The Ransom Collective is an infectiously positive band. You know that one friend who without fail will cheer you on despite all your sarcasm and drama? Hearing Ransom Collective is like listening to that friend. The one where you say, “What did I do to deserve you?” in between realizing how shitty you are as a person in contrast to their seemingly nuclear ray of light.
Where did all those melodies come from? Listening to them is like recording a great memory you tell people over and over in great detail. Like one of those hard-to-believe internet stories that turn into urban legends – like that story about helping a random guy with his flat tire on your way to an interview and it turns out he’s the one who’s going to hire you. Or winning the lottery, there’s no possible explanation for it. You’re influenced by your choice of numbers, but ultimately everything still boils down to chance.
The story of how this band ended up being famous is made of pure serendipity. They all just got together from referrals by common friends for vocalist Kian Ransom’s project. None of them thought it would extend after a day.
Yet a random (not ransom, but yes it could have been Ransom’s) decision to ‘try out’ for a contest, they won albeit it being only their fifth gig. Everything changed after that. The spotlight went with them everywhere they went.
They have recorded with Yuna from Malaysia and GAC in Indonesia. They got even further mainstream attention with their cover for local band Urbandub’s song “First of Summer”.
Only four years old (half the time most bands can be called seasoned musicians) it seems there’s no stopping them. They have been invited to perform at the upcoming Laneway Festival in Singapore, the band’s biggest achievement to date.
Kian Ransom said that if they didn’t win the band competition in 2014 they probably wouldn’t be here. TRC are easily compared to Icelandic Indie-folk band Of Monsters and Men with their anthemic folk melodies, mirroring their beginnings as well as both bands were discovered in hometown band competitions.
The Ransom Collective organized a Laneway Festival send-off party last Friday in Saguijo. The whole venue was packed as expected, with the band allowing only 200 people inside. The last time one of the fans fainted because of the heat, a problem caused by to too many people watching.
I could barely hear the band as everyone sang along. You know everyone’s enjoying when the whole crowd is loud but out of tune. It only means either of two things: (1) they’re tone deaf or (2) they are enjoying so much that they don’t care. It’s easy to follow the melodies but it’s hard to replicate Kian’s voice. It’s that kind of music that you’d keep singing over and over because the melodies are so memorable and you think you’re singing it perfectly, but you know you can never be as good.
Clearly TRC is not one of those ‘artists need tragedy in their lives’ to make great work. I remember when I was their age I was so angsty. I don’t even think it was because the music at the time was hardcore emo, it was just me. There’s this undeniable great vibe you get from them, not just their music, but the entire band. They make me want to be a nice person, which I’m not most of the time.
No, really, I’m not kidding. I hope they don’t change. It was so much fun. It was refreshing and inspiring which is how music and performances should make us feel anyway.
If you want to feel what I felt, catch The Ransom Collective at Laneway Festival Singapore this Saturday January 27, 2017 at The Meadow at Gardens by The Bay.