In need to update your music playlist? We take you around the region in this new series, introducing new bands, new genres and new music not too far away from home. Southeast Asia is such a culturally diverse and musically intriguing area, and we'll take you through it bit by bit. Explore sounds from Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and more - we might even throw in a cheesy pop boyband sometime soon. We're also open to suggestions, so throw us some names if you're in the know of any best-kept secrets. You'll be surprised with what our neighbours have up their sleeves!
Throw in some complex arrangements, odd rhythms, hardcore, and a lot of passion - you get ALICE. A formidable force live, it is no wonder this mathcore outfit have been picked to be the openers for Deafheaven in Jakarta. If you're a fan of Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan, this is one band to check out.
Stars and Rabbit (ID)
Indonesia truly produces the most diverse in music - here we have a dreamy folk duo. The unique vocal stylings of Elda, along with minimal guitar comes together to create songs that are imaginative and almost story-telling. And you're in luck! Stars and Rabbit will be in town for Music Matters in May so stick around for more updates.
Earthmover really stands out in the landscape of instrumental rock in Southeast Asia. Watching them live in Manila last year - just three people, winging that DIY attitude, playing in small spaces but in the process, I felt exhilarated, drained, and very impressed all at once. Explosive and dramatic riffs, the immersive atmosphere, and drowning guitar - you would want to take it all in slowly.
Two Million Thanks (TH)
Intricate instrumentation, breezy vocals, some acoustic math, Two Million Thanks churn out tunes that makes for pretty easy listening. The band opened for Japanese math-rock giants toe in 2013 when the band played in Bangkok, a huge gig for them we must assume! They've been hard at work, recently releasing their debut album do in February.
Multo is the one-man bedroom project by Portland-raised Filipino-American Allan Lumba who was doing his dissertation on the history of money. Besides the books, he dabbles in upbeat indietronica, with catchy hooks and a tinge of nostalgia. On live shows however, Multo scrapes away the 'one-man' label and infuses live instruments to his sets.