Laneway Singapore 2012. Photo: Aloysius Lim c/o Chugg Entertainment
Laneway’s back for the third year in a row – and our local hipster crowd just get larger and larger. The festival which happens on 26 January 2013 will be moving out of Fort Canning Park into the bigger, and more glamorous Gardens By The Bay.
If that doesn’t excite you yet, wait till you see the line-up for next year – it’s time to wring out those skinny jeans.
Alt-J (∆) – ‘Breezeblocks’
With a band name like ∆ (pronounced Alt-J – the command used on a Mac keyboard to achieve the Greek letter ‘Delta’), you can almost be certain that these hipsters are well on their way into the higher echelons of the elusive indie world. The young British indie-pop four-piece released their first eponymous EP in 2011, and titles like ‘Breezeblocks’ and ‘Matilda’ remind us a lot of Brit-indie counterparts Wild Beasts. Their debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’ early this May composed of some indie-rock, trip-hop and an overdose on heavy synths.
Bat for Lashes – ‘Laura’
Natasha Khan, commonly known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, is well-known for her dark hair and perfect bangs – but more so for dishing out great folktronica. The British brunette can sing, play the bass, piano, synths and percussion, and has churned out three studio albums to date. Perhaps you might recognize ‘Let’s Get Lost’ from the Twilight Saga soundtrack, or her cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Strangelove’ for a Gucci campaign ad. Her latest album ‘The Haunted Man’includes hits like ‘Laura’ and ‘All Your Gold’ – a dreamy confection of indie-meets-folk-meets-electronica.
Cloud Nothings – ‘No Future, No Past’
American indie-rock outfit whips a dollop of grunge into their otherwise punk-y tune in their new album ‘Attack on Memory’. Veering away from their power-pop rep into a darker, emo sound, frontman Dylan Baldi seems convinced to distance themselves from the familiar sound they’ve been creating for the past three years. Whatever it is, we’re excited to see what surprises they’ll bring to the stage. Change is good.
Divine Fits - 'Shivers'
Three dudes: Spoon frontman Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner and New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown. The indie-rock boys took a side step from their motherbands to pursue their LP debut titled ‘A Thing Called Divine Fits’– a solid effort from the group for straddling post-punk and electronica.
Gotye – ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’
You’ve heard their hit single ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ a billion times on the radio, and has since inspired a wave of YouTube covers and 9gag memes. Gotye needs little introduction, to say the least. The Belgian-Australian indie-rock outfit’s third album ‘Making Mirrors’has spawned five singles since its release mid-last year and has topped all kinds of charts imaginable.
Japandroids – ‘The House That Heaven Built’
Trust us, you’d want Brain King and Dave Prowse at the party. The Canadian duo-dynamo comes with a winning formula of limb-thrashing, fist-pumping house tunes like ‘The House that Heaven Built’ from their sophomore album ‘Celebration Rock’, which put them in Pitchfork’s good books – which is frankly not an easy thing to achieve. Judging from their song titles, you know these boys love it loud – bringing garage pop to a new level with ‘Fire’s Highway’, ‘Adrenaline Nightshift’ and ‘Evil’s Sway’. Sweat it out, kids.
Kimbra – ‘Settle Down’
This feisty multi-instrumentalist is – forgive us for being crude – an indie wet dream. Her powerful, raspy voice and serious knack in creating beautifully elaborate arrangements with just the use of samplers and loops really turns us on. Her debut album 'Vows'is a sure-win example of experimental-pop gone right, with hits like ‘Settle Down’ and ‘Cameo Lover’ topping charts all across the globe. The New Zealander’s charisma and charm surely makes for a dynamic, if not mesmerizing, knock-out performance. We can’t wait to see what she’s come up with for Laneway. Check out her live performance of ‘Settle Down’ below. We love.
Kings of Convenience – ‘Boat Behind’
Hailed as the ‘Daft Punk of acoustic music’, the Norwegian indie-folk pair sparked a wave in 2001 with their seemingly unassuming debut album 'Quiet is the New Loud', produced by Coldplay producer Ken Nelson. The band has garnered (quietly) a lot of momentum since – and judging from their latest 2009 album 'Declaration of Dependence' – has never wavered far from their original sound. Feel-good singles like ‘Boat Behind’ and ‘Mrs. Cold’ remind us of a perfect rainy day spent indoors. With simple arrangements using vocals, acoustic guitar, keys and some strings, we reckon Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambæk Bøe could fit snuggly between the likes of The Shins and Simon & Garfunkel. A refreshing addition to the Laneway lineup.
Nicolas Jaar – ‘Space Is Only Noise If You Can See (Dave Aju remix)’
Electronic music upstart Nicolas Jaar just refuses to be pigeonholed. One moment he’s dishing out nu-disco, deep house the next, then techno and trip hop –jumping all over the map in fact and taking you on a sonic odyssey. His critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Space is Only Noise’ is a strange collection of soul-tinged electroacoustic sounds, a musical survey of sorts that spans the gamut of electronic music. Besides busting out his on productions and performing live shows, Jaar has been busy remixing for the likes of Azari & III, Cat Power, Matthew Dear, Maceo Plex, Ellen Allien and Chet Faker.
King and Lionheart – 'Of Monsters and Men'
Seven-piece Icelandic indie-pop group are famous for the huge commercial success of their single ‘Little Talks’ from their debut album 'My Head is an Animal'. Not shying away from unconventional instruments like the trumpet and glockenspiel, these folks run in the same vein as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or perhaps even Mumford & Sons with a bearded female vocalist (just kidding). Easy on the ears though strangely obsessed with animals, tracks like ‘King and the Lionheart’ and ‘Dirty Paws’ are essentials to your dance-in-the-forest-type playlist. Deliciously weird and wondrously imaginative – we’re excited for this one, too.
Polica – ‘Amongster’
Fresh faces in the indie market, the American indie-rock and R&B was only formed in 2011 by Ryan Olson and Channy Leaneagh who had previously collaborated in the soft rock band Gayngs. Their debut album 'Give You' the Ghost relies heavily on vocal layering and dense basslines in tracks like ‘Dark Star’ and ‘Amongster’. No harm with some new blood – they might surprise you.
‘Real Estate – ‘It’s Real’
We love how their sophomore effort Days is resoundingly consistent. Tracks like ‘It’s Real’ and ‘Snowdays’ prove to be immensely rewarding with their washed-out guitars and nostalgic reverbs. If you’re into bespectacled, sweater-donning, bearded musicians who play in the bright sunshine, these American indie-rockers are right up your alley. They embody the perfect amount of free-spiritedness and warm, hopeful melodies without being too mysterious, as many others of the genre regretfully are. Can’t expect anything less from a Jersey band, right?
Tame Impala – ‘Elephant’
While the rest of the peers are going the synth-pop-folk-post-rock-dream-pop route, Aussie lads Tame Impala go psychedelic. With their sophomore effort ‘Lonerism’, the quintet called upon the rock gods of old (The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane) to blend psychedelic rock, experimental rock and pop amid some mesmeric mantra-like vocals that would make Sgt Pepper proud. Definitely more focused than their 2010 debut, ‘Innerspeaker’, Tame Impala might be on to something huge here considering the rave reviews ‘Lonerism’ received from the music press.
Yeasayer – ‘Longevity’
Their ingenious use of incorporating synthetic musical elements and samplers give “experimental pop” (or “psychedelic pop”, if you will) a good name. It all comes together in their 2010 album 'Odd Blood' which was remarkably inventive in its use of synthetic drums, swollen wobble basslines peppered with steady hi-hat rhythms. Their stylistic range further expands in their latest album 'Fragrant World' which won us over with their complex but sophisticated taste in the genre.
Laneway Festival Singapore 2013 is on 26 January 2013 at The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay. Presale tickets $145 through 5 Nov, 11.59pm. Public sales ($145, $493 [four-ticket bundle], $350 [VIP ticket] from 6 Nov