by A.Akbar

Brunei

Surf Vampires

Spearheaded by Adrian, who  now resides in Nilai due to his studies, Surf Vampires is a proper shoegaze outfit who can truly bring out the good parts of Lo-fi music. Their newly released debut album, Girls, Cats, Grass and Other Stories features breezy songs suited for reminiscing like ‘Shudder’, ‘Moonchild (What You Want)’, and a splash of Bruneian flavor in ‘Lush’. Quality shoegaze with top notch bedroom recording, what’s there to complain?

Bipolaroidz

Consists of Aizat, Aizzah, Zaem and Jazly, Bipolaroidz is also a shoegaze setup from Brunei. Their album Highly Anxious Crippling contains some of the Asia’s finest new age dream pop hooks you’ll hear, that surprisingly came from someone’s bedroom. Even though the frontman Aizat is living in the UK most of the time, the band is still active in producing music and rumor has it, that Bipolaroidz might come to KL for a show or two.

Tropical Hornbills

Tropical Hornbills is a breath of fresh air in the Borneon scene. Structured to be folk, Tropical Hornbills decorated their songs with warm, tropical-sounding effects to make you feel proud of your heritage. ‘Rumahku’ is our personal favorite, an ode to home in the most comforting of ways.

Singapore

Subsonic Eye

                      Photo by Christopher Sim

Beneath all the Sam Willows and Gentle Bones, lies a scene of colorful indie musicians who are musically on the same level as Singapore’s brightest stars. Subsonic Eye emerged as the brighter ones by miles, and if their streak continues, Asia is there for the taking. Vibrant and cunning, Subsonic Eye reminds the Lo-fi scene how proper recording quality can serve justice to your sonorous choruses.

The Pinholes

The Pinholes is that ball of sunshine that hovers on Sentosa Island to give you pop yeh yeh experience that’s guaranteed to be worthwhile. The band has been crafting smiles for years with their hit ‘Sunshine’ alongside an Aidilfitri song, but their recent album shows that The Pinholes is bigger than 2 hit wonders. ‘Renungan Manja’ and ‘Bintang Rok N Roll Mu’ are sublime, but their collaboration with Takahara Suiko in ‘Kembali’ is a different beast altogether. Oh, you dingle dingle lang, don’t make this end!

M1LDL1FE

Originally called Take Two, M1LDL1FE lights up SG with a much more mature sound. Though it almost feels like Paddy and the gang hit the reset button with a new style, the band instilled the same experience and flair they’ve earned since their Take Two days, but with a sharper hook. ‘Distraction’’s music video showcases the best of Singapore, as Singapore gives birth to the best that they’ve had so far.

Indonesia

Mondo Gascaro

Originally an important member of Sore, Mondo Gascaro chose to turn in a new leaf and go solo. So far, Mondo has successfully reclaim the hearts of his fans with his solo material, namely ‘Dan Bila’ dan ‘Lamunan Ombak’. Mondo Gascaro’s freedom in making music is by far an ingenious thing, allowing Mondo to perform beyond the restrictions of the band. We’re excited for more stuff soon.

Emir Hermono

If you’re familiar with alextbh, you might have heard his edit of Emir Hermono’s ‘3AM In Jakarta’ with Nayaka. In Indonesia, Emir is a big hit in the contemporary R&B scene. Currently staying in Malaysia, Emir has a significantly large fan base here as he mingles with local comrades playing the same genre. Other than his hits, Emir also just released a music video called ‘Let Go’ ft Daaliah, setting a bar high for budding R&B artists to reach.

SISITIPSI

SISITIPSI has been around for quite some time, but due to the saturation of the Indonesian indie scene, the magic of SISITIPSI was only discovered by the masses a few years ago after releasing a cheeky song about leisure alcohol consumption called ‘Alkohol’. Beyond that, SISITIPSI has adventurously dabbled with the arts of jazz, soaking it with indie flavors to suit the youthful ears and palates.

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