Singaporean alt-rock/shoe-gaze trio Coming Up Roses are back with their sophomore EP Everything Is. Their new collection of tracks evokes idealism and existentialism, through vocals that tug at heartstrings and sounds that paint fantastic worlds, as Emily Sera (vocals and bass), Darius Oon (guitar), and Lorenzo Romero (guitar) reflect on their sense of self, identity, and their place in the world.
Fittingly, the trio will be going all the way to the other side of the globe to perform in Canada at this year’s Canadian Music Week festival as a showcasing artist. Singaporean rock enthusiasts and fans of the trio can also catch the band's catchy hooks and mesmerising energy on the live stage at their launch show, which will be at the Esplanade Annexe Studio on 15 July, for which tickets are available now.
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Hear65 had a chat with the band to learn more about their newest EP, their upcoming tour, and what's next.
Hello, Coming Up Roses! How are you these days?
We’ve been good! Very busy, which is a nice change - things are finally picking up after the last two years and we’re super excited about what the rest of the year, and beyond, has in store. We’ve been planning our upcoming tour to Canada, as well as our launch show in July. It’s also been really nice to get to watch live music again and we’re happy to see so many gigs popping up.
How was it like preparing for your sophomore EP? Any interesting stories from songwriting and recording?
The recording process had quite a number of interruptions due to all the COVID restrictions, but we’re glad we got to the finish line. One of the interesting things from a songwriting perspective is that we wrote the majority of the songs before the pandemic but as the situation of the world we lived in changed, the songs took on new meaning and it was interesting to explore how the songs kind of made sense of our own experiences.
This EP was also the first time that we went out to film music videos for the songs. It was definitely an interesting and fun experience, as it gave us a fresh perspective of our own music by giving us a chance to work with other creative minds like the guys at framethefolks who shared their own interpretations of the songs.
How would you say your sound has evolved and your creative process has grown since your last EP, Waters?
In terms of our creative process, we’re definitely more aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When we were making Waters, we were learning how to be a band and just really exploring what we could do musically. This time, we’re a bit more seasoned and the songs came out a bit more straightforward, and melodically engaging. Some of the guitar stuff on the record is more realised as well. Over the last two to three years of writing, we developed our ability to layer parts and we now pay more attention to our arrangements. There’s also quite a bit more synths on this EP, especially on 'All Our Time' and 'Glass Stained Eyes.'
If you had to choose a Coming Up Roses song to introduce a listener to your sound, which song would it be?
Right now, it would have to be the track that we released together with the EP, Would You Ever. We’re a band that is very sentimental, both towards each other and also towards our music. 'Would You Ever' captures this both lyrically and sonically. The song is about giving up the life that you’re familiar with to chase the life that you’ve always dreamed about and with everything we have in store over the next few months, that feels like that’s the direction we are headed towards! So yeah, 'Would You Ever,' for now, feels like the right song to introduce a listener to the band.
You have an upcoming Canada tour. What’s it like to be performing live again, and what can fans expect at your overseas shows?
We’re absolutely ecstatic. Performing live is really the bread and butter of what we want to do and we’re so excited that we now have the opportunity to play overseas as well. This tour will be the first time that we’re playing overseas and we’ll be playing songs from our first mini-album Waters as well as the new EP. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got and hope that people will enjoy the show. We hope that this will be the first of many tours to come!
What's your favourite song from the EP to perform live?
Our favourite song from the EP to perform live would probably be 'Slingshots.' It’s fun to play as it's quite dynamic and it gives us moments to be small and intimate, and yet also has moments for us to rock out. The last time we played it live, we got the audience to turn on the flashlights on their phones and move together with the music, and that was really awesome to see from our viewpoint on stage.
What’s on your pre-show playlist?
It differs between each of us! For Lorenzo, he likes to listen to Filipino music by artists like Moira Dela Torre. Darius likes to listen to loud, high-energy stuff like shame, Caracal and some sub:shaman. Emily is usually fully focused on the show, so she’s doing her vocal warmups.
What are your plans for the rest of 2022?
We have Canadian Music Week in June and once we’re back, we’ll be having our launch show for the new EP on 15 July 2022 at the Esplanade Annexe Studio, the venue where we got our start, auditioning for the Baybeats Budding Bands programme - it looks like things have come full circle! We’ll also be releasing the physical version of our EP later this year. After that, we may go on another tour or two, travel restrictions allowing, and then start work on our album. We also have planned to relocate to the UK sometime in September!
Listen to 'Everything Is' now.