6. |_/\-|_/\ “Jaiyen” (2015). Otherwise known as Lala, I saw these guys supporting Wilderness at the Beer Cap, and bought this CD which came with a bright orange long-sleeved t-shirt (I’ll be wearing it for gigs with my Saudi Arabian 80’s band Ear Thobe). This is a 3 track single with different mixes of the eponymous song Jaiyen (“Calm down/chill out”), and it’s indeed a relaxed, vaguely psychedelic number that drifts along, like someone floating gently down the Chao Praya river on an inner-tube. Lala are Teerapong “Pipe” Bumrungsheep and Thanart “Peet” Rasanont, and friends, and they are a band to watch.
5. Hope The Flowers “Nature of Everything” (Newlights Production, 2014). This is an instrumental post-rock band featuring Narongrit Ittipoinavakul (lead guitar), Charan Tonsuwannarat (rhythm guitar), Teerarut Boonthum (bass), Onvipa Tivutanont (drums), and Wasin Wainiya (keyboards). I saw them live at 1979 supporting Aire, and they completely rock-out; the music, like most post-rock, is all about textural contrasts: epic/soft, loud/quiet, distortion/clarity. This is a great CD that comes in a 7” sleeve and I totally recommend it! Favorite tracks: I’m sorry to say, I can’t be on Earth, Blessing from star, Sun is godless
4. Free Typewriter “Meadow House EP” (2014). The dude at bungkumhouse records recommended this CD to me and I snapped it up purely on the strength of the wonderful home-made/printed cover. It’s the debut solo CD by Vuttiphong Mahasamut, who is one half of the Gardener Twins (which I saw at Fatty’s supporting Eef Barzelay from Clem Snide). The “Meadow House EP” is a five-track master-piece of melancholic semi-acoustic/electric folk; a man, his guitar, and a bunch of emotions sung delicately in English and Thai. A perfect accompaniment for a mellow Sunday morning, or any other time you need to switch-off and cloak yourself in the musical equivalent of cotton wool. Favorite tracks: Garden House, Slow Dance, Meadow House
3. Wilderness “Vallsundet 1924” (Colorcode, 2015). I must admit I wasn’t familiar with this band until Colorcode got them over to Thailand to play at the Beer Cap. Wilderness are a mysterious Swedish electro-pop outfit who have been around for a while and comprise Kim (guitar/vocals), Erik (guitar/vocals), Sabina (bass/vocals) and Lovisa (percussion). Live they indeed rock-out, and while the album is a little muted (in the manner of their obvious influences New Order and perhaps Depeche Mode), it’s a real slow-burner, packed full of great songs that you’ll find yourself humming away to for days afterwards. Colorcode have released this excellent album in Thailand, and I bought my copy at the happening shop. Favorite tracks: Vallsundet, Push Your Hand Right Through Me, Come To An End, Bandung City Rockers, Vengeance, This World Is Not Ours
2. Sugar Analog “Moire EP” (Newlights Production, 2014). This is an awesome acoustic/ambient solo EP by Chanala Wilangka, and it’s a must-buy for the haunting guitars, astral vocals, and a masterful use of aural space that drags you in and keeps you in thrall for all five tracks. I bought my copy at happening purely due to the cardboard-brown hand-crafted cover which caught my eye, and it’s rapidly become a firm favourite during my Bangkok summer so far. One from the very top drawer! Favorite tracks: All five tracks, there’s not a single dud among them (OK, if pushed I’d say Jinda, 11.11, and Passion).
1. Celebities Owls “Conception” (Parinam Music, 2014). Celebities Owls are, in their own words, an “alternative rock [band] from Minburi”, but don’t let that or the intentional miss-spelling fool you, as there is way more happening on this five track EP than just alternative rock. Nopparut Satajit (vocals), Nattakorn Intaraprasert (guitar), Dechchat Rungsakorn (bass), and Thitinun Kesorn (drums), plot an eclectic course that veers between some of the best seemingly free-form guitar-based jamming I’ve heard since Goose, tight melodic stomp-a-thons in the manner of Plot, and weird spectral noise-fests that out-scare Kraffa. Buy this CD! Now! Favorite tracks: Clock, Walk, Atibai (“Explain”), Phu Saweng Ha Garn Lut Phon Yom Mai Arrai Nai Rak (“Searching for a release from love”).
“I don’t belong here no more, I just stay
Same station a year later, nothing has changed
Must have had a dream or something, I can’t recall
Bright lights, big city dragged me in
Push you hand right through me
Just to see that I’m not here…”
(Wilderness, “Push Your Hand Right Through Me”, 2015)