WELDED BY CHANCE and passion, music means the world to this group of talented musicians. Cat, Taufiq, Mudd, Zack, Tim, and Jiang form the “oriental” getup coined Atlas. Having only been playing together since 2012, the band has curated an impressive sum of tracks, which discusses change in the environment, poetry, and death. It all started with the pure intention to write and play original music. However, it wasn’t easy, having gone off to a shaky start, and several alterations to the lineup. Cat was hand-picked out of the total of seven vocalists who auditioned.
Creating a piece that means so much more to me than all of the other individual pieces out there.
– Tim, Bassist
Atlas’ songs give listeners so much more than just latent content, surviving surface listening with underlying lyrical themes and foreign-sounding guitar or piano riffs. It is a relatively democratic song-writing process, with every member giving input to the tracks, it really adds to the beauty of their songs. Also, containing such a vast array of influences, you’d never know what sort of musical concoction could be brewing in the jamming studio.
Their music takes you on a journey, with genres being restrictive and the band rejecting any sort of labels, Atlas describes their music as “Playing whatever we feel like playing”. In the past year, they’ve played at venues such as the Esplanade, Hood Bar, and even organised an event called “Wall of Sound” at the Beer Market, with “friend bands” Patriot, and Wyd:Syd.
The Land Over the Sea EP (or “Demo”, as the band insisted on calling it) consists of five stunning tracks, it also has great recording quality, taking to account of the fact that it was recorded in Guitarist, Taufiq’s humble bedroom. The title track talks about the environment, and how we’re changing and developing to suit our personal purposes.
When big names such as Foals, and Bombay Bicycle Club were brought up, the band went berserk, with those bands playing an extremely large role in the growth of Atlas. Their song “East Oriental Club” was mainly inspired by BBC’s style, spicing it up with a tinge of their own personality. Diving in to a deeper, and darker side of the “demo”, Cat speaks about death, and the act of taking one’s life in the track “Seven”, she discusses trying to get into a self-destructive frame of mind, and pondering on final thoughts.
When talking about influences, the range was massive. From, alternative rock, to post rock, to math rock, bands such as Local Natives, Giraffes? Giraffes!, Amateur Takes Control, Clever Girl, Florence + the Machine, and Panic! At the Disco were named. Keyboardist Zack gave a large portion of credit to cartoon series Adventure Time claiming that the tracks were “Quite legit-ly mind-blowing”.
The band obtained a small grant from the National Arts Council, and is currently in the works of creating a professional LP with help of Leonard Soosay of Snakeweed Studios, hopefully achieving a quality that is the closest to what they have in their heads at this point of time.
Atlas’ LP will be launched in early 2014. Until then, we’ll be kept in anticipation for what marvels the band has in store for us.