Spotify Spotlight: The Return Of Electrico - Happy 25th! 🎂

·5-min read
The band (William Lim Jr, Desmond Goh and Dave Tan) has put all their previous albums plus two new collections of songs online.
The band (William Lim Jr, Desmond Goh and Dave Tan) has put all their previous albums plus two new collections of songs online.
The band (William Lim Jr, Desmond Goh and Dave Tan) has put all their previous albums plus two new collections of songs online. | Photo: Facebook/@electricomusic

One of the newest entries on our Spotify playlist comes from a band celebrating their silver anniversary: Electrico.

Yes, Electrico, that band from the Noughties that had hit songs like “I Want You”, “Love in New Wave”, “Runaway” and “Good Time”.

To mark their 25th anniversary, Electrico has released two new collections of songs, as well as all their previous albums online: "So Much More Inside" (2004), "Hip City" (2006) and "We Satellites" (2008), along with their 2012 remix EP. Before, you couldn’t find any Electrico tracks on streaming services, save for “What Do You See?”, the song they recorded for the NDP in 2009.

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“We were probably the last of our cohort to release albums back then, and we’re probably the last to put them online too,” said Dave Tan, singer and guitarist for the band.

“Yeah, the most obvious thing we should have done was to put them online as soon as possible – but we didn’t.”

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The first new offering by Electrico was an EP of newly recorded tracks called "B Sides: Live at the Power Station".

As the title implies, this new EP comprises four deep cuts from their albums – "Shadow", "Little Girl", "Only Where I’m Going" and "Fabled Angst Machine" – that were re-recorded live at the Pasir Panjang Power Station by the trio, supplemented by a string section and additional musicians on keyboards and guitar.

They also filmed a series of videos of themselves performing these songs for their YouTube channel (above).

The second is a single with a very Deep Purple title: “Fire In The Sky”.

This punchy new song is part of a new EP, Left of the Century, to be released in July, which the band said would feature “a more complex and layered rock sound with a modern edge”.

Said Dave: “We wanted to release some new content for the launch of our catalogue online. We approached this with the mindset of: ‘if we had to do this again, what songs would we like to present?’”

“It’s great that we got off our butts to do it. There is excitement, a kindling of the feelings we used to have. Our priorities have changed, and we are doing it without expectations. We want to go back to our roots, to see where we were, and are now.”

“It’s like a social experiment,” said bassist Desmond Goh. “It’d be interesting to know the reactions of the younger listeners who are getting to know Electrico through these songs.”

One younger listener is Jonathan Shin, a composer and pianist who also arranged the songs for the B-Sides EP.

“I already knew what an exciting band they were. I loved the sound and the lyrics,” said the 27-year-old, adding that he first heard of Electrico when he was in Sec 4 and playing in his own band.

“These songs were written in the late 2000s but they still speak to me today.”

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But for those who don’t know Electrico, here’s a quick run-down: Electrico was formed in 1996 with the core trio of Dave, Desmond and William Lim Jr (drums). Although they thought their band dreams would fade when they went into NS, they managed to get vocations that allowed them to book out regularly and jam.

“At that time, once we all went into NS, I really thought that’s the end of the band. But we are one of the few who survived NS,” said Dave.

In the early 2000s, they got together with Daniel Sassoon (guitar) and Amanda Ling (keyboards) and released their 2004 successful debut, “So Much More Inside”.

“Maybe it was a stroke of luck and we were there at the right time. Our fans liked what we were doing and spurred our singles to No 1, which brought us to a larger arena. It just steamrolled and we just rode on this train until 2008,” said Desmond.

They put out two more albums – “Hip City” and “We Satellites” – and did loads of shows both in and out of Singapore, with visits to Thailand, the Philippines, Australia and the US.

“We went abroad to gain more on-the-road experience. There’s no substitute,” said Dave. “The culture, the professionalism and level of performance they expect from you abroad is very different – in Brisbane, we had to carry all our equipment up a fire escape. You are forced to raise your game. It was like boot camp.”

But by 2010, things began to stall. Both Daniel and Amanda had quit the band – they’d form the rock group In Each Hand a Cutlass – and Electrico decided to take a hiatus, only popping up to play one-off gigs at the Esplanade and Substation.

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“It had been an amazing experience, but it was also an intense period of time as well,” said Dave. “So when we had the opportunity to take a break, we did.”

“The dynamics of the band had changed and we needed to get used to being a three-piece again. It took a bit of adjusting,” added Desmond.

“I think all of us secretly wanted to get on with our own lives as well,” said Dave. The band members got married, had children and Life happened. “We knew that if we wanted to do music, it had to be full-on, and I felt that I wasn’t ready to really jump in then.”

But jump back in they eventually did. For now, their attention is fully on getting the word out about the new songs. “We’re happy that the songs are now accessible to a lot of people,” said Desmond.

Added Dave: “We don’t really have expectations. We would like to see what happens, and we’ll just do what we can.”

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