Q2 Picks


Band of the Quarter

The 1975

I have this theory that I tend to have intense crushes on four-piece acts: The Beatles, Mumford and Sons, that UK boyband Blue (don’t use this information against me), last quarter it was Alt-J, and now: The 1975.

I like The 1975 so much it almost annoys me. It annoys me because I haven’t met anyone who likes them as much as I do…yet. Also, I find The 1975 sexy with their stylized videos and photos on Instagram, it makes me feel like I’m living a boring life compared to theirs. Overall I find them sexy despite the fact that they write in all caps with spaces in between and slashes that makes reading such task.

I like them because they’re indie rock with a hint of R&B and they’re British and they’re a good looking bunch. Like collectively, you would look at them, tilt your head and say, “Yeah, that’s a good bunch.” To express my frustration and love here is an apt chat convo with my friend:

Me: Damnit The 1975 I like you so much it almost annoys me.

Mark: What’s The 1975?


Mark: Ok trying them out now. Checking out “Sex”.

Me: Yeah then “Chocolate” then “You” then “Head.Cars.Bending” then “This City.”

Mark: Relax.


Night Beds


Night Beds aka Winston Yellen and band, is the kind of artist you would expect me to like. His songs are well-written and personal, the kind one would imagine to play during the cold weather, while you’re tucked in a cottage and you’re waiting for the water to boil to prepare your tea (wow this reads like an old lady’s life). I think his debut Country Sleep is exceptional, a solid effort that reminds me a lot of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago. And for a 23-year-old to produce something like that, you can only expect more brilliant things to come.

Blind Pilot

I had a really intense love affair with Blind Pilot for two-three weeks around April. I was seriously gushing about their song “Always” the way a girl gushes about a boy she met at a coffee shop. There are other great tracks in their album We Are The Tide, but “Always”  is already on my favorites for all of time (and that includes Nicklelcreek’s “This Side”).

Bear’s Den

A part of the Communion roster, Bear’s Den has yet to produce an LP but they tug at your heartstrings like what folk music and musicians should do to its listeners. Their track “Pompeii” reeks of nostalgia and beautiful imagery and works like chamomile tea for me: it calms me down despite putting me in a bittersweet disposition.


Ellie Goulding

I love Ellie since Lights but I felt a bit disconnected during Halcyon (excluding the track “Anything Could Happen”). I missed the track “I’ll Hold My Breath” from a different version of Lights. If you’re like me who’s missed this gem, then play away. I looped it too many times when I first heard it.

Coeur de Pirate

I had phase (and I think I still have it) of wanting to hear French words being sung, and that’s when I started seriously giving Coeur de Pirate a listen. She’s Canadian actually, and she gives me the impression that if I memorize her songs I could blurt out random French phrases at people even if it’s random and probably won’t make sense.

Mikky Ekko

I have a crush on Mikky Ekko, kthxbai.

Seriously though, Mikky Ekko’s part in Rihanna’s track “Stay” is maybe the only reason why you would find me listening to Rihanna lately. I mean, yes, the song’s good, but when I saw her sing that Mikky-less, it didn’t really stick. My obsessions and bias aside, Mikky gives a lot of soul and emotion to his music that I find myself with my brows furrowed to follow the curls and feels in his voice.

Gabrielle Aplin

A product of my hormonal tunes fest early May (which features girly tunes from Ingrid Michaelson, Marina and the Diamonds, etc.), Gabrielle Aplin is one of those Youtube sensations. She’s a singer/songwriter and reminds me of Ed Sheeran. Her track “Panic Cord” received an incredible amount of plays for two weeks straight.



E E O E O E E O E O – it’s just catchy, ok?


This song stood out from a stranger’s playlist on Deezer, but when I saw this video, I was sold. Slate that on my favorite music videos, please.



Dark and weird and interestiiiing.


I have nothing special to say about Peace as they’re your standard indie rock band, but their songs aren’t that bad. “Higher than the Sun” is a pick me upper too.

Divine Fits

It’s only around April when I decided that I really do like Divine Fits. The standout track for me when I first heard A Thing Called Divine Fits is “Shivers” but I later on loved the other tracks and crank this album up when I need some rockin (and waking) up to do.


Laura Marling

My favorite woman in the folk scene released her fourth LP, Once I was an Eagle. While I Speak Because I Can still remains as my favorite Laura album to date, Once I Was an Eagle felt softer than A Creature I Don’t Know, and reminds me more of the Laura that I loved most: poetic, melancholic, a bit depressing, but inspiring and wise all throughout.

Noah and the Whale

I have  a really weird relationship with Noah and the Whale’s music. Any release after the dark and depressing (for me at least) Last Days of Spring overwhelms me. Take the more hopeful and cheerful release Last Night on Earth and the recent Heart of Nowhere – I bask in their glory for the first few days and then I forget about it the rest of the time. It’s only the tracks from their debut Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down that I go back to more frequently. Nonetheless, there are good tracks in Heart of Nowhere, and my weird reaction to NATW shouldn’t get in the way of you appreciating the kind of music they produce – after all, it did made me smile a lot on my initial weeks of listening.

Daft Punk

If you can’t dance to this, you are not human. Sure everyone talks about Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, it received a lot of attention pre and post release – but it deserves the attention cause it’s amazing and it will blow your mind.

Vampire Weekend

Sure Vampire Weekend feels like they’re not making any progress at all on their music. Basically they still sound like the Vampire Weekend we knew when they made their debut. For some, that’s bad; for others, that’ s alright. For me, well, I never really put Vampire Weekend on a pedestal, and I always just seem to pick a favorite track or two on their albums. For Modern Vampires of the City, the initial stand-out is “Hannah Hunt”.

LOCAL Flavor


Maude is band from Terno Recordings, the same label that handles Up Dharma Down. They play together with other Terno bands every month for Terno Inferno. My friend Ilia and I developed an intense band crush on the guys when we heard this song “Eve” in Saguijo. We’re keen on stalking them now, too.


More regional than local, Yuna is from Malaysia. She’s amazeballs and is pursuing a career in the US. In case you find that her voice is familiar, it’s because she had a duet with Owl City for The Croods’ OST.

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