MANILA -- It would be easy to say or even use as a bad pun, that Narcloudia’s dream pop-laced Goth -- circa Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “A Kiss in the Dreamhouse” -- leaves you on Cloud Nine.
Perhaps it does. But it isn’t all sailing away above the clouds or Sigur Ros’ textured glaciers and frozen fjords or even gazing at the Aurora Borealis. Their music takes you a trip down the rabbit hole of a bizarre wonderland that sounds like something out of Tim Burton’s worst nightmare.
Such is Narcloudia; a three-piece all-female dream pop/Goth band out of Singapore. All three members – singer/guitarist Bea Alcala, bassist Vhop Pascua, and drummer Karla Pundaodaya - live and work in Singapore and that’s where they first met and formed the band.
Of the three, it is Alcala who has serious band cred having been a member albeit briefly of shoegazermeisters Sugar Hiccup when they released their powerful third album, “Of Tongues and Thoughts” in 2005.
Narcloudia though isn’t an extension of Sugar Hiccup. The band finds their own dark corridor that leads to a theater for the absurd. It’s entrancing, mesmerizing.
As expats in the Lion City, the band’s music has appealed to native Singaporeans and Filipinos with a taste for the genre. But their ardent listeners and fans are Western expats weaned on a steady diet of the aforementioned Siouxsie and the Banshees to go with the Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride, Lush, the Pale Saints, and other similar bands with a penchant for airy and textured sonic landscapes.
They first released their six-track extended play album, “Sky Spectre” last 2014 (with Daydream Cycle’s Japs Sergio performing on one track, “Mad Madder”) and are in the midst of preparing their first full-fledged album.
And they made that album available to fans when the band was in Manila for four-day stretch owing to a long weekend in Singapore. They played their first shows collectively for three consecutive nights at Checkpoint in Paranaque and Route 196 and Tomato Kick in Quezon City.
With every performance, the numbers watching them grew. The word spread via word of mouth and by blogs and social media. Alcala smiled with twisted glee. “Fallen in our tangled web,” she smiled after their show at Route 196.
During their last show at Tomato Kick, Alcala’s former Sugar Hiccup bandmate Czandro Pollack joined them on stage for three songs. A serendipitous moment for those who love this type of music and who miss Sugar Hiccup which is incidentally reuniting and releasing a new album.
“Bea and Narcloudia are fine,” beamed Pollack like a proud father. “They’ve done well for themselves. And they’ll get better. This is good exposure for them.”
Anyone care to follow Pollack and others down that rabbit hole?