Best known for their psychedelic tunes and clean-cut band image, the NOISE Singapore 2014 Music Mentorship Programme winners Take Two are back with the launch of their debut EP, “PAIRS”.

Formed in late 2012, this five-piece band started out as a bunch of university friends doing covers and jamming just to past the time, before they decided to take their creative talents beyond the four walls of their bedrooms. Since then, Take Two has proved themselves to be one of Singapore’s most well-loved local indie bands, bringing their own blend of musical incarnations full of crafty chord work and dreamy lyrics.

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Take Two is undoubtedly Singapore’s up-and-coming indie scene represent. Having played at overseas festivals in KL and Thailand and scoring top positions in Singapore’s iTunes charts, Take Two continues to charm fans all over Southeast Asia and beyond.

In an exclusive e-mail interview with Popspoken, Take Two’s lead singer Paddy Ong fills us in about what’s next for the band.

1. Your new EP looks really promising! How is PAIRS EP different from the previous stuff you guys have put out so far? What does PAIRS mean to the band?

The songs we have on PAIRS are the result of musical exploration and experimentation in the past 2 years as a band. We had the opportunity to really spend time to flesh out musical ideas and arrangements and add a bit more depth in terms of production. To us it represents both closure and a new beginning; we have songs on the album that we look back on fondly because they were the first songs we ever wrote, and also there are new songs in there which act as signposts for the future of our music. This dual nature of the album inspired the title, and the different sounds you hear go hand in hand in informing what our music is about.

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Art details of Take Two’s “PAIRS” EP

2. Tell us more about the artwork associated with PAIRS EP. Why the solar system kind of graphics? Is it symbolic to the band?

There is a sense of rebellion in choosing to play music while still holding on to a steady job, and the cosmic theme relates to this notion that there is always something bigger “out there”. Having one does not necessarily mean the death of the other though and we, as middle-class musicians feel that there is always a way to make this “dual life” work. This seemingly irreconcilable pair is represented by the Sun and the Moon. The strange solar system represents us as a band: the five planets each represent us, and we are bound to the gravity of an icosahedron – a geometric shape with 20 faces and one of the most symmetrical and duo-logical shapes in mathematics.

3. Take Two’s new music video for Into Your Arms was very well-received by fans! What was the filming process like? Why did you choose to film at touristic places of Singapore, such as Marina Bay Sands and Orchard Road?

It was really tiring but absolutely worth it. We used the Pixelstick light painting tool and it involved a lot of stop-motion and long exposures on the camera, which made it tedious work. Davian and Glenn from SNAP Productions were the champions is shooting, filming and editing it though, so mad props to them. We just wanted places that had very nice night time scenery and it just so happened to be those places!

4. How do you think Take Two stands out from the rest of the local bands in Singapore?

We would like to think that we are quite energetic on stage and are always willing to expand our musical vocabulary when it comes to writing music. But there are so many bands in Singapore who hold their own brilliantly and we don’t like to think in terms of comparing bands and who stands out from whom. There is no right or wrong, better or worse, there is always something for everyone. Every artist has their own voice and that is the beauty of music.

5. How would you like Take Two to be remembered?

We want to be the band who helps other local bands as much as possible and introduce all our Singaporean music to audiences abroad.

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6. What can we expect from your upcoming PAIRS EP launch concert at Aliwal Arts Centre on 18 April?

It is going to be our most elaborate show yet (hopefully)! We are working with live sound experts BCUBE on creating an awesome light show and have local DJ Keith Chia on-board working on visuals. Our friends Stopgap will also be playing so it’s going to be a night of great music and just generally everyone having a good time in the lovely Kampong Glam area.

7. Tell us the first thing that pops into your head when you see these:

  • Chocolate – Shoclette
  • Baybeats – Jang Jang Jang
  • Taylor Swift – Suits ready in 24 hours
  • April – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Tumblr – Beverage Receptacle
  • Singapore – Food

Take Two will be performing on Saturday, 18 April in light of the launch of their debut EP.
Details are on the poster above.

All photos from: Take Two