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!
Not to be confused with San Francisco post-rockband Rumah Sakit, this indie band from Indonesia has been around since 1994. Popular in the independent scene through the 90s, the band took a long hiatus, before reuniting again this year. Yep, in fact they launched some new material just a month ago. Citing Britpop, The Stone Roses, Suede as some of their influences, they channel that fun, easy-listening, and chill vibes into their music. Fit for a car ride, road trip, or an afternoon at home, the group specialises in music that’s real easy to get into.
Fans of Lucy Rose, you will dig Fools and Foes. Delicate melodies with forlorn words, it’s not exactly dance music but hey, we don’t mind. The doleful boy-girl harmonies make for a riveting listen. If mellow is your thing, Fools and Foes should be at the top of your playlist.
With a few albums under their belt, Hale has been at it since 2004, churning out solid alt-rock tunes. Sincere lyrics, familiar and comfortable guitar riffs, it’s no wonder Hale became one of the country’s top bands. The band went on a hiatus in 2010 but have recently announced a new album for 2015 so we can guarantee that they’ll be hitting the gigging circuit quite regularly now in Philippines.
When it comes to feel-good music, Philippines presents us with so many options, and one of them is Sandwich. They’ve been around for more than a decade (frontman Raymund Marasigan was from the legendary Filipino rock band Eraserheads), and still continue to bang out some people pleasing tunes. Upbeat, and nostalgic, we’ll have a Sandwich anytime.
The concept for Elephant Kind started in Australia where band leader Bam Mastro was based at the time - and their music has already enjoyed airplay down under! Though the band themselves have described their music as pop, there’s so much more - a little bit Two Door Cinema Club, some TV On The Radio, and inkling of Vampire Weekend. Pretty much makes up for some good listening.