Lunarin is a three-piece alternative rock band based out of Singapore. Consisting of Linda Ong (bass/vocals), Ho Kah Wye (guitars) and Loo Eng Teck (drums/vocals), the trio have a long history together, having been friends since 1993. The band was initially a four-piece band called Fuzzbox before exploring a darker progressive sound as Lunarin in 2003.
The band enjoyed a run in the early 2000s playing progressive rock as a part of the Singapore music scene, but by 2019 their lives became revolved around family, day jobs and life commitments.
Like a lot of bands out there, the pandemic gave Lunarin a second chance to start creating music once again. Inspiration began flowing and through meetings over Zoom and WhatsApp messages and emails, the band delivered their latest effort Songs of Love Lost & Isolation, a four-track EP that is a departure from their hard rock fastenings into a more pop-oriented territory with the trio rediscovering their childhood influences from ‘80s pop, ‘90s techno, Nine Inch Nails, Garbage, Tori Amos, Cocteau Twins and Faye Wong among inspirations.
Songs of Love Lost & Isolation starts right off with “Bodies,” where the lone sounds of fuzzy drumming beats and then some guitars slowly buzz into the forefront. Ong’s vocals come in a rather subdued manner that reminded me both of Blondie and Garbage. There was a delicateness to Ong’s voice that reminded me of the frontwomen to these bands, displaying both strength and vulnerability in her dazzling vocals. The music recalls a very ‘80s and ‘90s pop rock feel. The powerful guitars and bass guns through this song. Synths and drumming beats give this track a very glitch-y approach. On “Hold My Soul,” powerful guitars meet the gamut of this song as some energized synths also pulverize. Ong’s vocals are whispery and soft and underneath this is a dark energy that seeps into the overall recording. The dark element really gave the track an added edginess. On the chorus, the vocals are loosened up into a more melodic undertaking. The mixture of soft and heavy shows as a result the band’s range.
“Invisible” is off to a somber start. The grave undertones of the song flesh out some indie rock sounds. With an industrial backbeat, the sounds of piano contrasts with a melodic vibe. Ong’s vocals undulate over this track cascading and perfecting her range when need be. The piano reminded me of moments of Evanescence. A melancholy-tinged piano melody adds a touch of pensiveness to the closer “Burn.” The tune is meandering and the sound builds over the course of this song. Next, some guitars and a drumming beat together with the synths to create an airy sound. This felt like the ballad out of the bunch. Ong’s soaring vocals float over this track. The music felt very smooth and atmospheric all at once.
The band’s sound on Songs Of Love Lost & Isolation is a mixed bag of glitch-y electronics with synths overlaid over toxic guitars, rumbling bass lines and bleating drums. The band blends in acoustic instrumentation with digital fare in one roiled up affair that feels heavily inspired by the ‘80s and ‘90s period. The EP has instances of pop rock in it, but the band continues to incorporate in these tracks their hard rock and progressive roots. Together the sounds are genre-bending, borrowing moments from each genre to create a sound that is altogether original and unique to Lunarin. I think Ong’s vocal delivery was what made this album. The EP is worth exploring from start to finish. Be sure you have a listen today!
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