Best Tracks of 2016
brought by Worranat Kongchankit

“Why Can’t You See”

Bangkok-based quintet FWENDS appeared in our Best of 2015 with their fantastic debut single, “Fade Away”. Now they’re here again with their first official video “Why Can’t You See”, which magnifies psychedelic atmosphere of their music.

Combining a foggy shoegaze aura with strong songwriting, they’ve managed to bring something fresh out of well-known components. They also pay attention to the visual aspect of their work as shown in this mesmerizing video directed by Paphawee Jinnasith. It takes us into a closing stage of a night party where alcohol, smoke and desire blur the border between reality and dream.

Late December, they released their second EP “Petrichor“, a great promise for their longplay hopefully to soon to come.

FWENDS on Facebook, InstagramYouTube.

Migrate to the Ocean
“Outsiders” (คนนอก)

Presented in the very last days of 2016, the new video from Chiang Mai-based alternative quintet Migrate to the Ocean is a hymn to eponymous “Outsiders” (คนนอก), which includes the musicians themselves as well as their friends.

Expressive vocals of Prachya Compiranont and drilling guitars throughout the song will keep drawing your attention from the first to the last second. But you should also check out accompanying video, an uncommon work in itself.

The song has been released by Minimal Records, an independent label also based in the northern city of Chiang Mai, which was conistently offering us great music throught the last year.

Migrate to the Ocean on Facebook.

My Life as Ali Thomas

Founded by the singer-songwriter “Pie” Kanyapak Wuttara about three years ago, the Bangkok-based quartet My Life as Ali Thomas has already appeared on beehype in our Best of 2014 and Best of 2015. So this is a well-deserved hat-trick.

In 2016, they released their long-awaited debut album, “Paper“, a collection of 10 delicate folk rock songs woven around acoustic compositions and Pie’s intimate, slightly misty vocals. Some of them we’ve already known and loved. Some are new. All in all, it was one of the most colourful and beautiful debut albums we heard last year.

Among the record’s highlights is the single “Cordelia”, which has received a video treatment from director Supawit Suwannet. And if you ask us, that was the song every radio station in the world should have been playing last year. How far will they go from here? Quoting the song’s words, “Will ya ever know.”

My Life as Ali Thomas on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube,

“ปล่อยยาน สละยาน ปล่อยวาง”

Until recently quite a mysterious indie rock band from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, Outlooks have just recently decided to introduce themselves properly and hopefully will speed up unfolding their airy art.

Airy seems to be the right word not only because of Outlooks’ spacey music, but also due to their extraterrestial interests and style of communication, as well as song titles like “Light Years“.

Last summer, the trio-turned-quartet released remarkable new video for a song called “ปล่อยยาน สละยาน ปล่อยวาง”, which is also all about keeping your eyes on what’s above us. Like the song “Salary Man” by Sahaikeaw that appears on this list, the track was a part of “No Signal Input 5” compilation of Chiang Mai’s finest “new blood”.

Outlooks on Facebook.

Phum Viphurit
“Strangers In A Dream”

Born in Bangkok-born, raised in New Zealand, but currently again residing in Thailand, Phum Viphurit combines warm acoustic folk songs with unbelievably deep voice and natural charisma.

Last year, he successfully crowdfunded his debut album that he hopes will not only delight his fans (yes, we can’t wait for it), but will also “encourage other young, creative minds to do something with their talents.”

The video “Strangers In A Dream”, directed by Poj Pitakjamnong, is a great promise for the new full-length debut and an encouragement to “forget the world for a moment and spread joy.”

Phum Viphurit on Facebook.

Plastic Plastic
“The Trip”

“Let’s go somewhere” – the brother-and-sister duo Plastic Plastic encourage us in this video shot in New Zealand, although their latest album is called “Stay At Home” and available on Spotify.

After a few months of working on the new material, Pokpong Jitdee (who is also part of the group Gym and Swim) and Tongta Jitdee relased their new effort in March last year. It combined lyrics both in English and in Thai – with sunny song “วันก่อน“, or “Yesterday”, being the first single – and it brought us a set of beautiful vocal themes and a relaxed atmosphere.

Plastic Plastic’s second single from that album, called “The Trip”, was a folk-pop gem like that, though it was illustrated by a somehow DIY video trip across New Zealand’s raw landscapes. As the band explains, they’d like everyone to have a small part in their the trip. Just let us put the cap on.

Plastic Plastic on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.

“Mirror Room”

Over the last two years, the Bangkok-based alternative trio Safeplanet have been sharing new songs sparingly. Released in September, “Mirror Room” (ห้องกระจก) is just their fourth single and still the latest one, but it could also be their best yet.

The Thai group’s debut track “Black Box” (กล่องดำ) was quite spectacular, but it was soon followed by an immediate indie classic “Oheya” (“โอยา”). Then late last year came “Paint (“ระบาย”), which easily made it onto our Best of 2015 for Thailand with its flow and unforgettable chorus.

For a few months, the band has kept us somewhat concerned, but when they finally presented “Mirror Room” it showed how they’d matured in just a few months. This colourful, optimistically jingling 5-minute piece once again brings them a fantastic response, with over 800k views already. We’re happy to have added a few dozen more.

Safeplanet on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook.

Sahaikeaw (สหายเขียว)
“Salary Man” (มนุษย์เงินเดือน)

Wake up. Drive. Work. Drive. Sleep. Repeat. Thailand’s indie rock quartet Sahaikeaw (สหายเขียว) offer a sour illustration of an algorhythm that too many might sound quite familiar.

Directed by Peasadet Compiranont, their video for “Salary Man” (“มนุษย์เงินเดือน”) depicts the eponymous character living in a crappy old house, bored (almost) to death by the monotony of his everyday life, and just waiting for the weekend to start.

Just like the recent single of Outlooks featured in this list, “Salary Man” was a part of “No Signal Input 5“, a fantastic compilation of Chiang Mai’s finest “new blood”.

Sahaikeaw on Facebook, YouTube.

Solitude is Bliss

There’s quite a representation of the Chiang Mai indie music scene in our list and having mentioned them in our Best of lists for 2014 and 2015, we couldn’t imagine this year’s feature without Solitude is Bliss.

One year after the premiere of their most recent album, “Her Social Anxiety”, they released a new video one of the record’s mellower tracks, “ใหม่ซ้ำเดิม”. Directed by the band’s singer and guitarist Thanaphol Chumkhammool, the clip is a story in itself just as the band has got us used to.

However, it’s also an good occasion to come back to their still-fresh material from “Her Social Anxiety“.

Solitide Is Bliss on Facebook.


That “Ø” in SØAR FLiT’s name is there for a reason. The Bangkok-based sextet draws inspiration from classic Scandinavian post-rock and dream-pop bands. But they do it openly, and they do it extremely well.

If “magical atmosphere” is what you’re looking for in this kind of music, then SØAR FLiT – still very early into their career – have perfected this element to the point where comparing them to groups like Sigur Rós will be no exaggeration.

But there’s more than that. In songs like “Loops” or “Chá Chá” they also demonstrate a rare ability of layering multiple vocals – even creating vocal symphonies – without losing the lightness of their musical tales.

Even if you don’t understand the language, they’ll draw you into their dreamy narrative. “We want to tell stories,” they’ve written on their fanpage. We’ll be more than happy to listen.

SØAR FLiT on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook.

Srirajah Rockers
“Roll Around” (พรรณลำพัง)

Our favourite reggae band from Thailand, last year Srirajah Rockers offered us this hallucinatory trip across multicolored cosmos.

Created by Trystand, the psychedelic video for “Roll Around” (พรรณลำพัง) perfectly suits the atmosphere of the song itself, relaxed yet a bit dramatic. Along with that clip, the track is certainly among the best pieces in Srirajah Rockers’ repertoire yet, and certainly a song you’ll be waiting for during their live show.

As always, Win Chujitarom’s vocals and the unhurried pulse of bass and drums is what you will pay attention to in the first place. But the track’s, just like the video, is full of little ornaments from flute, trumpet, trombone and percussion, which emerge with every consecutive listen.

“Don’t you know life’s crazy?”, the band’s frontman sings, “If only I could escape from this cruel world”. Here’s your ticket to a different universe.

Srirajah Rockers on Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube.

“Better” (ดีกว่า)

An observer of everyday life, Stoondio fills her cover art with pictures of sky, clouds and trees. It indicates a free spirit always open for inspiration and amusement, and Chotika’s music conveys these qualities, too. Unhurried and elegant, it brings this kind of emotionality that’s never pressing, but rather an invitation for the listener.

Last year, she released a few songs from her “Almost The Third Album”, which perfectly demonstrated Stoondio’s songwriting talent and her versatility. The first one, “Somebody” (กอด), combined folk with post-rock’s ups and downs. The second, “Better” (ดีกว่า), was very different though. Steady narrative, airy atmosphere, electronica and Chotika’s multiple vocals made it one of the most beautiful songs she’s released yet.

In November, it was followed by a third track called “Tinder“, as well as a preview of the upcoming full-length, which is something we’re certainly looking for on 2017.

Stoondio on Facebook, YouTube.

The ███████
“Warp Portals”

The Black Codes, as that’s how you should read their name, are not an inventive black metal band, but a dreamy new project by Karnpaporn Boonput who previously released his music under the monicker Snuffvideo.

The Buriram-based singer and producer combines introverted songwriting with rich electronic textures, and this way tries to find his own path between today’s myriad music genres. Showing his attitude towards current music discourse, he calls his own sound “whateverwave”.

An invitation to his synthetic, yet somehow heartfelt world, “Warp Portals” appeared in January last year and seemed Boonput’s most coherent and direct effort to date. This was also the third song he released as The ███████.

To appreciate his versatility as writer and producer, you should check out his two previous singles: the intimate ballad “Shelter” and hard-to-define, futuristic track “‡‡‡‡‡‡” that gradually builds the tension until an unexpected fade-out – as well as his latest recordings including the atmospheric new single, “Lagoon“.

The ███████ on Facebook, YouTube.

Walk by Myself

Consisting of singer and guitarist Nopparuj Srimuang and Rucha Amatyakul who plays guitars, banjo and harmonica, the group Walk by Myself started publicly sharing music exactly one year ago and have posted only a couple of songs to date.

A beautiful ballad for guitars and a dramatic string section, “แด่ผู้สร้างเธอ” also features Yong, the singer of Bangkok-based quartet Chladni Chandi, whose haunting vocals we probably hear for a short moment in the distant background.

Covers of other artists’ music suggest the band are still developing their own sound, but fans of natural musical authenticity, clear emotions and great vocal themes will notice Walk by Myself already have it all. It’s one of our biggest discovery of 2016, and a great promise for the new year.

Walk by Myself on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Yaak Lab feat. Praewa
“Rain” (ฝน)

Contrary to its title, “Rain” (ฝน) is a sunny synth hymn that many of us kept on repeat during the summer trips last year.

The song was produced by Bangkok-based producer Yaak Lab, also the person behind Box Records. For this song, he invited Praewa (เเพรวา), singer of Yellow Fang, whose airy vocals perfectly complete his electronic arpeggios.

While Praewa sings about a solitary dance in the rain, let us ponder over bitter-sweetness of loneliness withouth getting too dramatic about it.

Yaak Lab on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Yanin (ญาณิน)
“Nothing Is Unclear”

Bangkok-based singer Yanin (ญาณิน) is one of our favourite new voices not only in Thailand but in the global music scene generally. We first fell in love with her collaborations with Casinotone: a soft and sensual synth hymn “Saturday Love” (also on this list) and a more upbeat track called “You“, this time sung in Thai.

Yanin chose her native language also for her fantastic solo single “Nothing Is Unclear” (ไม่มีสิ่งใดไม่ชัดเจน), which could be her most remarkable work yet. At least if you’re into this kind of music that leaves no doubt about its beauty, with clear emotions and magnificent arrangements.

It might then seem surprising for such a confident and versatile artist to make a confession of the difficulty to make the final decision when it’s needed. But once in a while, “Nothing is Unclear”, and when you listen to Yanin’s soulful chorus you will nod with a smile of understanding.

Yanin on Facebook, Youtube.

Yanin x Casinotone

This splendid single from Yanin and Casinotone was a showcase of the former’s sensual vocals and the latter’s production talents.

Yanin (ญาณิน) is a Bangkok-based singer-songwriter who’s already been collaborating with a range of local artists, building her own catalogue, and still looking for her very own space in the sound spectrum. With “Saturday”, she seems to have found it.

Casinotone a.k.a. Jakchai Panchanon’s production gives a solid yet delicate footing for her airy vocals. And this combination escapes any simple classifications, blending intimate electro and clear passion for thick synths with soul.

“I could make the sound that change your life and change my life tonight,” Yanin sings in the first verse, and the promise is soon to be fulfilled.

Yanin on Facebook. Casinotone on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook.

Yellow Fang

For almost 10 years now, Yellow Fang have been steadily building local and international recognition as well as their instantly recognizable sound: a mix of indie pop, multi-layered vocals, enthusiastic choruses and the right amount of catchiness and unpredictability.

Last summer, they announced a new step for the band with an energetic new single “Morning”. It encompasses all qualities we loved in Yellow Fang’s music. But it also brings a new depth to their sound, possibly thanks to the producer Theodore Gaston, and an unexpected bursts of synths indeed making it a perfect wake-up song.

The single, still the most recent thing we got from the band, has received a spectacular visual treatment from the director Dean Varoj. Bringing together at least a few dozen inventive visual ideas, it’s an adventure to watch for the first time, but it certainly deserves repeated viewing.

Yellow Fang on Facebook, InstagramYouTube.