St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival has always been a platform for catapulting the most eclectic and diverse acts into the musical stratosphere, and this year was no different. Aside from the big names such as Hudson Mohawke, Flume and CHVRCHES, we tabulated a list that we feel could dominate the sounds of the future. Take a look back at the Laneway acts that we truly enjoyed in Singapore.
We’ve got immense love for the frequent Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus collaborator, with the burly bassist-vocalist spilling into funk-filled numbers such as “Them Changes”, “Heartbreaks + Setbacks” and even Lamar’s “Complexion” during his set. Together with his equally technically proficient keyboards-and-drum band mates, the acclaimed brainfeeder artist had us dancing hard in the sun.
Violent Soho’s appeal came from the simplicity of the lyrics, catchy guitar hooks, and their oh-so-good mosh-worthy brand of alternative rock. Drawing influences from grunge heroes such as Nirvana, Cage the Elephant and The Pixies, vocalist Luke Boerdam and co. gave us plenty of chances to yell “Hell f*ck yeah!”.
The experimental producer brought his own band onstage that day, and accompanied by the likes of guest vocalists Charlie Lim, Tim De Cotta and Eugenia Yip from Riot !n Magenta – all stalwarts in the local scene – the Singaporean beatsmith brought the house down with his brooding, magma-like beats.
We thoroughly enjoyed Shamir Bailey’s high-octane, energy-filled set, with the sassy Las Vegas native entertaining with his unusual brand of Disco House. Drawing influences from Prince, Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson – and plenty of cowbell – Shamir proved to be a huge hit with revelers.
There’s no denying frontman Matt Healy’s irresistible charm, with the British heartthrob performing to a packed audience of screaming, clamoring teenage girls. Complaining about the repressive heat and unbuttoning his shirt mid-show, Healy turned on the heat when the band played singles such as “Sex”, “Chocolate”, and “Girls”.
The Singaporean blues-rock band occupied the Garden stage at 4.30pm, and entertained tremendously with their catchy sing along vocals, soaring choruses and Tame Impala-ish guitar riffs. Delving into straight-up guitar rock tinged with psychedelic influences, Cashew Chemists gave revelers a huge throwback to the days of The Beatles and the Beach Boys.
We still can’t get over the fact that the experimental synth-pop princess brought up Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes during her spectacular, light-laden, hour-long set. With her off-kilter charm, wispy vocals and captivating dance moves, Grimes proved to us why, she might be one of the biggest avant-garde rockstars of our time.
Photos: Alvin Ho / Cliff Yeo / Glenn Yong / Asyraf
2016 ST JEROME’S LANEWAY FESTIVAL AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
February 5th | Harts Mill, PORT ADELAIDE
February 6th | Brisbane Showgrounds, BRISBANE
February 7th | Sydney College of the Arts, SYDNEY
February 13th | Footscray Community Arts Centre, MELBOURNE
February 14th | Esplanade Reserve & West End, FREMANTLE