It’s the time of the year when hipsters congregate to party to independent music most people haven’t heard of.

Billed as Australia’s, New Zealand’s and Singapore’s most well regarded boutique music festival, the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival began in 2006 at a tight alley somewhere in Melbourne, and then hipsters went on to take over cities across Australia and New Zealand. In 2011, they washed up on our shores and baptised many more Asian hipsters in a torrential rain of a party, making it the music festival in Southeast Asia.

With acts like The Temper Trap, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, and Two Door Cinema Club all being festival alums, this is why the hipsters seem to be able to haughtily shrug off your newest musical finds with a “been there, done that” — they’ve heard them all here, (sometimes) even before these acts get their own Vevo channel. It’s like how (some) muggers send you ahead of the curve, except this one’s more like a party.

Because not everyone has time to be a hipster, we’ve put together a list of some of the bands playing at Laneway Singapore 2013 so you can shove it up your hipster friend’s face.

1. Gotye

Pronounced as “gore-tea-aye” as in Jean-Paul Gaultier, this Belgian-Aussie had some success in Australia and then suddenly exploded in all our faces with that song we used to love. It’s one of those songs that you fall in love with within minutes, and then get annoyed by the millionth time it is played on the radio, your iPod or in your friend’s car. Even though this wave might already be in backwash, it’s highly possible that this act may be the only act that most people will recognise on the Laneway lineup. And yes, this is also the reason why it’s on our list. That aside, it will be interesting to hear what else Gotye does – if you’re hipster enough to stay after one song, that is.

2. Kimbra

You’ve definitely seen her before — she’s that girl in the Gotye video. This pop prodigy from New Zealand may have hitched a ride from Gotye but with her infectious self-made beats she proves to be a force to be reckoned with. Her live performances are pretty rad, if this film of her iPad-looping, beatboxing ways is anything to go by.

3. Kings of Convenience

Not to be confused with the exploitative Kings of Leon, the folk sensibilities of Kings of Convenience make it the perfect band to be listening to on a lazy Sunday afternoon. With charming guitar work and blissful harmonies, their sound will put you at peace, or lock you up in procrastination — whichever way you like to see it.

4. Bat for Lashes

This is one will have your hipster friends in tears. British singer Natasha Khan takes your hand as she leads you down that deep, dark place within your insides with her emotionally intense sound. Perfect for when you’re wallowing in heartbreak, and choking on the dampness. Hipsters do get sad too, okay.

 5. Alt-J (∆)

What happens when you put a bunch of English Literature and Fine Art students together? You get a band that’s too cool not to have a symbol for a name. Laneway Festival calls them “the most exciting thing to come out of the UK in 2012”, and it’s hard to disagree. With the fresh sense of a peculiar inventiveness in their sound, ∆ brings a somewhat industrial sound to the folk genre and has been dubbed everything from “dub-folk” to “art rock”, and even “boffin-rock” — with intelligent references to literature and allusions to art. You know they’re on the fast track when they’ve been covered by Mumford and Sons. This isn’t your average YOLO hipster music; this is a little more intellectual.

6. Of Monsters and Men

This indie folk/ indie pop outfit won Iceland’s battle-of-the-bands competition, Musiktilraunir, back in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. Often compared to the likes of Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men takes you on a hopeful adventure filled with happy earworms, complete with some self-doubt and regret for good measure. This Icelandic band has hit the US Top 10 – a feat even Björk and Sigur Rós can only envy. With their knack for folk anthems, Of Monsters and Men seems to be set up for epic festival peformances with choruses that crowds can sing,  shout, or chant along.

The St Jerome’s Laneway Festival Singapore 2013 happens on 26 January 2013 at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay. Tickets available at and Unfortunately, we don’t have tickets to giveaway, but if you end up going to this awesome gig, tell us about it and we’ll put it up right here on Justified!


The Arts & Culture Column is made possible with the help of Samuel Seow Law Corporation.

Share this post