There are tons of parties happening this august in the Lion City in commemoration for our nation’s golden jubilee. Celebrations will be in store to mark our country’s independence and the city has been showering its citizens with SG50-marked goodies. You have your fun packs, your SG50 story books, SG50 plays, but the most generous gift of them all is a long weekend (7-10 August) from the Prime Minister’s Office. For all the opportunist countrymen with wanderlust, it comes as good timing that Ismaya Live’s We the Fest 2015 is scheduled for the SG50 weekend in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Back in 2014, We the Fest brought out acts like Azealia Banks, Miami Horror, Mayer Hawthorne, RAC, Banks, Goldroom and headliner Ellie Goulding. Building on last year’s successful outing, the team has taken its pickings from the electronic and indie sphere, mashing them together for a mammoth line up that holds its weight in gold.
We pick out four highlights for you to check out at We the Fest this coming August.
Far from being "that" singer who appeared on electronic producer SBTRKT's debut album, Jessie Ware has evolved into a highly confident singer-songwriter who even imparted a haunting track into Nicki Minaj's recent album The Pinkprint. She made her slow emergence from UK's thriving underground electronic scene to being one of the country's most relevant and consistently spellbinding singers, with her clever fusion of accessible R&B songwriting flavoured by her forward-thinking sensibilities, sharpened by her time spent with collaborators from Dave Okumu of The Invisible to Miguel and even Ed Sheeran.
If her debut release Devotion proved to be a little too downtempo for your tastes, her second record Tough Love has greater pop appeal that transcends most of the singles cramming the airwaves now — balancing catchy melodies with her signature moody sensuality that has clutched her from the night to an appeal that doesn't require "the right mood" to listen to. We'd say that would extend to her live set, which we're pretty sure will be just as enthralling if it's in the afternoon or night.
When Australian legends Flight Facilities announced their debut album ‘Down to Earth’ last year, with a library of top singles and remixes under their belt, the world stopped revolving for a moment in recovery. The duo has been consistently spilling out remixes over their 6 year career as both Flight Facilities and Hugo & Jimmy, slamming tunes together over the funk movement of the 70s.
Working with Emma Louise and comedic act Reggie Watts on their latest showing, has proven wise as the album has evolved from being one varied in influences and sounds to an album riding on for an intense solution to the EDM culture. If you’re not convinced, ’Sunshine’, which features Reggie Watts of ‘F*ck Shit Stack’ fame, slips in with a light-hearted swing over a strong funk groove with a trademark FF imprint of bouncy synths, capturing the soulful days of the 70’s while strolling the radiant boardwalks of Tanjong Beach.
Not to be confused with the bustling country linking both Central and South America, Panama of Sydney, Australia will bring their brand of happy electronic pop music to the Indonesian capital between dates in America and Europe. A photo of the band shows two Australians, drummer Tim Commandeur and Jarrah McCleary who plays almost every other instrument on the band, however, the band has really just served as McCleary’s exclusive musical output, writing and crafting songs individually under the band name Panama. Having just released EP ‘Always’, Panama has received massive support on the radios for its title track, written about a relationship of his.
If atmospheric pop tunes are your poison, newly-released single ’Jungle’ is just that; beat-heavy and showering waves of choral echoes over the back of a dreamy haze of a voice. Having stripped back from being a six-piece with a saxophone player, be sure to catch Panama. Minimalist line up, maximum star power.
For Passion Pit fans, this is the happiest you’ve ever seen Michael Angelakos after battling bipolar disorder throughout his music career. As the sole creator and inventor of Passion Pit's tunes, there lies an autographical element in his writing styles. Debut album ’Manners’ and sophomore ’Gossamer’ details the darker bits of his life but obscured under a case of honey glazed tunes with loud and upbeat synthesiser parts. New album ‘Kindred’ is a broad, bright and sincere smile on Angelakos’ face as he now deals with the pain and discomfort better. Single ’Lifted Up (1985)’ retains a similar sound from his previous albums, but the lyrics signal better days for Michael Angelakos and Passion Pit.
Ever since leaving Perth after his further studies to return home to Indonesia, band leader Bam Mastro was in disarray at having to drop his previous band SaySky and found three like-minded musicians in Bayu Adisapoetra, Dewa Pratama and John Paul Patton to form Elephant Kind. Digging deep into the indie-rock genre, the quartet will embellish the We the Fest crowd with frantic finger work on the guitars crosshatched with dizzying keyboard parts and a feel good touch spooled in by Bam’s grungy vocals.