While popular, Pitchfork-endorsed indie bands like CHVRCHES, Purity Ring and Grimes are coming your way at January’s Laneway, we are pretty excited about the Asian band line-up, too, short though it may be. Ranging from the homegrown Cashew Chemists to Cheats from the Philippines, make room on your dance card for these.
These guys first burst into the scene with their first demos titled “What She Said” and “Road Trip” at the end of 2011. Influenced by the rock sounds of America, they have since released a four-track EP titled “Previously On… Cashew Chemists” with songs like “Feel Amazing” and “Take A Walk.” They are also known to reward fans by slipping in tickets to Laneway just for buying their EP.
Hailing from the Philippines, Cheats started out as a two-person band with Jim Bacarro and Manny Tanglao and now consists of eight band members. Influenced by pop and rock sounds (particularly Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem), the band comes up with lots of catchy tracks. Well-known ones include “Eye,” “Summer,” and “Again, Professor Manny?” from their self-titled debut album released this year.
R!ot in Magenta
The Singapore band has two EPs, one, titled “R3B007” and the other four-track one, “Voices,” were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively. They blend synth, trip-hop, soul and electronica into their tracks, with Eugenia Yip lending her ethereal vocals to the tracks. Check out Running and CTRL on their Bandcamp here
Also known as Louis Quek, Singapore DJ and producer Intriguant has received mentorship from the turntablist pioneer DJ Q-Bert to venture into music production. Lots of his work sounds is pretty chill and downtempo, with a little bit of hip-hop and soul thrown in. His EP, “Ellipse,” was released in 2014, which is chock full of tunes to zen out to. Have a listen:
We’re especially excited about this all-girl quirky Hong Kong band which took its name from the phonetic spelling of a dish, “gai dan jang yuk bang” that loosely translates to “chicken and egg steamed cake,” and are known for the socio-political commentary in their songs. As for their sound, they’re influenced by math-rock and folk music genres with electronica elements thrown in. Their latest track on Youtube is titled, “Durian Durian What What What.” The video is trippy, too.