While the arts scene in Singapore may not be prominent, that doesn’t mean we don’t have good music!
When you think of Singaporean music artistes, the first few bands or singers that come to mind are probably The Sam Willows, Gentle Bones or Nathan Hartono.
Most well-known musicians from Singapore tend to play pop music. However, there are also many other talented musical artistes who play various other genres.
Here are nine of my personal favourites:
One way to describe brb.’s sound would be melancholic, yet boppy. With catchy love songs, brb. is sure to lift your spirits.
The R&B trio of Clarence Liew, Auzaie Zie and Marc Lian met through the local music industry and decided to band together to produce music after realising their potential together.
Personally, I find brb.’s songs good for background music to listen to as I study or to just chill in my room.
Some songs I would recommend would be can’t tell, whoops, and do me right.
Known for their energetic and rambunctious live performances, Forests could be described as midwest emo or math rock.
With many guitar focused songs and ‘whiny’ vocals, Forests is good for those who prefer loud energetic sounds.
If I had to describe the band briefly, I would say they give me vibes of nostalgia and thinking of a past lover or missed connection.
The three members Adam, Darrell and Niki, met on an online music forum and decided to start a band that was different from the songs other Singaporean bands played.
I remember seeing Forests live in 2019 and being blown away by the band and crowd’s synergy. Everyone was excitedly moshing and shouting the song lyrics at the top of their lungs.
Fans of well-known bands like American Football and Yellowcard will probably like Forests. If you’re checking the band out, then give Tamago, Kawaii Hawaii, and How’s Leaving Coming Along? a listen.
Sobs is an indie-pop trio comprising Celine Autumn, Jared Lim and Raphael Ong.
With their songs sounding echoey and dreamy, with many clean guitar melodic sounds, their lyrics speak about bittersweet love and yearning for an escape.
Do give a listen to Eastbound and Astronomy for when you need to relax and unwind.
Influenced by ‘90s hip-hop and alternative music, Mediocre Haircut Crew is a trio consisting of omarKENOBI, mickeyLEANO, and daniKIDDO with apparently average hairdos.
Lose Your Love, Win or Lose and TOM YUM are bops that you should definitely listen to.
Moving on to heavier sounds, Aggressive Raisin Cat (ARC) is a progressive metalcore band that honestly blew my mind.
With heavy guttural screaming and complex guitar riffs, I was surprised to find out that members Aaron, Janssen, Jace, Reuben and Casper were all pretty young.
Fueled by teenage angst, ARC aims to create quality unique music and is good to listen to when you want some form of release.
Although they currently only have one song released, the band has loads of potential and have a three-song EP along the way.
If you like metal bands like Architects and Periphery, do check out ARC’s single Edgelord.
Female fronted synth-pop band Disco Hue comprises Sherlyn Leo, Auzaie Zie, Rush Ang and Billy Chua.
Giving off happy electronic vibes with prominent bass lines and funky drum beats, Disco Hue is a band you can easily groove to.
The band also stays true to their retro music style with beautiful visual aesthetics in their music videos, album art and dressing.
Fans of CHVRCHES and Daft Punk, should definitely check out I’ll Be Waiting and Can’t Be Mine by Disco Hue.
Morning Martians was originally a five-piece pop punk band formed in 2013 consisting of Iskandar, Nazirul, Nashrul and Ashraf, with Ridwan joining in 2015.
With their sound consisting of loud instruments and instrumental solos, the band encompassed rebellious teenage years and wanting to belong and be understood.
Similar to Neck Deep and State Champs, Morning Martians has the sound and feel of a typical pop punk band. My personal favourite part of their songs are the instrumental breakdowns.
Speaking of which, definitely check out Mr No One Talks About and Maybe You Should Leave Now.
However, with their last comeback in 2018, the band has recently rebranded themselves as MRTNS with new members Emmanuel and Juan, after Ashraf and Ridwan left.
MRTNS’ newly matured sound can be considered similar to The 1975 and you can check out their latest single Daisies and Doves.
Similar to Morning Martians, Fader is also a pop punk band and collaborated with Morning Martians to release an EP in 2018.
The band consists of Hanirusyaidi Subhan, Danish Emran, Feriadi Tan and Syakir Bahrin. Their sound can be compared with Neck Deep and The Story So Far, with heavy drums and wistful lyrics.
Songs I’d recommend would be Deadweight, Whole Truth and December Weather.
Indie-pop act, formerly known as Take Two, M1LDL1FE produces upbeat, guitar and synth driven songs with electronic sounds.
The band consists of David Siow, Jeryl Yeo, Tan Peng Sing and Paddy Ong, and have become extremely well-known in Singapore’s music scene, even performing for NDP 2018.
Their most popular songs are Distraction and In Your Arms, but their latest single Can’t Seem to Get Anything is also an absolute banger so do check these songs out.
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