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Laneway In the Loop #1 - Women who rock

Way before Beyoncé proudly proclaimed her stand on feminism, there was Mish Barber-Way, the straight-shooting frontwoman of punk band White Lung, from a decade and four albums ago.

Her music, however, is in contrast to today’s laidback strains of feminist empowerment. Barber-Way’s gritty, visceral and introspective lyrics that focus on murder, mayhem and the macabre – a likely spillover from her other life as a freelance journalist – are given multidimensional form by distorted melodies, towering anthemic choruses and her growly vocals.

Definitely not music to lull you to sleep. But the Canadian group must be doing something right: Music pundits have showered incredible praise on it over the years.

On the other end of the spectrum are AURORA (read next story) and NAO. The former is a snowy-haired Norwegian just out of her teens. Her spectacular imagination is evident in her synth-pop music; delivered in a voice that can only be described as captivatingly quirky.

As for NAO, the wonky funk princess, she rules the stage with colour, rhythm and charisma. Her jazz-schooled, feather-light voice offers up strong songs laced with edgy, enigmatic detailing. 

Laneway Festival Singapore 2017’s other impressive female acts include Sampa The Great, Sam Rui and The Julie Ruin. Catch them!

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A lusty imagination given life by angelic pipes, encased in a tiny, blonde package. That's AURORA.

Her sound has been likened to the fusion of Björk, another Scandinavian sensation, and Canada’s Grimes, but we believe that she has more than enough to stand on her own.

As with many promising stars these days, AURORA attracted attention after putting up her original songs on Soundcloud and YouTube. In April 2015, her debut EP Running With The Wolves picked up healthy momentum on Spotify.

Bob Dylan is an inspiration, as are Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. The bleak Norwegian weather, too, has shaped AURORA’s music. The majesty of the mountains, the force of the rain and the stunningly short sunlight periods are all evocatively captured in her songs.

With such influences, it figures why AURORA’s music is melodiously dark, haunting even. But it was her cover of Oasis' ‘Half The World Away’ for last year's John Lewis Christmas advertisement that really had people asking, "Who is AURORA?".

Unlike previous Brit musicians handpicked by the UK high street retailer in previous years – Tom Odell in 2014 and Lily Allen in 2013 – AURORA was relatively unknown. Her quirky voice sealed the deal for the Norwegian teen.

On the other side of the pond, AURORA was the subject of a Katy Perry tweet where the American pop singer declared that AURORA was “new music that makes my heart a-flutter”. And we all know the number of Twitter followers Perry has…

With all that’s been happening, it’ll be surprising if AURORA is not selling out concerts. And yes, she is doing just that. Already.

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AURORA - Fashion vibe: minimal aesthetics

Staple colours of black, white, cream, grey and navy are simple colours to mix and match to obtain the chic, austere look.

Play with different textures, fabrics and shapes in monochromes to break up the block-colour palette.

Knit sweaters are an essential to complete the AURORA style, but in our sunny and humid weather, go for a sleeveless or lightweight white, cream or grey basic top to pair easily with any kind of bottom.

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Black and white are closet basics for a cool girl outfit. A white mock neck top beneath a pinafore dress keeps things fun yet chic. Simple geometric earrings for a bit of shine and sleek ankle boots round off the look.

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Redefine androgynous. Wear a knit cream sweater with silky wide-leg culottes and sneakers.

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NAO - Fashion vibe: bright tribal and street-inspired

Crop tops and loose pants are easy to put together, without revealing an excessive amount of skin.

Cotton is the it fabric when picking sweatshirts and hoodies. You want to keep cool in the heat but still be sufficiently covered when indoors.

NAO’s style is all about being yourself and being comfortable, so don’t hold back mixing bold colours and patterns. Or just go for a simple monochrome outfit, depending on your mood.

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Urban street dominates. Pair a bright floral cami top with distressed denim overalls. Throw in bright accessories like sequined dangle earrings and combat boots.

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For a more “off-duty” look, opt for comfy street wear staples like a hoodie with quirky details and relaxed boyfriend jeans. Layer up with a denim jacket when the temperature goes down.

In The Loop 1 playlist


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