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  • LIFESTYLE

    Anthems for the end of the world

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 24/03/2019

    » If you happen to recall the indie explosion that came and went during the mid-noughties, you're most likely to recall how UK math-rockers Foals were perched right on the forefront alongside the now-nowhere-to-be-found groups like Kasabian, Hard-Fi and Maxïmo Park. Although not the first band to come up with it, they're largely responsible for spreading the gospel of that intricate, tightly-wound guitar work that's gone on to more or less define the genre. Over time, the Foals' signature hectic romp that was the backbone of their 2008 landmark debut, Antidotes, has transformed into something a little more polished and more mature. Subtle sonic shifts can already be detected on their second LP, Total Life Forever (how much of a revelation is Spanish Sahara?), and even more so on the subsequent records, the unabashedly potent Holy Fire and What Went Down.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Footloose and fancy-free

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 17/03/2019

    » Over the past decade, Beirut's Zach Condon has been a go-to guy for what I like to refer to as "speciality indie rock". This is just a fancy way of saying that the music is unlike your typical indie sound. Beirut are masters when it comes to injecting world music elements into their repertoire, which has accumulated into a sizeable discography since their 2006 debut Gulag Orkestar. And although the boys may have faltered somewhat with previous effort No No No, they're back stronger than ever with their latest, Gallipoli.

  • LIFESTYLE

    James Blake's Changing Form

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 10/03/2019

    » "Now I'm confiding, know I may have/ Gone through the motions my whole life/ I hope this is the first day/ That I connect motion to feeling," James Blake wears his heart on his sleeve on the piano-driven opener/title track of his fourth studio album, Assume Form. The candid openness with which Blake addresses depression and anxiety, the struggles he's confessed of having since his 2011 debut album took off, is stunning to witness especially for an artist whose career is mostly built on nuances, abstraction and negative spaces.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Call it therapy

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 03/03/2019

    » While most people may not be familiar with Julia Michaels, chances are they have more than one occasion heard (and even sung along to) the songs she wrote. The 25-year-old American songwriter, if you must know, is the force behind some of the biggest pop hits from over the past few years including Justin Bieber's Sorry, Selena Gomez's Bad Liar and Hands To Myself, and Gwen Stefani's Used To Love You. But after realising that some of the songs she penned spoke to her more than it would any of the industry's A-listers, she decided to carve her path as a solo artist -- the move marked by the release of her 2017's debut single, Issues, followed by the seven-track EP, Nervous System.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Tomorrow Starts Today

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 24/02/2019

    » From returning to college, starring in the Netflix series The OA and getting pregnant, New York-based singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten has had a busy few years prior to the arrival of her fifth studio outing, Remind Me Tomorrow. The record, helmed by indie rock's go-to producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Future Islands, Unknown Mortal Orchestra), reflects those changes in her life via a stylistic shift that emphasises less on the guitars, but more on other instruments like synths, pianos and even occasional drones.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Fear No More

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 17/02/2019

    » After providing the chart-topping main theme songs alongside Japanese composer Yoko Shimomura for Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, Utada Hikaru returns for the video game series' latest instalment -- this time with EDM producer and self-confessed Kingdom Hearts fan Skrillex in the fold. Titled Face My Fears, the four-track EP marks the continual, almost two-decade-long collaboration between Hikaru and game director Tetsuya Nomura that first began prior to the release of the first game in the early 2000s.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Recalling her past life

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 10/02/2019

    » While much has already been discussed about the 2016's viral YouTube video in which super producer Pharrell Williams became visibly in awe of singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers and her demo of Alaska, Williams' organic reaction never gets tiring to watch. It's pure, genuine and far more emotional than any of the today's TV singing competitions could ever hope to elicit. And, thanks to that very video, Rogers has garnered well-deserved attention, amassed a sizeable fanbase, and struck a record deal with Capitol Records -- all in just over a year.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The Art of Growing Old

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 03/02/2019

    » "Attending an unplanned party/ Never ready, didn't really wanna come/ Saying 'hello' to acquaintances/ Gotta be careful not to smile too much/ It just wouldn't be appropriate," without knowing the track's title, the opening verse of The Charapaabs' debut single, Sala Kon Sao (Funeral Party), reads like something of a typical introvert's diary. As the second verse arrives, it becomes clear that the aforementioned "party" is actually a funeral where "the host refrains from making an appearance" (worth noting a clever wordplay here -- ook long, literally "out of coffin", is used instead of ook rong, which is a Thai expression meaning to make an appearance).

  • LIFESTYLE

    The sharpest tool in the shade

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 27/01/2019

    » We're not even a full month into 2019 and it seems like the Thai indie music scene is already readying itself for another year of solid offerings. Leading the pack is none other than The Dumbs, a Winai Kitcharoenjiranont solo project. If that name doesn't ring a bell, Winai is one of the co-founding members of The Charapaabs, an elderly-themed concept band who's bestowed upon us a series of memento mori-inspired cuts like Funeral Party, Annual Check Up and Hello Monday. (Side note: keep an eye out for a review of their long-awaited debut LP, Maha Moradok, coming next Sunday.) He's also the brain behind TypeThai, a popular Facebook page and a YouTube channel that celebrates-slash-satirises Thai idiosyncrasies in all their glory.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Widescreen memories

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 20/01/2019

    » Ever since I embarked on this music-criticism journey some five years ago, it's always been a personal mission of mine to be as diverse as possible when it comes to the albums I choose to review. While I'd like to think that mainstream and independent/left-field artists are equally given a chance to shine in this column, there's still a whole world of music out there that needs its due recognition. Which brings me to drummer-turned-piano virtuoso Eiko Ishibashi, a celebrated Japanese musician who, thanks to US-based label Drag City, is getting her releases outside of her native Japan.

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