Baybeats, surely one of the region’s top festivals when it comes to showcasing regional talents, is back this year, but with a little bit of a difference – no more international/non-Asian bands in the line-up. But, if you think that’s going to make the festival less interesting, think again for we honestly think that this one has got some pretty interesting bands lined up for your aural (and visual) pleasure this weekend. Happening at the Esplanade in Singapore from Friday 19th August till Sunday 21st August 2011, here are some of the non-Singaporean and non-Malaysian acts we’re most excited about:
One of the very few South East Asian bands to actually get some international seal of approval, this bunch of jangle pop and shoegaze heads from the Philippines set the blogosphere alight a few years back with their release Cut The World and their 7″ single for Still. They have even got themselves on Rough Trade’s Indiepop 09 compilation. Now that’s what we call impressive.
Being a guy, one can’t help but marvel at how gorgeous the singer for this duo from the Philippines is. But that’s not the only reason we’re mentioning them here because if the music doesn’t cut it, we still won’t be too excited to see them. Luckily their brand of indiepop influenced electronica is very easy on the ears and combine that with the aforementioned pretty lady, consider us sold.
Named after the song Di Bangku Taman by Indonesian indie pop legends Pure Saturday, it’s obvious where this band’s love lies in terms of their preferred musical genre. But in Indonesia’s endless sea of indie pop and twee bands, Bangkutaman has truly got the songwriting chops to rise above most of them, as you can simply hear in their lovely and poetic song Ode Buat Kota above.
Another Indonesian indie pop band to get your interest going, but with more of a bossa nova slant to their sound, this bunch should go down well with fans of Mocca and bands of that ilk. Come to think of it, this year’s edition of Baybeats looks to be quite indie pop friendly, and not as emo-centric as it has been for the past few years, which is something that the Singaporean crowd usually go for, and which makes this year’s edition seem particularly quite fresh, doesn’t it?
Talking about emo, where would Baybeats be without some highlights from the genre, right? This year sees the return of one of the bands that played in one of the earlier Baybeats (we think), Buddhistson from Japan. They’ve already toured Malaysia and Singapore a few years back, so we’re pretty sure that a lot of kids are going to be excited to see them live again.
Noughts And Exes
One of Hong Kong’s most buzzed about independent bands, Nought And Exes’ brand of folk pop is quite simply a breath of fresh air, and with all that unusual (at least in rock bands) instruments like the glockenspiel, melodica and even a typewriter used in their songs, it should be interesting to see how they’re going to pull it all off live.
Also slated to play in Kuala Lumpur on 21st August, this much talked about electro act from Beijing has got some pretty impressive credentials, including MTV Band Of The Month in 2009 and Best Electro Band in China in 2010 and a 2009 European tour and appearances on Arte TV and the BBC to name a few. Should make for an interesting viewing if you ask us.
By Aidil Rusli