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Laura FUCKING Marling

I was a nervous wreck.

Not just because I had an all-important job interview that day, but due to the fact that the line-up for the Singaporean edition of the much-anticipated St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival was being announced at the exact same time.

While the artistes for the Australian and Kiwi shows were confirmed before last Friday, I was hoping against hope that Singapore would get the same full repertoire as our Asia Pacific counterparts. Laura Marling? M83? Girls? FEIST?! My spine chilled just mentioning those names.

As I refreshed my Twitter feed on the way home from said interview, I could not believe my eyes. I was flabbergasted.

We got the freaking full monty!

Redemption was the first thing on my mind. A couple of years back while I was holidaying in Melbourne, I was given the choice to catch either Laura Marling, fresh off her highly-acclaimed debut album Alas I Cannot Swim, or Camera Obscura at the legendary Corner Hotel due to budget constraints.

Eventually, I opted for the retro-pop Scots. While I never regretted going for that particular gig, I have always longed to catch a glimpse of Marling live.

The prolific 21 year-old, who boasts three albums in the past four years, is a rare talent. Her knack for poetic lyricism complements her penchant for melancholy, which result in gorgeously tragic songs that have seen the Brit nominated twice for the prestigious Mercury Prize in recent years.

The band that I was hoping desperately to catch were Cults, who released their self-titled debut record earlier this year. Madeline Folin’s dreamy vocals remind me of the classic girl groups of yore with a modern twist, thanks predominantly to the accompanying synths. I simply cannot wait to witness Folin and Brian Oblivion perform live, only just to sing along to the album’s opening salvo “Abducted”, which creepily yet beautifully equates falling in love to being kidnapped.

Another reason I would shell out SGD135 without first having a full-time job (the post Chinese New Year angpaus will play a vital role) is none other than the Canadian singer-songwriter Feist. Her fourth studio album Metals was released last month, though I’m more interested to hear the live renditions of “I Feel It All” and “One Evening” from her earlier efforts. Who knows, if we’re lucky, she could even play her two songs for the Paris, je’taime soundtrack, but that could just be wishful thinking on my part.

My next few months will be spent listening to the various Laneway-bound performers whom I’m not too familiar with, namely Anna Calvi, Yuck, Austra, The Horrors, Toro Y Moi, Twin Shadow and Wu Lyf while reporting back to you guys in the process. Well, as long as I have the will power to see this little project through =)

However, the only disappointment from the Laneway announcement was the lack of regional acts in the line-up. Truth be told, a local presence would have added something truly special to an already magical music festival, but with such a wide array of musical talents on show next February 12 at Fort Canning, I’m not complaining.

Not even a single bit.

PS: I got the job.

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