Singaporean duo: Symphysis

[STANDARD DISCLAIMER: This is not a “music review” per se. At least, take my comments with pinch of salt. I’m strictly an amateur, albeit a prolific one. Understandably, musical tastes are very personal and subjective. Consider this as sharing my personal thoughts of other musicians’ work. That said, I hope others will do the same for our music too. Don’t hold yourself back. Adrian and I can roll with the punches!]

My colleague, Aaron, told me about his friends (a two-man band) who call themselves “Symphysis”.

Here’s their page:

I liked their first track, “Left Behind”, immediately.

Lead singer’s vocals are quite good.

To my ears, their sound reminded me of “unplugged” ’80s slow rock ballads. Probably one reason why I took to their songs right away.

After listening to all their tracks, my favourites are “Left Behind” (track 1) and “Release” (track 2).

There’s something in the melody for “Left Behind” that made it stand out. Possibly the chorus/ refrain that goes “… Left Behind”)

I liked the second song, “Release”, ‘cos it was like a rock song played “unplugged” style.

For some reason, “I Remember” sounded like the Beatles. Maybe their chord progression and arrangement. Composition-wise, I think it’s the best one, but didn’t quite sound as polished.

You know, I could go on and on. Basically there was a little bit of something I liked for every single song.

OK, here’s what I think I’d have done differently if I’d mixed the album:

1) It sounded like they recorded their tracks “live” and then mixed together. There’s some parts here and there where the tracks can be “quantized” (hey, a new term I learned!). Meaning, the timing of the instruments and vocals sounded off at parts. Also, the tuning for the piano in “Left Behind”, and the acoustic guitar in “Wong Song” could be tightened.

2) Overall I felt the production quality might have been stronger by recording directly to an audio sequencing software (e.g. GarageBand, CakeWalk, Logic Pro). A fuller sound for the acoustic guitars, that sort of thing. Sounded like they had to complete their recording with limited takes.

3) For “Release”, I’d imagine some distortion guitars and drums coming in at some point. Maybe not the distortion guitars, but a bass line and some drums for one or two tracks would add variety. No drummer or bassist? Again, audio sequencing software like GarageBand to the rescue! (btw I wish Apple would pay me for promoting GarageBand, LOL)

Anyway, my final comment is that Symphysis’ songs connected with me at some level.

Here’s a Four thumbs up (out of 5).

If their production quality was tighter, it’ll be a easy five.

Check out their music, here.

~ Ivan

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