Say Hello to Your Vans Musicians Wanted Kuching Showcase Finalists

We’re at the end of the road, ladies and gentlemen: this weekend marks the last of the three Vans Musicians Wanted showcase events, taking place at Sanjuro Cafe in Kuching on Saturday, August 26, and as ever, we have a bunch of four young and interesting bands that will be trying to come out on top and get one step closer to the Vans Asia Stage.

Youth Portal

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Youth Portal

Youth Portal are a five-piece indie/shoegaze band based in Cyberjaya. They’re not entirely purely shoegaze, as they temper the dreamy, hazy tendencies of the classic shoegaze bands with a slacker indie rock sound that isn’t too far removed from all our ’90s heroes from the Ipoh scene.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

One of the more curious things we’ve noticed about the Malaysian scene is that the whole nu-gaze (or “modern shoegaze”) sound, which is all the rage in a lot of places including our neighbours Indonesia, seems to not have much, if any, representation here when it comes to bands playing in that style. So that’s one reason to care about Youth Portal, at least if you’re fond of that style of music. If you’re not, well, they’re tuneful, melodic and have that unmistakable summery melancholia vibe that’ll worm its way under your skin. Perfect music for hot Sundays lazing around thinking about past loves and good times.

Ian F & Court 10

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Ian F & Court 10

Ian F & Court 10 are a four-piece that have both feet firmly planted in the modern, slightly slacker-influenced indie/folk scene, with the attitude to match, but who combine that with an ear for melody and tuneful group vocals that recalls 1960s and 1970s pop.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

If listening to a band that claims to be influenced by both Mac Demarco and The Beatles is something that interests you, then these guys are it. It’s not just talk, either; you can really hear the influence of both acts, and a lot more, in their cheery sound. It’s inoffensive, pleasing music, and while in some cases that might be a bit of a backhanded compliment, in this case it’s probably exactly what the band is aiming for. They probably won’t rock your socks off, but they may just win you over with their charm.

South China Sea

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South China Sea

South China Sea are a Sarawak-based five-piece. They’re a very modern alternative rock band, with a sound that marries the basic building blocks of alternative rock with the melodic and sound design sensibilities of post-rock and that particularly Japanese brand of math-rock played by Toe and Tricot, amongst others.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

South China Sea are one of those thoroughly modern bands whose music is a great example of the mishmash and mixing of genres that the internet, and ease of access to music, can give us. Their mix is a somewhat tasteful and logical mix, with none of the elements sticking out too much and coalescing into a coherent whole. If they can keep mining this particular vein of hybrid inspiration we think they’ll be able to appeal to a reasonably wide listener base and make a name for themselves in the scene.

Lukarts

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Lukarts

Lukarts are a young five-piece that really brings the funk. They’re unabashed fans of pop music, and they play a modern pop sound with big elements of funk and soul in the mix. Expansive, melodic and infectious are three words we’d use to describe what they do.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

We’ve been keeping an eye on these boys for quite a while—we featured one of their tracks on one of our podcast episodes—and we’re happy to report that they’ve been keeping at it and stayed true to their slick, melodious and funky pop sound. Their love of slick, and maybe borderline-cheesy synth sounds and production may not be to everyone’s taste—it isn’t always something we’re always in the mood for either—but it’s impossible to deny that they know how to craft a catchy tune. If you’re a fan of the funkier sounds of modern pop (think Bruno Mars’ most recent album, for starters) then you’d do well to check these boys out.