Every Wednesday we ask a creative or an artisan to share what music gets them going from dawn to dusk. This week, local throwback dream pop trio Sobs tells us the songs that get their gears moving for the day.
It’s apt to describe Sobs as psychedelic. With a penchant of all things retro (especially the 80s and 90s era), the dream pop trio consisting of Celine Autumn, Jared Lim and Raphael Ong takes us to a romantic utopia with their self-composed melancholic tunes. And you’ll never want to leave it.
After introducing themselves with their brilliant guitar-based indie-pop debut EP Catflap last year, Sobs extends this lush musical dreamscape with their recently released full-album, Telltale Signs. The lyrics may seem bleak and filled with despair as the LP encapsulates a narrative of falling in and out of love in an endless summer. But all’s not lost with the lazy yet sunny resort sound that becomes a signature Sobs’ production.
The band’s honest emotion shows in the tunes they deliver, which is rare in contemporary music. I’m prepared to shed a tear for more of Sobs.
1. ‘On The Swing’—Lake
Raphael: “I’m not much a morning person—they’re always plagued with splitting headaches and crowded trains as I drag myself to work. This song makes me feel like everything will be okay. “Everyday, oh every day is just a day away.” Such an innocent, consistently charming twee pop.”
2. ‘Glitter’—Charly Bliss
Celine: “I’d listen to this song on my bus ride to work, or while I’m rushing to catch the bus when I’m running really, really late. I like to start my day with loud and boppy tunes because I’m generally pretty energetic in the day.”
3. ‘デンキ’—Mishio Ogawa
Jared: “I’ve spent lots of mornings on the way to school listening to Mishio Ogawa’s album 4 to 3… I guess because the album’s duration is pretty much the same as the duration of my morning commute. The first track, “デンキ” really takes me back to sleepy mornings in the train…”
Raphael: “This song reminds me of a sunny afternoon, except without the sweltering heat that we’re so used to in Singapore. Radiolove’s fuzzy synths washing over its equally fuzzed-up guitars and unassuming vocals feel like lying on a grass patch and making out figures in the clouds above.”
2. ‘Bout De Toi’—Anemone
Celine: “A Lil 60s-psych bop to keep me company as I go about my day. Helps to keep my spirits up, especially when I’m trying to get through some work.”
3. ‘Wool In The Wash’—Crying
Jared: “I love this band so so so much, there’s something about the prog/arena rock revival cheesiness of the song (and whole album, Beyond The Fleeting Gales) that motivates me to keep Living through the Heat of a Sunny Day in Downtown Singapore, like 80s workout montage background music over me being unproductive.”
1. ‘Pêche II’—h hunt
Raphael: “Nights can be a little stressful because it reminds me of how few hours we have in a day… and unfortunately, I just happen to be at my most inspired in the wee hours of the night. The minimal, jazzy piano sketches in h hunt’s album Playing Piano for Dad makes the passage of time feel so liquid. The tiny details are my favourite part of the album – sounds of a tape reel, footsteps, the creak of a piano bench, ambient noise – they make for such an intimate listening experience.”
2. ‘Mushroom Compost’ – µ-Ziq
Celine: “I listen to ASMR before I sleep to relax my mind, so I don’t really know what sleepy music is? But I’ve been listening to the Lunatic Harness album by µ-Ziq, pretty inspiring.”
3. ‘Perish Song’—Geotic
Jared: “This whole album is some of the most gentle, beautiful dance music I’ve ever heard, so immediately emotionally resonant and inviting and warm from the first listen…amazing relaxation music whilst not being too entirely passive or sleepy.”