a big-ticket indie act has come with an increase in scrutiny and self-awareness that the writer of those stoned, hypnotic daydreams finds extremely discomfiting. Salad Days, therefore, is a total inversion of all the hypefuelled expectations that’ve come to be placed on him and on his music.
Many young artists have gotten on the coming-of-age tip at some point in their careers. But what makes Mac’s wizened turn here all the more remarkable is that his entire existence before this was premised on an implacable ambivalence. His allure stemmed from the fact he could make bro-friendly rock with a shrugging, nothingat-stake ingenuity. But now, shadows cast their long pall over the DeMarco frat house and it’s with this darkened tint that the title-track opens the album. “As I’m getting older, chip up on my shoulder / Rolling through life, to roll over and
die”, are the album’s first words, and the start of a new lane in the DeMarco universe. The following two tracks, “Blue Boy” and “Brother”, underscore the album’s existential bent with the former’s acknowledging that “that’s the way that life goes” and the latter’s unhurried but urgent imperative, “You’re no better off, living your life and dreaming at night”. Nothing about these new songs is non-committal and while the instrumentation, made up of standard DeMarco tropes like sparkling guitars and light drums over drowsy melodies that are fuller and less compressed, might jar with his words, it testifies to his merits as a fantastic songwriter that this tension only affirms his message.
Yet, on this record of hardlearnt truths, there are moments of lustrous beauty and these come from the three songs that DeMarco dedicates to his long-time girlfriend. Of these, the plush, acoustic ballad, “Let My Baby Stay” is the life/ love-affirming centerpiece, where he drops irony for unreserved fervor with the cosmic pledge of love, “I was made to love her”. We weren’t ever sure if he was indie rock’s diamond in the rough and on this album, he’s made us all look daft for even thinking we had him figured out. Good on you, Mac.
Perfect Pussy: Say Yes To Love
“The best favourites, go through me / I press the strings, I love everything” – goes a line from lead single, “Jerk Ribs”, which also fittingly serves as Kelis’ commentary on her latest incarnation. Her sixth full-length, Food, released on Ninja Tune and produced by TV On The Radio honcho, Dave Sitek, is a fine perpetuation of her rep as one of the most enduringly chameleonic – and versatile – pop artists of our time. Firing on the cylinders of funk, soul, gospel and Afrobeat sounds, Food packs a delightfully nostalgic payload of sacrosanct motifs of black music given sugary immediacy by contemporary r&b tempos.
Kelis’ commitment to serving soul-Food here is announced at the very beginning on “Breakfast”, in a monologue by her son that opens the album: “Hey guys! Are you hungry? My mom made food!” Trading her leather provocateur top hat for her Earth Mother wreath of flowers, Kelis, with Sitek’s mood-perfect production, lets the good times – and vibes – unfurl. Funk basslines and horns furnish tactile euphoria on “Jerk Ribs” and “Forever Be”, while “Bless the Telephone” and closer, “Dreamer”, reel the listener in with a soul-led sentimentality that is inviting, sincere and serene.
Some bands do punk while some bands do punk. The anything-but-subtle difference between the two modes of operation is the emotional intensity that powers the incendiary, freefalling spirit of the music by bands existing in the latter fold. Perfect Pussy is one such band. Almost 40 years after Black Flag perfected and elevated hardcore to a spiritual form, Perfect Pussy has inserted itself into the conversation with an update of fist-to-the-face hardcore with elements from noise rock, lo-fi and riot grrrl. And even though a good four to five minutes of this album’s 23-minute runtime is devoted to passages of silence and crackling tape hiss, it is an overwhelming experience of red-blooded, uncompromising music. Opener, “Driver”, makes clear what you’re in for here. Over two minutes, Meredith Graves’ barely discernible sloganeering vocals rip through a dense cacophony of guitars, drums, keys and feedback with each element too distinct to be subsumed under the blanket of “texture”. Elsewhere in the record, atypical sounds like math-rock (“Bells”) and sludge (“Interference Fits”) are given a heroic punk welcome at a volume and speed that are pulverisingly breathtaking. Just say yes.
Woods: With Light And Love
They may not have done this all the time, but on its eighth outing, Woods has provided a musical corrective to the oft-heard charge of homogeneity leveled at bands assembled under the indie banner. While the band’s jam-leaning tendencies and psychedelic ethos puts it in a different spectrum from the sweater-ready stylings of other folk acts like the Fleet Foxes, its patented homely, cabin-tested sound can feel like a safe-bet retread. Thankfully, though, on Love, the Brooklyn quartet checked into a studio – for once – and went big. And the results are quietly incredible. First song, “Shepherd” initially unspools like a folk placeholder on mellow, acoustic chords, but the bubbling strokes of alt-country that climax in the form of a slide guitar lead, mid-song and just before its end, reveal just how much more is happening. Then, there’s Jeremy Earl’s vocals. Finally easing out of swathes of reverb, his sweetly urgent coos ring high and clear in the mix. Later, the title track’s nine-minute wig-out of kaleidoscopic guitars and spiky bursts of fuzz coupled with muscular percussion and the campfire-folk-meetspop showcase of “Moving to the Left”, provide the most upbeat statements ever issued by the band.
Todd Terje: It’s Album Time
Dance music today is a contested property that sees indignant purists and the ever-expanding EDM army vying with each other for ownership and legitimacy. Into the fray of this battle strides Oslo producer Todd Terje and how ridiculous he makes the warring factions look. Already a critic’s choice on the back of a slew of singles that’ve brought Scandi-disco to the forefront of the dance mainstream, Terje continues the upward trajectory of his brightly burning star on It’s Album Time, his first long-player. Released just in time for summer, this is a patently feel-good celebration of warm, fuzzy sounds wherein nu-disco, boogie, hi-nrg synths and bossa nova are threaded together with fantastically schmaltzy splendour that is fulfilling in the most genuine ways. The self-consciously tacky bassline of “Leisure Suit Preben” opens the album proper and from then on, jazz fusion on “Svensk Saas” and “Alfonso Muskedunder”, Balearic house on “Delorean Dynamite” and a syrupy ‘80s power ballad in the form of a starry-eyed cover of Robert Palmer’s “Johnny and Mary”, featuring Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry, bring the moves to the tropics.
Ratking: So It Goes
Wye Oak: Shriek
Shriek is the result of musical boredom. In a 180 that bore all the risks of artistic suicide, Wye Oak traded in its beatific guitar-and-drums modus for a guitar-less, thoroughly electronic, all-synth sound on its fourth showing. But you might as well heave that sigh of relief hard since this fearlessness paid off beautifully. Bringing sustained catharsis in its tow, “Before” opens the album, making clear that though the instruments may’ve been changed up, the smouldering intensity that was inextricable from the Wye Oak imprint hasn’t gone anywhere. Over a prickly burble of low-end and softly pinging electronic sounds, Jenn Wasner’s burning alto slow-drips exquisitely. Picking up in tempo, first single, “The Tower”, driven by Wasner’s nimble bass-playing and drummer and keyboardist, Andy Stack’s thick slabs of percussion and poly-rhythmic keys, is an excellent hybrid of electro-pop and IDM. But the unquestionable standout is “Glory”. Over a twitching backbeat and cross-currents of percolating synths, lilting bass and gauzy textures, Wasner gives vent to her tale of a destructive romance in a manner as emotive as the starlit-sounds. For its staggering innovation, Shriek is a great testimony for a new muse.
Lykke Li: I Never Learn
Along with her panoramic pop sound that flits across baroque and electronic registers with Internet-age ease, Lykke Li has also been unafraid to let the waterworks flow over her two prior albums. This record though, comes from a real-er, darker place. Based on a devastating breakup that saw her move from her native Sweden to an apartment in LA, this disc is even more overwrought and maudlin than the previous two. And every aspect of it – right down to its song titles – is engineered to emphasise just that. Every song here, from the subdued strains of “I Never Learn” and “Sleeping Alone” to the arena-ready thrall of widescreen anthems like “Gunshot” and “Just Like A Dream” are in service of a mythic sense of sadness. And with lines like, “Every time the rain falls, think of me”, from “Never Gonna Love Again”, going as far as the lyrics do towards the same end, it’s hard for anyone who wasn’t a fan in the beginning to relinquish their skepticism. Granted, Li’s free to express her pain how she wants. But since “expression” is what’s in question here, we’d like to refer her to the work of one Elliot Smith.
The Hold Steady: Teeth Dreams
Returns to form are always a tricky business in rock ‘n’ roll. For one, every back-tobasics effort seems like an act of atonement by guilty parties who’ve veered from an infallible course. Then, there’s the almost given certainty that the second coming is doomed to fail. Few bands escape this. The Hold Steady is not one of those bands. Besmirching a fantastic run of albums with 2010’s uninspired Heaven Is Whenever, Craig Finn and co. have attempted a Hail Mary pass of sorts with largely mixed results. What we have to be grateful for here is the reprise of the band’s swashbuckling guitars. With a third guitarist, Steve Selvidge, now onboard, the swooning, utopian riff-heavy movements of “Spinners” and “Down with the Business” earn them places in the best of the band’s catalogue. Also, Finn’s rep as the indie world’s Dylan comes through prominently on “The Ambassador”, a ruminative, bittersweet ballad about the good ol’ days where the present is anything but. Still, compared to its predecessors – barring Heaven – Teeth Dreams is an album of competent but otherwise uninteresting songs that fail to leave any lasting impression.
Ratking hails from a lineage that began with Shabazz Palaces and blossomed with Death Grips and later, the Flatbush Zombies. But, like its nod to Kurt Vonnegut’s magnum opus, Slaughterhouse-Five, suggests, this record is also haunted by the ghosts of the past. In particular, it’s the spirit of Dilla that suffuses the headily exploratory character of the music here, while the fire-breathing politicallyconscious vitriol of conscious hip hop’s finest, Dead Prez,
is reanimated in the barupon-bar delivery by MCs, Wiki and Hak. That is not to say that Ratking’s strengths lie only in faithful allusion to hip hop’s more tasteful signifiers. Demonstrating a wide-ranging musicality, producers Sporting Life and Ramon also incorporate the vocabulary of the indie, jazz and psychedelic worlds into their serpentine songs. “Snow Beach”, for instance, feels like trap as imagined by Gold Panda while single, “Canal”, sees grime and boom bap twinned with seamless, faultless power, while on “Protein”, the boys bring da ruckus with a wall of digital noise, over which Wiki reminds us that, “This ain’t ‘90s revival / It’s earlier, it’s tribal revival”. Throwing back by throwing far, Ratking are our future messengers.
Pop culture imagery meets immortality at Icons Text: Min Chen
For a gallery that thrives on music and icon-inspired art, it’s only natural that Icon Gallery would launch an exhibition that makes the most of its raison d’être. This month, the space plays host to Icons, a showcase of artworks devoted to pop culture’s famous faces and imagery. These are iconic subjects that don’t just form part of our current cultural vernacular,
but in a single postmodern swoop, have now come to symbolise their own system of values, ideas and emotions. And even as pop iconography may form the beating heart of the exhibition’s artworks, these pieces also do their part in creating and re-creating these undying icons, ennobling them with new meaning and redefining their continued significance. Six artists have been lined up for Icons, though the mediums they individually work in – from acrylic portraiture to confetti art to collage to sculpture – definitely amount to way more than that. Compelling studies of iconic faces will be found in
the work of Nikki Douthwaite and her paper dot collages of legends such as Mick Jagger and Marilyn Monroe, and in Paul Oz’s explosive portraits of superheroes, sportspeople and musicians that come to life with each painted splatter. There’s also pop abstraction in Colin Brown’s mixed media collages that make merry with our cultural fabric, and in the soundwave paintings of Tim Wakefield. And last but never least, the love for music stands strong in Morgan Howell’s giant format 3D recreations of classic 45s like Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar”. It’ll find good company in Horace Panter,
once bassist and resident artist with The Specials, who’ll be presenting his prints of retro Walkmans and his brilliant Cassette series, which evokes fabled recording sessions of David Bowie and The Clash, amongst others. While most of the people, places and things at Icons may belong to a faded yesterday, their presence here (and there and everywhere) makes them a continued and certified slice of all our tomorrows. At Icons, everyone lives forever. The Icons exhibition runs from 10 to 28 June at the ICON Gallery, 476 River Valley Road, +65 6735 4550.
Martell VSOP unveils Elegantology, a philosophy that embraces the elegant life and empowers you to rise above with style. Elegantology emanates from an independence of mind and spirit that encapsulates style, identity and taste. It celebrates individuals whose unique style and charisma are honed by a sense of curiosity and discovery that defines them as possessing the essence of elegance. The philosophy of Elegantology focuses on three facets of contemporary life that inform the gold standard of elegance: Look, Music and Bar. Look goes beyond than surface appearance - it encompasses the confidence, charm and style of an individual’s style. The elegance of the Bar sees the individual embracing the finer pleasures and appreciating the aromas, textures and subtle flavours of a drink. Likewise, Music manifests itself in the elegant life through a simple appreciation of authenticity and craft, which transcends genres. Music is a vital channel for personal expression and a great testament to the art of elegance.
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Martell VSOP’s vision of Elegantology is brought to life by a group of individuals who define this spirit of holistic elegance. Well respected in their separate fields, they continue to redefine the standards of their craft, all the while epitomising the art of elegance.
One strapping gentleman who personifies the philosophy is Clinton Leicester, cofounder and creative director of local fashion labels, AMEN and Crawford & Sons. Inspired by music, alternative subcultures and fine tailoring, Clinton started the womenswear label, AMEN, with his partner five years ago. Today, its edgy reinterpretation of classic looks has seen the label emerge as one the most forward-thinking brands in the region and beyond, with stores in Singapore, Indonesia and Canada. Not resting on his laurels, Clinton believes that “you have to enjoy and believe in what you do”. He subsequently started another label, Crawford & Sons, and locked arms with local menswear titan, Kevin Seah, as the brand manager of K by Kevin Seah. The self-described “punk, rebel and dandy” stands at the confluence of different styles and affirms that elegance is achieved by “making the whole look seem effortless” and by “being yourself and not looking like you are trying too hard”. The clothes maketh the man and so does wisdom like this.
Enjoy Martell Cognac Responsibly
A Holiday in the Sun Summer unfolds at IndoChine Resort & Villa, Phuket, Thailand Text: Priscilla Eng
Summer arrives and how better to soak up the rays than at your newly appointed home away from home: the IndoChine Resort & Villa in Phuket. Offering the best in luxurious living and worldclass facilities, the newest hotel and resort under the IndoChine Group’s umbrella is a resort like no other. Set above the white sands of Kalim Beach and overlooking stunning Patpong Bay in Phuket, the hotel is built with the environment in mind, bringing together design, technology and ecology to create a lush tropical retreat. With a selection of accommodation to suit every taste – from grand boutique hotel rooms, to
chic serviced apartments and spacious pool villas, all unique in terms of design and décor – every guest will be able to experience breathtaking sea views and the very best that IndoChine has to offer. Designed in an orientalnature theme, the resort promises the ultimate getaway where guests can enjoy Patong Beach’s nightlife and the five-star amenities within the comforts of the hotel. Soak in the spectacular views of romantic sunsets and the sparkling Andaman Sea, dive into private plunge pools or simply venture out to discover the culinary delights Patong Bay has to offer. Those with an appetite for adventure can opt to scuba dive, charter a yacht or hit the golf green. Otherwise, head
to the Waterfront Restaurant, which offers indoor and rooftop dining in a stylish and comfortable atmosphere. Prepare to take in aweinspiring views, thanks to the glass-walled wraparound structure of the building. With a wide range of dishes on offer, specially prepared with the freshest ingredients, with elements of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Thai and Western cuisines, it’ll surely be a gastronomical delight for the taste buds and an unforgettable dining experience. Not only can you expect lavish surroundings and comfort, but you can also rest assured you’d be doing your bit for nature. The group’s longestablished commitment to the environment is integrated
into the architecture and design of every room and villa. Their use of composite timber and LED lights helps to reduce air pollution and save energy, and adopting the heat exchange system to minimise their carbon footprint is a sure sign they’re dedicated to saving Mother Earth. So if you’re looking for a holiday that guarantees some environmentally friendly R & R, there’s no better place to lay your weary head. IndoChine Hotels & Resort, Phuket, is located at 328 Prabaramee Road, Patong, Kalim, 83150 Phuket, Thailand. Make your reservations at indochineresorts.com.
Southern Charm Life Is Beautiful brings New Orleans soul to the table Text: Indran P
Life is beautiful – strong words in these jaded times, but when you have the means to really make life beautiful, why not just celebrate that fact? It’s with this belief that Life Is Beautiful (LIB) Kitchen and Bar recently opened its doors to the public in the bustling area of Duxton, honing in on the fundamentals of a great dining experience: fantastic hospitality and fantastic creations from the kitchen. Inspired by the history, lifestyle and most crucially, flavours of New Orleans Louisiana (NOLA), LIB is a Southern oasis right in the middle of our hyperactive city. Famed for its cross-cultural heritage that is also reflected in its gloriously varied cuisine, NOLA commands the reputation of being a beacon of hospitality, good cheer and great food. And it’s this legacy that LIB chef, Rob Staedler, taps into for what is known as LIB’s “page of food”. Evoking NOLA’s rep as a port-city in the most scrumptious way, Staedler has created a palette-melting array of seafood dishes. Packing a payload of savoury flavours, there’s the 8oz tin cup fried prawns; the Maine lobster tails, pickled watermelon and mint tea and whole scalded catfish in tasso, roasted garlic sabice. Hearty and wholesome, these generously portioned plates are prepared with the freshest herbs and ingredients, making for a seafood feast that is flushed with down-home Southern goodness. LIB’s commitment to soul food doesn’t just end at seafood, though. Serving up a gastronomic wealth of meat and poultry dishes, its kitchen is bound to emerge as the go-to spot for that the bouts of pampering and
indulgence that your stomach routinely calls for. With the pot of pulled pork, you’re in for a richly decadent banquet of soft stands of pulled pork given crispy heft by fried pork rinds and crumbly toasts made with duck fat and served in biscuit form. For fried chicken lovers, the search for the most elevating variant of the dish ends here with the 35oz butter milk fried chicken. Big and yes, beautiful, this N’awlins delicacy sees the ambrosial taste of fried chicken taken to even more satisfying heights by the creaminess of buttermilk. Resolute carnivores are also in for a treat with the 25oz hangar steak, which comes with roasted bone marrow and parsley salad. A hulkingly rich and succulent serving of choice cuts, it is a meat lover’s fantasy come to life in decidedly NOLA splendour. Life is beautiful, so head on over and celebrate; and for the cynics, head on over to find out just why. Life Is Beautiful is located at 99 Duxton Road, +65 6423 0939.
Text: Indran P
7 June @ kyo
13 June @ TAB
Toby Tobias (UK)
The roots of Toby Tobias’ effervescent disco sound date back to his crate-digging days in the ‘80s. Since then, the English disco fiend has seen his reimagining of the genre do good justice in stages and dancefloors in areas as disparate as Russia, Japan, Italy and Brazil. To experience the good ol’ days with a sweet modern twist, you know where you need to be. Entry: $20/25 (incl. one drink)
6 June @ Zouk
Ep!c pres. Laidback Luke (NED)
At long last, the man who puts the Dance in EDM makes a longawaited appearance on our shores! Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the biggest names in contemporary dance music, the FilipinoDutch DJ, producer and certified hit-maker, has emerged as one of the most forward-thinking shapers of the pop and dance zeitgeist. With his name on a stream of high-energy electro house club anthems like “Turbulence”, “Natural Disaster” and the recent smash, “Flashing Lights” with D.O.D, and spectacular arena tours that’ve been etched in the minds of millions of fans the world over, Laidback Luke is the promise of dancefloor revelry like no other. Come get your euphoria on! Entry: $33/$38 (incl. two drinks)
14 June @ Loof
Late Night Tuff Guy (AUS)
Late Night Tuff Guy, the discojacking alter ego of Australian Techno legend HMC (aka Cam Bianchetti) will raise the Loof with his signature blend of vintage soul and supremely sensual disco cuts. Besides his acclaimed tours, his mixes have also been championed by luminaries like Carl Cox, Jeff Mills and Jamiroquai, amongst many others. Reservations:email@example.com or +65 9773 9304.
The Gathering with Russian Red
Comparisons with the earth mother that is Feist may have greeted Lourdes Hernández’s entry into the scene but since then, the Spanish indie chanteuse better known as Russian Red has come into her own with a sound and an identity that is ravishing in the extreme. And with her third album, Agent Cooper, released in February this year, the starlet took her alluring chops to darker and more rock-leaning places, especially on standout songs like “Casper” and “John Michael”. This means that when she appears in our midst on this one spectacular night, she’ll have an even bolder payload of sounds to regale, inspire and tease us with. Gather ‘round, everyone. Tickets: $50 (standard) and $70 (at the door), available at eventclique.com
Listings 14 June @ Velvet Underground – Dance
87 27 June @ The Vault
20 June @ Velvet Underground – Dance
The Vault Imaginarium – Second Anniversary Party
The Vault turns two! Our favourite space for cuttingedge sounds has been doing good work for two years and now, it’s time to toast to its many achievements. With street performers, themed cocktails, and shape-shifting sounds from resident DJs, Raeburn, Titus, Brendon P, Anand, Ramesh and Kenneth Francis, this’ll be a truly celebratory coming of age.
Disco:Very pres. Norman Jay (UK)
It’s not very often that you meet a DJ who has also been esteemed in the highest degree with the title of Member of the Order of the British Empire. But the fact that Norman Jay has been literally knighted for his services to music should come as no surprise when you consider how much he has enriched the vocabularies of funk, soul and house in a career that has flourished for more than two decades. We are just as honoured as you are that he’ll be in our midst this night. Entry: $33/$38 (incl. two drinks)
19 June @ *SCAPE, The Ground Theatre
Deerhoof & The Trees and the Wild
Second time’s indeed a charm! Returning to our shores after its breathtaking set at 2011’s UpToThe Sky festival, Deerhoof will once again give us the zaniest sounds this side of art-punk. And providing an enchanting counterpoint will be Indonesian post-rock extraordinaires, The Trees and the Wild. No strangers to these parts, the group commands many a diehard here and its expansive sonic manoeuvres more than speak for it. Tickets: $35 (standard), $45 (at the door), available at dttatw.peatix.com
27 June @ kyo
Para//el pres. Laura Jones (UK)
Laura Jones hails from a rare breed of performers who wield two powerful weapons: a signature look and a signature sound. Announcing herself to the world in 2011 with her flame-coloured shades, bleached blonde hair and colossal organ-led house anthem, “Love in Me”, the English beauty has since risen to the forefront of modern house and techno. Save the date or languish in your #FOMO abyss. Entry: $33/$38 (incl. two drinks)
21 June @ kyo
Call it destiny, but Maelstrom’s upbringing in an ancient French harbour city most definitely shaped his emergence as one of bass music’s most compelling envoys. Growing up engaging with techno in grimy warehouses, Maelstrom has since perfected a dark golden touch that combines old school Detroit techno with modern electro sounds to sensuously heady effect that has been co-signed by revered labels like Boys Noize and Dirtybird, and by esteemed tastemakers like Marcel Detmann and Mary Anne Hobbs. If drops like “SEELE” and “Senescence” have shaken you good and through, come feel them live and in the flesh. Entry: $20/25 (incl. 1 drink)
Alex From Tokyo (US)
His moniker may allude to the 20 years he spent growing up in Tokyo but it’s from New York City that Alex now floods the world with his genreconfounding sounds. And with regular stints at institutions like Club Cielo, Le Bain and eleven to his name, you can be rest assured that you’ll be getting a taste of the most worldly and eclectic house, electro and underground dance sounds. Entry: $20/25 (incl. one drink)
Brave The Rave 14 June @ 80 Seletar Aerospace View
Text: Jeremy Fong
Reckon you’re fit to party hard, long and fast? Well, here’s your chance to put your dance muscle to the test. Brave The Rave is our nation’s first rave marathon, which bring fitness and dance enthusiasts together in a test of endurance and in the spirit of fun. But not just a measure of stamina and staying power, the night promises to deliver nothing short of a party-hardy experience. For one epic eight-hour session, Brave The Rave revellers will be squaring off against each other to be the
last one dancing in the aircraft hangar. The lockdown begins at 6pm, following which, participants are required to keep raving, with no re-entry for those who opt out of the dancefloor. And ravers have enough fuel to keep those fires burning: Zouk residents, Ghetto, Lincey, Matthew and The Professor will be on decks to supply the dancefloor with pumping beats, while a line-up of food and beverage vendors will provide sustenance. Apart from the attractive premiums and promos dropping throughout the party, Brave The Rave will end at 2am
with the night’s last standing revellers walking off with top prizes and bragging rights. For the musically and athletically inclined, this is one challenge you’d definitely want to brave. And for the rest of you party monsters, let’s rave on! Brave The Rave is on lockdown from 6pm to 2am. Happy Hour happens from 3pm to 6pm. Tickets: $48 (advance), $58 (standard), $78 (at-the-door), available at bravetherave.com
Hostess Club Weekender 14 June @ Infinite Studios
Text: Indran P
Cat Power By now, you’ve all been clued in to the fact the Hostess Asia is indie rock’s brightly and richly burning beacon in the region. With a stable of acts that undoubtedly clock the most plays in your indie habit, the record label and live music purveyor has been a wishlist fulfilling force for indie lovers from across the genre’s manysplendoured sounds. Earlier in February, we were treated to a mythic helping of this by the likes of Buke and Gase, Ásgeir, King Krule, Mogwai and The National. And before we can fully convey our thanks, the good folks at Hostess have come out swinging with yet another indie-bedecked extravaganza.
Lighting up the proceedings with epic swells of psychedelia, English post-rock outfit, Toy, will be on hand to mark the start of the occasion’s banquet of sounds. With two widely successful albums to its name, including last year’s Join The Dots, the Brighton five-piece can well be trusted to spark off the good vibes. Next up, Vienna-via-London songwriter and producer, Sohn, will bring to life the powerful and bristling textures of his debut album, Tremors, released earlier this year. Later, Perfume Genius, who has been charming the underground with his dramatic, all-laidbare confessionals over the last couple of years, will take the stage to show just how compelling an artist he is. Then, it’s on to the big-ticket names. Blonde Redhead and Cat Power will see to it that the unreserved best of their reputations as powerhouse acts will come alive before us. With each wielding a legacy-making
catalogue of songs, you know you’re in for an experience that will be nothing short of sublime. So mark your calendars, make merry and celebrate indie for a weekend like no other this way comes. Tickets: $108 (standard) and $140 (door) are available at weekender.eventclique.com
Foals @ The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore Text: Indran P
What: Second time’s more than a charm After a devastatingly powerful performance at Laneway Festival Singapore 2011, Foals emerged as everyone’s most coveted marquee indie act to catch live. Three years and one arena-ready album later, the band was to make a triumphant return to our shores and put some chilling momentum into our placid waters. Having risen to the status of major label-signed, festival headlining, Mercury Prize nominees, the band definitely drew a heightened buzz and anticipation for its second showing here. And for about two hours on gig day, with volume levels in the red
and the ground of the venue literally shaking from the twinned forces of jumping bodies and colossal sound, everyone’s dreams came true. Who: Requisite scenesters, throwback rockers and T-shirted diehards Guitar-centric rock always attracts a mixed crowd with its show-stopping pleasurecentre gratifying immediacy, but Foals did something else altogether: it put the chino-shorted, emphatically bespectacled indie hipsters and combat booted-toughs uniformed in merch from the era of Iron Maiden and Metallica in the same space. Interspersed amongst these mutually exclusive hordes were the Foals-shirted zealots who
knew the words to every song and made sure we heard them. How: Holy Fire! When they last came, the band had twitchy, angular but funk-inflected postpunk on lock with its debut full-length, Antidotes, and a stranglehold on full-spectrum melodic flourishes with its sophomore, Total Life Forever. This time around, the quintet brought with it the payload of mammoth riffs and hooks from its 2013 opus, Holy Fire. And opening with the epic, wide-screen “Prelude”, the band bequeathed its older songs with its newfound mastery of mythic scale. “Total Life Forever” was the first to benefit from this surging momentum, with frontman,
Yannis Philippakis, urging the crowd to action with, “Let’s get loaded. Release that stress.” Bringing out the heaviest best of their catalogue and doing due diligence to crowd favourites, Yannis and co. gave thundering renditions of their newer songs, “Milk and Black Spiders” and “Inhaler”, while evoking the woozy beauty of “Spanish Sahara”. Heady, powerful and sprawling, this was a night where rock’s “more is more” doctrine paid off handsomely.
Dirty Beaches @ Pink Noize Text: Indran P
What: Punk traditions come alive on our shores Violent, bristling, raggedy noise coming at you with uninhibited power – this is the foundation that punk rock was built on. And for one night, indie rock’s enfant terrible, Alex Zhang known on stage and on wax as Dirty Beaches, schooled us loud and hard on all of punk’s more pressingly urgent musical points. For almost a decade, Alex has been exhuming punk’s more outré forms, particularly drone and noise rock, and imbuing them with the immediacy of pop, scorching a niche for himself as a savagely intrepid artist. In a tiny but packed room on
gig day, Alex showed us how and why. Paving the way for his snarling sounds, local noise fiend Awk Wah took the stage first. Who: All indie everyone Residing as they do far beyond the pale of mainstream trends and aesthetics, Awk Wah and Alex summoned a crowd of in-the-know fans fully aware that the sounds they were going to be gifted with weren’t going to go down easy. And even though its elements were vividly, even insistently disparate – judging from the knowing looks exchanged between the Muji-bedecked and the street-clothed – the
crowd’s common purpose that night defined it as a singular whole. How: Punk rock made spiritual Noise is a force that boasts incredibly transcendental powers and in minimal settings, which are where Awk Wah and Alex have forged their artistic agendas, its ripping hold is all the more real and visceral. Going on first, Awk Wah delivered a fantastic performance through one of noise rock’s more rhythmic agents: percussion. Sitting behind a drum kit and hitting it hard, he also triggered
degraded, droning sounds from his synthesizers that coated his irregular drumming with foreboding, freeze-dried textures. And picking up from these sinister rhythms, Alex strode forth to show how blankets of noise and reverb could blacken pop into devastatingly new forms. Just like his artistic forebears, Suicide, Alex married reverbsmothered vocals and buzzing synths into an unforgiving morass of sound and took it all further by adding textural gloss from distorted notes from his saxophone. Whether the night was one of catharsis or total surrender was up to the individual to decide.
Lomography Blue Hour Sessions Finale @ Home Club Text: Min Chen Images: Jensen Ching
What: A final Blue Hour Session before bedtime We’ve had a potent six-month dose of Lomography’s Blue Hour Sessions, during which numerous cross-pollinations between the musical and the visual have occurred. In an ambitious project, Lomography engineered collaborations between local musicians and artists that have birthed brilliant all-sensory experiences while putting the analogue format to greater use. Last month saw the final Blue Hour Session being rolled out in partnership with Identite on the Home Club carpet and by the sights and sounds arrayed, the entire enterprise looked set to go out with a big bang. On the line-up were the unions of The Analog Girl x TNDR x Six, MONSTER CAT x DO NOT DESIGN x Satellite In Air Orbiting, Bani Haykal x Shahila Baharom, as well as a special comeback by Astreal.
Who: The indie faithful and their cloth companions With this amount of local heavyweights on the menu, it’s no surprise that the indie and analogue faithful turned out to bid Blue Hour Sessions adieu. Another great incentive was the highly limited EPs produced by the night’s partnerships that were exclusively available on this evening. No doubt more than a few of the crowd went home with one of these babies in their tote bags.
How: An all-sensory blast of a farewell The Analog Girl may have stepped onstage to a minimal setup of her trusty gadgetry, but her set was nothing short of maximal in impact. The one-woman-show kicked off the final Blue Hour Session with a presentation of her lush electronic pop creations, duly illustrated by digitally distorted visuals that cast her in a futuristic light. And still not keeping those decibels in check, our homeboys
MONSTER CAT took the stage next to unleash their latest cuts with the same raw and rough tumble the marks the aesthetic of their Curiosity EP, as helmed by DO NOT DESIGN. Similarly blending sound and art into a compelling ball, Bani Haykal and Shahila Baharom’s joint set was a vision of acid-hued fluid forms projected against a swirling and experimental sonic brew denoted by drums and clarinet. Then, the limelight swung beautifully onto Astreal, who provided the evening a heady and unrelenting measure of electric pop punch and shoegaze-scapes. And it’s with that noise-ridden and rockshaped set that Blue Hour Sessions wraps up six months of creative and fruitful unions. It’s been a blast, the sun sets and we say goodnight. Aldrup.
Deafheaven @ Beep Studios Text: Indran P Image: Aloysius Lim
What: The future of metal announces itself Opening all the illicit doors in the hallways of tradition, the San Francisco outfit, Deafheaven, has become one of the most polarising forces in contemporary metal. And it’s for this very reason that the band is also the most innovative standardbearer of the shape of metal to come. Scoffing at the hammy tendencies of the genre, Deafheaven has, over the course of two fantastic albums, and especially in 2013’s Sunbather, expanded the musical and emotional language of heavy music. Showing that just as byzantine riffage can be a declaration of strength, so can it be a cathartic disclosure of human vulnerability and helplessness, the band has rid the genre of its old gods and given a whole new glow to its horizons. In a snug room that night, we got to see how bright it was. Who: Fans and the sagely hip In an alarming indication of just how inextricably tastes or rather, perceptions of taste, have become from the considerations of genre, Deafheaven has been widely tagged in the blogosphere as a “hipster-metal” act. Now, while debating the truth of this supposed oxymoron is thoroughly needless, it is safe to say that the crowd reflected either end of the band’s hyphenated impression. For every person who screamed the lyrics to “The Pecan Tree”, there was a tote-toting individual who just looked thrilled to be there.
How: New metal now “Dream House” is the nineminute tapestry of distortion that kicks off Sunbather. And it’s with that exactly that Deafheaven opened its set. Ripping forth from a gnashing spray of jagged chords, the song exploded into various moments of windmill power where each mythic breakdown was accompanied by a pristine passage of starlit guitars. With George Clarke’s pointed, piercing shrieks merging with empyrean guitars and megaton drums, the song’s ambrosial sadness and anger came alive in beautiful ways. Laying further waste to metal’s largely greyscale environs, the band also invoked “Vertigo” and “The Pecan Tree”, where shimmering shoegaze guitar waltzes melded with obliterating noise to colossally colourful effect. Translating pummeling aggression into spiritual texture, Deafheaven added a glorious addendum to the canon of metal and marked its place within with stirring grandiosity.
Stockists Maison Scotch Available at scotch-soda.com Make Up For Ever Available at Sephora at Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Great World City, Bugis+, Jem, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity
Where To Buy
Marc by Marc Jacobs Located at ION Orchard, #03-21, +65 6304 1375; Mandarin Gallery, #01-11 & #02-12, +65 6304 1376; and Raffles City Shopping Centre, #01-11, +65 6304 1303 Massimo Dutti Located at Ngee Ann City, #B1-42/46; Liat Towers, #01-02; ION Orchard, #B1-01/02; and Marina Square, #02-129/131 Miharayasuhiro Available at Club 21, Four Seasons Hotel, #01-01/02 and #01-09 to 11 Mr. Hare Available at mrporter.com
Agyness Deyn x Dr. Martens Available at Dr. Martens at Wheelock Place, #02-17A Alexander McQueen Available at On Pedder, Scotts Square, #02-10/13; and Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #02-12 P/Q A.P.C. Located at Raffles Hotel Arcade, #02-08 Ashish x Topshop Available at Topshop, Knightsbridge, #01-05/05 ASOS Available at asos.com Balmain Perfumes Available at TANGS Orchard, L1 Banana Republic x Marimekko Available at Paragon Shopping Centre, #02-06/07 and #03-06/07; The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, #B2-103 Billabong Located at 313 @ Somerset, #04-29; Bugis Junction, #02-10; Raffles City Shopping Centre, #B1-25/26; WaveHouse, 36 Siloso Beach Walk, #01-03 Bioré Available at Watsons, Guardian,
SaSa and selected supermarkets Bliss Available at Sephora at Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Great World City, Bugis+, Jem, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity Butter London Available at Sephora at Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Great World City, Bugis+, Jem, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity Celio Located at Citylink Mall, #B1-47; Bugis+, #01-05; Plaza Singapura, #03-41; JEM,#0210; Suntec City, #01-327/328 Chanel Fragrance & Beauté Located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, #B1-134 and ION Orchard, #B2-43 Ciaté Available at Sephora at Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Great World City, Bugis+, Jem, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity Converse Located at Orchard Central, #03-03/04; VivoCity, #02-59; Queensway Shopping Centre, #01-57; ION Orchard, #B3-57; Compass Point
Shopping Centre, #02-19/20; Causeway Point Shopping Centre, #02-12; Bugis Junction, #02-19; Jurong Point Shopping Centre, #02-22/23; Junction 8, #02-13; JEM, #03-47; Tampines Mall, #02-22 COS Located at ION Orchard, #0323; and Westgate, #01-41/42 Dolce & Gabbana Available at ION Orchard, #01-24/#02-12 Izzue Available at i.t, Wisma Atria #03-15 and Bugis Junction #02-11 Kate Moss x Topshop Available at Topshop, Knightsbridge, #01-05/05 Kate Spade Saturday Located at ION Orchard, #B1-27 Kate Tokyo Available at John Little, OG, BHG Clementi Mall, and selected Guardian, SaSa and Watsons stores Laneige Located at Suntec City, #01312, +65 6338 5854; ION Orchard, #B3-66A, +65 6509 8872; and Plaza Singapura, #03-77, +65 6238 1570
New Look Located at ION Orchard, #B2-04/05 & #B3-06/07; Suntec City Mall, #01-151; 313@Somerset, #B2-34/35/36/37; Tampines 1, #02-25/26; City Link Mall, #B1-47A; Bugis+, #L2-25/26; and City Square Mall, #02-51/52/53/54 Orlebar Brown Available at mrporter.com Percy & Reed Available at Sephora at Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Great World City, Bugis+, Jem, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity Pharrell Williams x UNIQLO Available at UNIQLO at ION Orchard, Bugis+, Liang Court, Suntec City Mall, JEM, City Square Mall, Chinatown Point, Plaza Singapura, Parkway Parade, Causeway Point, VivoCity, 313@Somerset and Tampines 1 Pull & Bear Located at Ngee Ann City, #B2-04 PUMA Located at 313@Somerset, #02-10 to 13; ION Orchard, #B2-23; Marina Square, #02-153/154; Ngee Ann City, #08-05; VivoCity, #02-15
Raf Simons Available at Club 21 Men at Four Seasons Hotel, #01-09/10/11 Ray-Ban Available at all good optical stores RMK Available at counters at Isetan Scotts, Isetan Serangoon Central and Takashimaya Shopping Centre Saturdays Surf NYC Available at mrporter.com Saint Laurent Located at ION Orchard, #01-25; The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, #B1-116 Sephora Located at Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Great World City, Bugis+, Jem, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity Sport b. Located at Wisma Atria, #02-00 Tatty Devine Available at tattydevine.com The Body Shop Located at ION Orchard, #B2-39; Centrepoint, #01-47/48; Ngee Ann City, #B1-34; Wisma Atria, #B1-37 Tout a coup Available at i.t, Wisma Atria #03-15 and Bugis Junction #02-11 Tsumori Chisato Located at Forum The Shopping Mall, #01-30 to 34 Topshop Located at Knightsbridge, #01-05/05; ION Orchard, #B2-01; Raffles City, #02-39; Tampines Mall, #02-16; and VivoCity, #01-72 Urban Debay Available at Sephora at Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Great World City, Bugis+, Jem, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity WeSC Located at Orchard Central, #02-06; myVillage at Serangoon Gardens, #01-04; and at concept corners at BHG Bugis Junction, BHG Century Square, OG Orchard Point and TANGS Orchard
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Warm Regards The Mamas and The Papas’ golden promise on “California Dreamin’” Text: Min Chen
The fact that the world now has an anthem to soundtrack their longing for warmth and for summer is thanks to one bitter winter in New York City in 1963. There, in the apartment of John and Michelle Phillips, a song was being written that captured the young couple’s yearning for the sunshine of the opposite coast. In particular, Michelle’s homesickness for her native California formed the song’s guiding motif, with hints of the newlywed’s life in the city scattered throughout
(eg. the church they “passed along the way”). John recalls, “The words, ‘California dreamin’’, kept going through my mind. I stared working on some chords for the song. And I went through more chord progressions and things that fit the melancholy of the song.” And from that deep wintry dreariness came the quintessential song of longing, of hope, and of all that was “safe and warm” about LA. Indeed, while the final recorded version of “California Dreamin’” by The
Mamas and The Papas did hit all the suitably downcast notes of homesickness (especially with that lonesome alto flute solo), its light and lazy folk harmonisation also harboured the golden beams of the LA sun and with it, the promise of peace and love. Pretty much, it was a song that both world-weary New Yorkers and the Californian hippies could call their own. It’s no wonder, then, that when “California Dreamin’” hit the airwaves in 1965, it soared up the charts, and aligned itself neatly with the Summer
of Love and the budding American counterculture. Then again, for every young hippie and beat poet who romanticised the West Coast as the promised land, none could top John and Michelle’s enduring and evergreen dream of California. For them and owing to them, it’ll never matter how cold it is outside, for it’ll always be always warm inside.
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