Founded by Glen Hansard (center) in 1990, The Frames have contributed greatly to the development of the rock music scene in Dublin, Ireland.
In 2006, Hansard starred in the musical film Once, in which he wrote most of the movie’s original soundtrack together with fellow actress and musician Markéta Irglová.
Their song Falling Slowly even won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Overall, their music is thoughtfully written, with lyrics filled with messages and meaning. The inclusion of the violin by Colm Mac Con Iomaire (far left) during the bridge of Falling Slowly still remains one of my most memorable musical moments of all time.
Every now and again, a local artist stands out and makes me proud to be Malaysian. Debuting as a solo MySpace singer, Yuna’s career has since grown to include several albums in both Malaysia and the United States.
I’ve been a huge fan of Yuna since 2008, after hearing her song Dan Sebenarnya. Her depth of emotion caught me by surprise, expressed through her graceful, effortless style of singing.
Over the years, she has expanded her horizons to include edgier and more upbeat songs, all without losing the honesty in her voice which made her music so beautiful to listen to in the first place.
One of the most relaxed and understated bands I have ever listened to in my lifetime, The xx has convinced me that true talent comes effortlessly. The fact that vocalist and bassist Oliver Sim (far left) looks almost identical to rap sensation Eminem doesn’t hurt their image either.
Brand New was one of the very first Alternative bands I’ve ever listened to. I discovered them through a flash game on Newgrounds - One Chance which featured their song Tautou during the climax. Its placement in the game was excellently done. Very moving.
This is easily my favourite indie band this year. Although not very prominent at the moment, they have been gradually building a loyal fanbase since their inception in 2003.
Now, Now really distinguishes themselves through their slightly dark, melancholic music. Lead vocalist Cacie Dalager (centre) has a beautiful voice, with all the right inflections for the songs they play. Although not always pitch perfect, I somehow find that her offbeat notes actually enhances the overall listening experience.
Dalager’s partnership with guitarist and vocalist Jess Abbott (left) is a generous one, affording both girls opportunities to stand out individually.
Also listen out for some unexpected drum patterns every now and again from Bradley Hale (right), which he tastefully includes into the song without interrupting the flow and tempo.
Moving on, most of their lyrics are fairly unusual, but convey such universal emotions like resolve, frustration and regret. It’s music that anyone could relate to at some point in their life, and it will have a different meaning to each person.
Among some of my favourite songs from Now, Now are: