[EXCLUSIVE] Sobs Speaks Inspirations And Mastering Their Sound


Meet Sobs. (L-R) Raphael Ong, Celine Autum and Jared Lim


Sure, they brand themselves as ‘uncool pop music with lots of guitar’, but we have to disagree. Sobs are very cool with a whole lot of guitar.

A Singaporean indie pop trio that’s making their mark, Sobs’ got that sound with the perfect balance of melancholy and bedroom pop. Their lyrics may have a hint of desperation but paired with the sticky hooks, it will get you up and dancing.

#TeamCLEO spoke to Sobs before their big gig in KL for Urbanscapes and got to know the trio a little better.


What inspires all of you?

Sobs: A big motivation for us starting out was kind of desperation/restlessness/a really strong desire to make something… also from listening to lots of pop music and bands and stuff… I wish we knew exactly what inspired us so we can write more music!

Celine: Finding new music that really resonates with me and meeting new people.

Jared: Playing shows, and touring and stuff!

Raphael: Art, design, architecture… the world around us – all its sounds and sights.


How was making Telltale Signs different from making Catflap?

Celine: I felt more in control with my voice making Telltale Signs as playing shows for a year really helped shape the way I sing.

Jared: We recorded Telltale Signs with a full band and real guitar amps as opposed to recording straight into our laptops.

Raphael: We gave things a lot more thought this time, even while writing the demos – where we always had a vision in mind for what it would sound and feel like. We’ve grown a lot since then, and we wrote music that’s much more genuine and intimate, with more depth and in turn, longevity compared to the songs on the EP.



Telltale Signs follow a narrative of falling in and out of love. how did the idea come along and tie in with the music?

Celine: It didn’t start off as a narrative but after putting all the songs together in order, I saw phases of my life unfold through the words I was writing and the songs we worked on during those times. Songs like “Eastbound” and “Telltale Signs” were about the same person and the rest of the songs kinda shared similar themes.


Do you each have a favourite song of either the EP or album?

Celine:Telltale Signs”.

Jared:Telltale Signs”.

Raphael: “Girl” from the EP! It’s such a simple, yet affective tune.


You guys give of such nostalgic vibes in your sound, was that accidental?

Celine: It’s not something we actively think about when we write but I guess it helps that people could relate to it and maybe feel sentimental about their own past experiences.

Jared: We all appreciate ’90s and early 2000s songwriting so I guess that might have something to do with it.


Do you have a dream collab?

Celine: Kevin Krauter… I’m listening to him right now, he’s incredible. 

Jared: Bon Appetit Test Kitchen.


Do you think visual aesthetics play a big role in presenting your music / the way your music is consumed?

Raphael: As much as we’d like to believe that music’s just about the music, unfortunately… or fortunately, visual aesthetics do and can play a role in bringing the experience of consuming music to a new level. I’ve always wanted to build new worlds around our music, and we can tell stories born from the music through engaging visuals, branding and music videos! We’ve worked with some of our favorite visual artists and friends from around the world through the course of our career, like Mich Cervantes, Gus Bendinelli, and Pennacky.



Do you have a favourite moment that happened during any of your performances?

Celine: When we played Soundrenaline a couple of months back, Bo’s (our bassist) bass strap broke which forced him to kneel down and play like a rockstar for the rest our song “Telltale Signs”. I pretty much lost it and burst out laughing. It ended with all of us just jumping around the stage. That was fun.

Jared: People were singing along at our shows in Japan earlier this year, that was pretty cool.


Are you looking forward to coming to KL?

Celine: Heck yea!

Jared: Ya duh.

Raphael: Yes! I can’t wait to eat aaaaaalll the local food there, and meet new people and share the stage with some of our favorite bands and friends like Boy Pablo, Sunset Rollercoaster, and KL’s very own Lost Spaces.


What can we expect from your show?

Celine: Vibes, lots of vibes.

Jared: We’ve been trying out some new songs over the past year so expect some new stuff!!!

Raphael: Loud!


Sobs will be performing at U-Mobile’s #UnlimitedGroovesFestival on Thursday, November 21. Get your tickets here