The current it-band of Singapore Indie Pop isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
With a freshly released sophomore album, Telltale Signs, and a music video of the same title, they’re on a roll and based on how much they value the people who share this experience with them, it looks like they might stick around for a long time too. Read on to find out more about the band’s process, the virtue of staying organized AND spontaneous, and playing on the moon.
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Tell us about Sobs and what the band is all about?
Sobs is Celine Autumn, Jared Lim, Raphael Ong. Sometimes Sobs is also the three of us plus Zhang Bo, Shaun Khiu, Daniel Castro Borces, Soffi Peters, Spencer Tan, Genevieve Chong, Cherie Ko, and Nigel Lopez. The band is all about having fun and enjoying playing music.
What do you love most about being in a band like Sobs?
Jared: This is probably a pretty general observation about any musician but I personally love being involved in the whole process of creating music from the initial writing, to recording and release, and eventually performing. I don’t think any of us would still be doing this if we didn’t love the process in some way (no matter how much we joke about absolutely hating it). I guess the difference with us would be the more pop song factory approach in which we write, which might sound pretty manufactured or something but I really enjoy the process of making sure every step is somewhat polished from the initial demo to when we flesh it out with the full band.
Raphael: As much as we worked on this album with a little more intention and self-awareness, keeping things real and spontaneous still play a huge part in how we all work together. There were so many happy accidents throughout the process of working on the album – from finding odd sounds and recording methods around my room to… funnier ones like Bo (of Cosmic Child fame) falling off the amp and wrecking Jared’s guitar (I guess that increases the price of it… hopefully).
Totally get you. Rest in peace, Jared’s guitar, lol. What is your music writing process like?
Celine: We kinda bounce ideas off each other online and when the basic structure of the song is made, we get together to work on the track. It doesn’t sound very organic but I honestly think it is. It can feel more forced when you sit yourselves down and try to write a song on the spot.
Jared: We all are really fascinated by pop music and good catchy melodies and structures, so I think that tends to rub off on our writing style. We usually write (like Celine mentioned) by sending stems back and forth and I feel that makes for more focused songwriting, but for our debut album (that just came out last month), some of it was written and developed from rough ideas with the whole band…I think it went okay.
Not just ‘okay’, the results could speak for itself – not to sound too patronizing. How did Telltale Signs come about and what inspired it?
Celine: Jared sent me the track idea he came up with last October and immediately, it clicked with me. The lyrics and melodies came really naturally to me, probably also because Jared is such a talented being and his ideas can inspire me so much. Telltale Signs instantly became the track that was our favourite, it anchored the album and tied it together really well. It was also the most explosive one of all. I was going through a stressful period in my life and I guess the stress found its way into the song.
Raphael: In terms of how the album itself came about (because it’s called Telltale Signs too), I suppose it was a natural progression after releasing our EP Catflap almost exactly a year ago. We’ve grown a lot over the past year and wanted to write music with more depth and genuineness; we were very much inspired by our feelings and experiences that were going on in our lives at that time while working on the album.
Dream gigs? Make it grand.
Sobs LIVE on the MOON.
Would love to be there to see that too! Shoutouts?
Shoutout to Nigel Lopez, Subsonic Eye, Cosmic Child, my parents, our friends Gus Bendinelli and Will Merrick worked on the Telltale Signs music video, and everyone from around the world who bothers to listen to us.
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Want more Sobs??? Here’s Catflap from 2017. You’re welcome!