what’s so happy about a heartbreak party

lost spaces
Talitha

in my pursuit of KL’s artsy fartsy art scene, i said “yes” in a heartbeat when taliza invited me to join her friends to catch lost spaces and talitha’s gigs at urbanscapes house. 

i’ve mentioned this before to multiple friends that since coming back to KL and being given a taster session on what is presumed to be KL’s creative art scene (zhongshan building, cooler lumpur, merdekarya and now urbanscapes), malaysians can be quite the artists, even in comparison to my experiences of artsy manchester (and we’re talking about manchester here, home of afflecks and oasis and the 1975, the actual hub of england’s artistic sub-culture). i love what they’ve done to the art scene here, by incorporating local elements and experiences to make it feel all the more familiar, all the more malaysian. it feels fascinating to me particularly because most of my life growing up in alor setar, i have rarely come to associate my surroundings with art. music, paintings, exhibitions etc that i learned about growing up were all sourced from the internet, and in my mind’s eyes were pretty much a foreign affair. it wasn’t until i went to sunway and met a group of creatively like-minded friends (studying a-levels, of all things), that i started to realise that there is an actually abundance of malaysian art, albeit more obscure than their western counterparts. (see “In convo w/ visual artist LITH NG on her show @ Urbanscapes 2018” written by my friend Ellen on her friend’s urbanscapes exhibition)

lost spaces is one such band that i discovered when i was looking up local artists on spotify. shun was the one who introduced them to me, the lead singer being a friend of a friend. and i was pleasantly surprised by how quickly i took a liking to their music, considering the fact that i have zero knowledge of the local music scene. they describe their music as “groovy indie pop with hints of ambient R&B” [1]. with heavy usage of dreamy synth sounds and malaysian-accented monologue inserts (as heard in instant.romance, where two boys discuss about the millennial woes of finding love), lost spaces makes music that is bound to make you dance or at the very least tap your foot along to, until you realise the inherent melancholy interlaced within the lyrics and you’re a bit confused because the song is upbeat but the words are so, so sad. (seems like we’re miles away from happy days / we seem to be stuck here looped in a fuzzy daze)

also they have really aesthetically pleasing single covers and i am weak for pastel colours of the pink to purple range.

Talitha’s gig was next and the Heartbreak Party was actually hers, in conjunction with her EP release of BOYS. her new EP is called BOYS, but the actual best track of it is called GIRLS. (if this isn’t a metaphor for real life, i don’t know what is). and it really is a heartbreak party, isn’t it? her songs sing of feelings of sadness, betrayal and disappointment in relationships that maybe hit a bit too close to home once or twice. it felt like maybe we were all supposed to cry together instead of sing along during the gig. (he doesn’t / he doesn’t want me enough to love / love me enough to try / he wouldn’t / no, no, he wouldn’t look me in the eye / even when i told him i’d try)

after the party, taliza and i headed for the balcony of the third floor of 2 Hang Kasturi for an impromptu shoot, something that i hadn’t done in nearly four years. and it felt really nice. there were other people around too, so there was no helping the initial awkwardness of people staring and a four-year hiatus (and an oily complexion after having just emerged from a crowded room), but it felt familiar, and it was taliza, and it was one of the few moments so far during which i felt the complete compatibility of my surroundings, and being in the city of KL. 

check out taliza’s instagram for the shoot:

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Footnotes:

[1] "Lost Spaces: An Indie-Pop Band Which Will Fill Up the Twilight On Your Daily Commute", Friends of Sevenpie, December 4, 2017 
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Urbanscapes As A First-timer

When Taliza called me one evening and asked me if I wanted to go to Urbanscapes for free, I did not for one moment hesitate to say yes. Well, okay, in reality I actually did because it was quite near to exam week but for maximum effect!!! I was given the chance to go to Urbanscapes for free!!! I don’t think these chances are easy to come by!!!

Later on I found out Taliza had roped Bellyn in as well, together with a high school friend of hers, Tash, and I thought things couldn’t get any better.

I thought wrong.

photo 1

Taliza, Bellyn and I had Chemistry replacement class that Saturday morning, and the entire time we were just looking back and forth with the mutual enthusiastic glint in our eyes, counting down the hours until we would be free and running about at the biggest music festival (which we later also found out happened to be the biggest hipster joint in the country) in Malaysia. At 3PM, our journey to Urbanscapes commenced, one filled with exclaims of disbelief like “This is actually happening, we are going to Urbanscapes!”

When we reached MAEPS, the venue of the festival, we were actually dropped off at the back exit instead of the main entrance, and being lost, we started asking around for directions to the main entrance. After several unsuccessful attempts, we met this professional-looking guy wearing an Urbanscapes tag and all and when we approached him to ask him for directions, perhaps he could see through our

distress because he immediately offered to drop us off at the main entrance after exclaiming that it was a terribly long walk there. Extremely Lucky Chance #1.

To sum up Urbanscapes in three phrases: hipsters, hot weather and extremely overpriced food.

Photo credits to Bellyn, Taliza and also my iPhone.

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Yours truly and Taliza

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Taliza Kimberly (someone we met at Urbanscapes), yours truly and Bellyn

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Last Dinosaurs

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The acts on the first day included Last Dinosaurs and Tegan & Sara, and overall it was a pretty good first day.

photo 2We went to MAEPS a little later on the second day, at around 6PM. The weather was comparatively better and a whole lot more awesome on the second day.

The day before, we received the devastating news of Two Door Cinema Club cancelling at the last minute and we were so pissed and sad (we ARE still pissed and sad) about it but I guess the show must go on.

Second day was a day of finally exploring Deer Society in the huge wooden building with stairs that was always full with people after not having done so on the first day. Since it was an over 18 area, only Bellyn and I went up and it turned out to be a bar and also a really trippy room where you have to play mini games to win tickets to get free froyos. After froyo, we slid down a really steep inflated slide into a pool of balls, something I did rather nervously and got minor cuts on my left elbow for it.

After that, we headed for the last act of the event: Franz Ferdinand. We started off rather calm and placid since I didn’t know most of their songs, but somewhere in the middle, for some reason, we just went all out and all wild, doing all sorts of wild dance moves despite not knowing the songs. Examples of aforementioned embarrassing dance moves: changing the lightbulbs, washing the clothes, stopping the traffic light, and Bellyn’s trademark, shooting arrows.

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Taliza
Taliza

Bellyn
Bellyn

Yours truly
Yours truly

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Deer society
Deer society

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The inflated slide
The inflated slide

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Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand

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The two-day weekend spent at Urbanscapes was so surreal that returning to the real world became such a bore after the festival. I would definitely say that Urbanscapes is the highlight of the year.

Michelle’s People I’ve Watched Live List, updated: