Music

Don't fear the indie: There's something for everyone at Neon Lights Festival this weekend

Neon Lights Festivals is set to buck the trend that music festivals are essentially a huge hipster convention.

The festival, scheduled to take place this weekend, offers something for just about everyone (including those pesky fedora-toting hipsters).

Beside music offerings from various genres, the organisers, Declan Forde and Jennifer Jennings, have also included stand-up comedians, circus acts, spoken word poets, visual artists as well as activities for kids.

The variety of options and activities are reminiscent of one of the more popular music festivals in the world, Glastonbury. 

The added bonus of the festival here is that there is no camping in tents involved - and you won't be knee-deep in mud.

Forde, who is the event's managing director, told The Straits Times: "We've tried to appeal to different pockets of people but maintained a cohesion in that the different elements, and their respective audiences all blend well. The only common theme is quality and diversity."

Over 140 local and international artistes are set to perform across four of the festival's six stages as well as conduct workshops.

Below is our guide to some of the must-see acts.


1. CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers

WHO:

Whether you're 17 or 70, it's very likely that you would have heard of at least one of Rodgers' legendary songs. 

One of the most anticipated acts this weekend, some of CHIC's tracks are virtually inescapable.

Le Freak, Dance Dance Dance, Good Times, I Want Your Love. 

They'll creep up on you somehow whether you're in a club playing oldies' hits or your grandmother's bingo night.

And you will dance. Rodgers' ability to find a rich seam of groove has made him eternally sought after. Do you really think Get Lucky was just down to Pharrell? 

Rodgers has also had a hand at producing some big hits, including Madonna's Like a Virgin.

WHERE YOU’VE HEARD THEM BEFORE:

Daft Punk's 2014 smash hit Get Lucky

 

 

YOU’LL LIKE THEM IF YOU LIKE:

Mambo nights at Zouk


2. DAUGHTER

WHO:

Daughter's music is a lovely combination of ethereal sweet and dark at the same time. And that is precisely why they have been so successful especially with their hits Youth and Smother.

Emotional montage scenes in US dramas are crying out for Daughter's tunes. 

WHERE YOU’VE HEARD THEM BEFORE:

If it's slow panning and emotional, chances are it's Daughter. More specifically, Grey's Anatomy and The Originals

 

 

YOU’LL LIKE THEM IF YOU LIKE:

Birdy Stina Nordenstam, Feist, Lykke Li or you may even be able to convert a fan of Sarah Mchlachlan

 

 


 

3. SHUGO TOKUMARU

WHO:

​He may be singing in Japanese but chances are Shugo Tokumaru will enthrall you with his folk-pop songs and his personality.

​Tokumaru is known for his light, whimsical arrangements that are carried by his wistful voice and acoustic guitar.

 

 

YOU’LL LIKE THEM IF YOU LIKE:

Cornelius, Flaming Lips, early Mercury Rev.

WHERE YOU’VE HEARD HIM BEFORE:

The video game LittleBigPlanet 3

Tokumaru's song Rum Hee was featured in the Playstation game.

 


4. VIET CONG

​If you're a rock fan, Viet Cong will gleefully grant your riff wishes.

One of the few rock bands on the Neon Lights bill, they promise a "good rock show" when the band spoke to The New Paper.

"That's all we do," said the band's guitarist Scott 'Monty' Munro.

Don't let the offending name deter you though.

After much controversy, the band said they will change their name but said that it's a "long difficult process".

Monty said: "We've yet to choose a name". 

Anyone with ideas?

After all, the band are even open to using an online name generator!

YOU’LL LIKE THEM IF YOU LIKE: 

Interpol

 


5. LOST WEEKEND

It's great that local talent is being represented in this great line-up. And Lost Weekend can certainly match up to the other more high-profile, international acts.

The female-fronted indie pop band is certainly rising in the local music scene and with good reason too. The breezy, dreamy arrangement of their songs perfectly complement the lead singer's voice.

 

 

And it's a good band to chill to with a cool, drink in your hand.

YOU’LL LIKE THEM IF YOU LIKE: 

The Cardigans, The Wannadies, 

 


6. KIASMOS

​Ever the talented multi-tasker, composer Olafur Arnalds, has a side project Kiasmos where he combines his classical background with electronic music.

Sounds like an unlikely combination but Kiasmos makes it work with its sweeping, sonic and melodious landscapes that manage to put a little bounce in your feet as well.

 

WHERE YOU’VE HEARD HIM BEFORE:

Arnalds has been scoring for TV shows such as popular British drama Broadchurch, for which he also won an award.

 

 

YOU’LL LIKE THEM IF YOU LIKE:

DJ Jon Hopkins, early Royksopp, William Orbit, moody melodic house, dancing to soundtracks

 

 

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NEONLIGHTS.SG

Fort Canning Green and Gate

Nov 28-29

1pm- midnight

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