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Asian Audio: 5 of our favourite emerging Asian artists who you need to hear!
One of Thailand's most exciting bands is undoubtedly the Indie Pop sensations ROSALYN. Famed locally for their slick, dreamy sounds, the band have just released their debut album 'Skin' which is an immersive collection of songs that takes you on a real journey. Opening track 'The Deja Vu' eases you in with its high pitch vocal melodies, steady beat and drifting electronic notes that spiral gently across the soundscape. Next comes 'Spin' which has slightly more swagger to it, leading with a funky beat and accented the biggest vocal moments with smooth instrumental crashes. However, it is the instrumental guitar sections that really draw you in and create a fantastically captivating spiral of sound that you find yourself getting lost in.
'She Was Hot' stands out as a highlight on the album, with its drifting instrumental tranquility and entrancing brass lines that transport you into a timeless, carefree headspace. It almost takes on a lounge vibe by the end as fiercely flavoursome guitar tones and loose piano keys pepper the brass-driven dreamscape. This is then followed up by the bouncy electro pop energy of 'No Call' and the introspective closer 'Hope' to finish off an impressively eclectic album of fantastic textural balance and technical musical skill.
The smooth tones of Philipino artist Miguel Abella are almost trance like at times, slipping you into a tranquil setting with ease. However this is not to say that there aren’t melodic moments that will grab you and make you want to jam along too! His latest single ‘Money’ instantly draws you in with a richly toned guitar line that is placed right at the front of the mix to immediately lay its authority on the track’s melody.
The slick sounds it makes tangle beautifully with Miguel’s vocal tones early before the song the fully kicks in with its first chorus which is boosted the solid driving beat. After this point, the bouncing energy of the drums and the background sounds of the rolling guitar line create a warm, surf feel comparable to Aaron Taos or Fuller. The subtle yet infectious hooks of the chorus grow on you time after time, made even more impactful by the dreamy soundscape that flavours the verses between them. Overall a heavily catchy track with a sound that may not often associate with Southeast Asia!
Evoking the sounds of scrappy 60s Rock are South Korean newcomers VelvetHeroin who emerged this year with three singles. The first of which, 'The Faces', pairs a slightly slurry, laid-back vocal phrasing with a cluttered yet raw sounding Rock muddle of jangly acoustics, bouncing drums and a piercing barrel of distorted guitar sounds that feels like a cross between The Velvet Underground and Radiohead.
They then followed this up with 'You Don't Know It Eats You', a more spaced out track that still offers the cluttered instrumental frenzy but delves into a psychedelic feel with its layered drifting vocal harmonies, off kilter piano notes and constant rolling drum pattern that becomes hypnotic by the end. Most recently, they completed this trio of tracks with 'Hangin' On', the most uplifting of their releases. The soaring string section and playful keyboard melody evokes the optimistic songwriting charm of Badly Drawn Boy yet the vocals radiate a more abstract vibe that seems to be becoming synonymous with the band.
You only have to glance at the explosive artwork of Thai Rock outfit PANICIAN’s new single ‘I Am Supernova’ to understand the energy and spirit that is put into the track. The drum tone is big and rounded while the guitars are fuzzy and build up a dense wall of sound that’s full of gritty tones and distorted melodies. Echoing the anthemic, drawn out vocal styles of 90s Mancunian acts such as Oasis and The Stone Roses, PANICIAN have sampled a slice of British nostalgia and added their Thai flair into the mix.
The rhythm is constantly rambling, perpetual and never slows down! However it is not simply a shallow attempt at recreating noisy northern swagger, the technical ability shines through too, with constant scratching guitar flicks providing a flavoursome backdrop and proving that these guys have the gusto to back up their sonic style. The thought of seeing these guys play live in a sweaty basement on the other side of the world is enough to ignite, any music lovers traveller instinct!
Seoul's newest Punk project comes from 18 Fevers. They conjure a gritty Punk spirit while wrapping it up with a bouncing dance sensibility. Radiating an angst-ridden unapologetic attitude, the band combine their ferocious sonic attack with a raspy vocal style that is direct and impossible to ignore.
Their latest release 'Danse Macabre', as the name suggests, injects a dark and mysterious tone into a rolling dance rhythm. Beginning with a thick Post-Punk bass line, the track then develops a dense, sinister atmosphere that would feel fitting for a dark thriller movie. The chorus is rousing, led by a vicious femme-Punk vocal snarl that has an unforgiving bite to it. A uniquely, dangerous dance blend from South Korea!