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8 new bands at Baybeats 2015

Another year, another Baybeats. Benita Lee scopes out the eight new bands performing at the indie music festival

Aquila Vasica
Photo: Isaac Sim
1/8

Aquila Vasica

We are six guys unafraid to venture out of the typical post-hardcore sound. We ended up with heavy music that’s laden with pop, R&B, soul and electronic influences.

Our name isn’t really inspirational. The idea just struck our vocalist, Tom Johari (who has a knack for naming things), and it clicked with everyone. ‘Aquila’ refers to a bird while ‘vasica’ corresponds to ‘vesica piscis’ [a shape comprising two overlapping circles].

The journey has been a roller coaster ride. We’ve recorded our songs, had them mixed a million times, and even verbally thrashed one another. But the outcome is this: we grew stronger and closer. We believe that if something is worth doing, it’s worth over-doing.

Our debut EP, Immaculate Minds Dressed to the Nines, was released last August after three years together as a band. We didn’t compromise – our instincts, intuition and emotion drove our music and art.

At Baybeats, expect sounds you’ve never heard from a heavy band. And somersaults. We’re a mess, albeit a good one.

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Arson
Photo: Jensen Ching
2/8

Arson

We do a mix of hard-hitting beats and ethereal melodies. It’s an amalgamation of all our various influences, from metal to funk. This eclectic mix of influences, on a larger scale, inspires us to write refreshing tunes with not-so- average arrangements.

This year has been pretty challenging as we’re trying to put together our first EP and aiming for a launch this month. This, of course, comes in tandem with the biggest high for us – being given the opportunity to play at Baybeats!

We’re known for our super high energy. Headbanging for all of us is a must. We’re also looking at including stage props and trying to incorporate more visuals, like video projections during our stage sets, so stay tuned.

To be a part of Baybeats has always been our dream. This comes with attending the festival year after year since we were young. It also helped that the auditions provided a common goal for us to work towards.

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Cadence
Photo: Daryl Moh
3/8

Cadence

As a band, we’re influenced by everything from post-hardcore to pop. But more than the giants who’ve inspired us, it’s how our different influences come together to create noise that resonates (hopefully).

Our name originated from the army term ‘Cadence Run’ where the platoon runs at a synchronised pace. During our undergraduate studies, everyone was so caught up with work and school. But whenever we found time to jam, everything was in sync. There were no differences, titles or pressures of work – just hours of songwriting and a passion for music.

That was when we knew the band would be a rhythmic constant regardless of the pressures of modern life. And that was when we named the band Cadence.

We explore varying styles within the rock genre. In one song, [vocalist] Seth Chiam could be yelling at the top of his lungs to three blaring, distorted guitars riffing away, and in the next, it’s slow and soft ambient shimmers to sad pleading lyrics.

At Baybeats, expect lots of nervous energy, awkward moments and face-melting solos from [guitarist] Angus Sham. On stage, we are energetic but gentle. At the end of every gig, we look like we ran a marathon – you get the idea. We’ll also be releasing a single before Baybeats and our debut EP in September, so keep a lookout!

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Exhibitors
Photo: Iryan Rahmat
4/8

Exhibitors

We play melodic hardcore. If we were to compare our music to any band, it’d be Hundredth and Counterparts, our biggest influences. What generally sets us apart is the adrenaline and showmanship we bring to the crowd. Also, [vocalist] Adryan Muhammad – he always fools around on stage.

The one show we won’t forget is last year’s launch of our debut EP, The World As We Know It. The album is a good representation of our personal experiences in life, and we want listeners to relate to it. We didn’t expect such a huge turnout, so it was pretty overwhelming. Even the door couldn’t shut! It was so stuffy and hot, but we played our hearts out and the crowd stuck with us.

Avid music listeners should venture into the underground music scene and take a look at the amount of talent we have. Don’t get us wrong – the mainstream has got a good thing going on, but the underground music scene deserves more recognition.

Baybeats has, for all of us, always been a childhood dream. We’re there every year and we grew up watching bands like Caracal, A Vacant Affair, Love Me Butch and West Grand Boulevard. Now that we finally made it, it’s like a dream come true – one off our bucket list.

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Knightingale
Photo: Jensen Ching
5/8

Knightingale

We are a garage/grunge rock band with lots of energy, formed in late 2013. We have quite a few influences – bands like Bass Drum of Death, Ty Segall, The Hives and Nirvana – and we’re bass-less. It’s not every day you see a band like us!

Our songs are simple and power chord-orientated, which is a blessing and a curse, as we lack technical prowess and interesting songwriting skills, but our main focus is on fat chords, riffs and melodies.

We try to blend in that aggressiveness with teen angst – our themes usually involve young blokes falling in love, whining about rejection, chasing dreams and being a badass in life.

Our debut EP is self-titled, entirely DIY in terms of production and distribution, and released in February. We’re currently in the midst of discussions for our next one. We’re aiming to start production after Baybeats and hopefully release it by the end of the year!

At Baybeats, expect an in-your- face kind of delivery, heavier songs and new material. Our sound is very raw, the kind you’d hear in a garage where bands jam. We’ve got an energetic, plug-and-play and anything goes kind of stage presence.

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Theodora
6/8

Theodora

Growing up in a musical environment really cultivated my interest. Then I kind of segued into songwriting. It came as a natural progression. I yearned to derive more personal meaning from the music I created.

I draw inspiration from anywhere, really. Whatever moves me. Personal experiences (not necessarily my own) are my favourite! I love identifying the moments of impact in any situation – the point that hits you the hardest, where you feel everything at its loudest – and attempting to articulate the emotions or thoughts of a person at that time.

For the most part, I will always be in the experimental stage. Every time I think I’ve found a comfortable corner, my writing takes a turn. But progress and evolution is what I love about creating. Things fail to stay the same, and that’s not always a bad thing.

When things get tough, the love of what you do is the only thing that can keep you keeping on.

Writing my debut EP was frustrating, challenging and rewarding in equal measures. As a private person, putting parts of myself into song for everyone to hear felt more unnerving than cathartic.

This EP is an honest and raw piece of work – the genesis of my musical journey that I can fondly look back on later. The tracks were my attempts to articulate in song what I could not in words, so I hope they resonate with listeners.

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Vessel
Photo: NAFIMAGES
7/8

Vessel

We are a hybrid of genres. It’s a result of the diverse musical influences we draw from and our interest in experimentation. As challenging as it may be, we embrace it and pride ourselves in it. In as little words as possible, we’d brand our music ‘aggressive alternative rock’.

Our name was an accidental discovery. We were sitting around in [guitarist] Hakim Lee’s studio trying to think of a name for the band, and we saw a toy boat sitting around. The rest is history. Over the years, we grew into the name, realising it’s not just about a boat but also a medium for stories we’d like to share through music.

Our upcoming debut EP, Depths, serves as a summary of who we are as a band and what we’ve been through as individuals. It features a spectrum of emotions from antagonised anthems of empowerment to a contemplative tune about friendship.

Contrary to popular belief, stepping into a studio to record music isn’t all about Jack Daniels and drug abuse. It’s an arduous process that requires a shitload of concentration, late nights and junk food – but in a sadistic way, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

The band’s stage presence mostly begins with [vocalist] Syazwan Ahmad. His infectious energy really draws in the crowd and brings our lyrics to life. His relentless energy level catalyses the band and also serves as a stark reminder that we’re not ready for our annual IPPT.

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I, Devotion
Photo: Oh Shu Wen
8/8

I, Devotion

We have an electronic post-hardcore sound going on, leaning towards metalcore.

Being musicians, as sad as it sounds, we’ve always had friends and loved ones tell us we’re not good enough. so our new song, ‘The Weaker Ones Have the Strongest Hearts’, is to tell them we’re not giving up just yet. It’s about not giving up on your dreams even though society and people around you doubt you.

The local scene is very supportive. it doesn’t matter what genre your band plays. there are so many talented and amazing local bands we look up to.

At Baybeats, expect a lot of energy and intensity with our crazy snare-smashing drummer, berserk bass-spinning bassist, creative key-masher, bearded rhythm maestro, bizarre Mr Quick Fingers, and aggressive, thundering screamer and his intense vocals.

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