8. Arm Wainiya “Cycling” (Newlights Production, 2015). Arm Wainiya is the keyboard player for Narongrit Ittipolnavakul’s solo project Hope The Flowers (reviewed here), and “Cycling” is Arm’s second individual release after the five track E.P. “Hidden Corner” (Newlights Production, 2014 – you can buy this at Candide). “Cycling” is a sparse haunting album of Nyman-esque instrumental piano pieces with no accompaniment, and as such is radically different and a nice change of pace from anything else out there on the indie scene at the moment. It’s perfect for those long afternoons when you just want to laze around and scrape the mind free of social and mental detritus – buy yours now, or download it here! Favorite tracks: Minimal Tales, Myteria, Sphere77, Reincarnation
7. Jenny & the Scallywags “self-titled” (2016). Jenny and the Scallywags are Jennifer Lackgren (guitar, lead vocals), Charlie McSkallywag (lead guitar), Adam Sharpe (ukulele, vocals and percussion), Will C. Corbin, (ukulele, vocals and percussion), Paul Romaine (keys, bass and guitar), Matthew Johnson (drums), and they have been playing their melodic indie folk-pop across Bangkok and elsewhere for some time now, winning MTV’s Project Aloft Star (South-East Asia) award in 2015. This EP is their debut release and it comprises four tightly-crafted songs packed with glorious vocal harmonies and acoustic goodness. You can buy it here or download it here. Lead single Sounds Like Maybe is currently number 1 on the Cat Radio indie Top 30! Favorite tracks: Blinded, Sounds Like Maybe, The Beast
6. PHY “It’s Nearly Dawn E.P.” (Newlights Production, 2015). PHY are a Thai-Japanese band featuring Tsurumaki Hide (guitar, vocals), Yamada Makoto (bass), Po Tawan (drums), Namikawa Yusuke (guitar), and this EP is their first release. It’s very cleanly produced exhilarating post-rock, fast and buoyant, with some stylistic similarities to aire, but including soaring upbeat vocals sung in English. It’s totally worth buying a CD (I got mine at happening), or buying the EP online here! Favorite tracks: Right Switch & Left Button, Hanging Garden
5. Spring.Fall.Sea “Deep down, all of them felt as he did, they felt abandoned” (Newlights Production, 2015). Spring.Fall.Sea are a Bangkok-based three-piece comprising Clive (bass), Dylan (drums), and Marvin (guitar), and this, their debut release, is a rip-roaring slab of rhythmically tight guitar-driven instrumental indie rock. It contains moments of both atmospheric reflection and furious intent, tearing along at a rapid pace through all seven excellent tracks. Epic stuff! I bought my CD at the happening shop but you can also download a copy here. Favorite tracks: Heavy Rain, Robert, A Drop In The Ocean, Capture the Castle, Inhale Exhale
4. Hope The Flowers “Into The Parallel” (Newlights Productions, 2015). Hope The Flowers are an instrumental post-rock band whose seriously good album “Nature of Everything” I previously reviewed here. This is their latest single and was released for the 2015 Noise Market. It starts gently, building gradually into an intense lengthy slugfest of droning chiming guitars, and thundering rhythms, overlayed with Arm’s keys and Narong’s searing lead solos; a total anthem of sound. This CD is a limited edition so grab one from the band or the happening shop at BACC while stocks last! Favorite tracks: Into The Parallel
3. aire “Indoor Picnic” (2015). This two-track CD single is aire’s follow up to their 2014 album “You Are Here”, which I reviewed previously, and it’s a brilliant snapshot of a band enjoying their sonic creativity. The title song is an uplifting fast-tempo number with abrupt changes that propel it every onwards. The second song Mizukiri kicks off with killer guitar hooks that loop backwards and forwards in duelling waves of six-string noise. Highly recommended! Favorite tracks: Both of them!
2. Wednesday “Lazarus” (Colorcode, 2015). Wednesday is the solo project of Bangkok indie hero Put Suksriwan, and “Lazarus”, his second album, is the follow-up to his accomplished debut “Bangkok Session”, which I reviewed here. This time around, the weapon of choice is clearly the guitar, and the self-described ‘big noise electro shoegaze’ has been mixed and mastered by Shane Edwards (The Libertines). This is an extremely skilful and consummately made album; the tracks’ moods are varied without sprawling, and yet focused but never too similar. It’s an atmospheric work of art and my chosen soundtrack for spring break and beyond. It can be yours too – buy a CD here, or listen to it here online! Favorite tracks: Apollo Pt. 1, Apollo Pt. 5, Lazarus, Consigliere, Bad Garden
1. PC0832/676 “Before The Journey” (2015). I thought this band was amazing when I reviewed their debut EP here, and since then they’ve added a fourth member to the line-up, Paveenwat Chaisinlapaboon (synth), to further enrich the mosaic of noise. This follow-up is one of the best things I’ve heard this year, with ever-tightening coils of interconnecting loops and improvised beats, all raging with heightened levels of emotive resonance, to support an intertwined melodic matrix of guitars, bass and synth. Again the paradox is clear: uncomfortable and yet rewarding, disturbingly familiar and ultimately a quest through sound itself. This is not a CD to idly flick through, track by track; it is an experience to listen to across an entire sitting, to savour and enjoy. I bought my CD by contacting the band directly and you should too! Favorite tracks: They’re all good! (But if pressed I’d go for Question of Compromise, Reversal Rush (Demo), Unknown and War (Wall))