These Brittle Bones
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These Brittle Bones


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"These Brittle Bones: This young indie musician has an old soul"

THERE is very little evidence in Chris Jones’ moody sounds and lyrics that he is, in fact, a 13-year-old boy.

At his tender age, Jones, who performs as the one-man band These Brittle Bones, has already released a four-track EP.

He is hard at work on a full-length album with producer Leonard Soosay and has a management contract with ATC Management, run by Radiohead’s manager Brian Message.

This Friday, he plays at Home Club alongside local acts Inch Chua & The Metric System and Pleasantry.

Originally from Wales but based in Singapore for four years now, Jones has been writing songs since he was about seven or eight. - The New Paper


At 13, Chris Jones is making music, juggling studies, shooting music videos in the rain and playing for crowds. Pretty accomplished, compared to the rest of us... Moving on, for this instalment, Chris Jones talks to Bandwagon about These Brittle Bones, writing music, Wales, being 13, and everything in between.

Hi Chris Jones! Tell us more about yourself.

Hey there! Well, I'm a 13 year old Singer/Songwriter from the UK but have been based here in Singapore for the best part of four years. I've been going by the name of These Brittle Bones for almost a year now, as how many Chris Jones's are there in the world, but I've been playing music for as long as I can remember.

We've seen you around on the performing circuit quite a bit - Home Club, Animal Day... how has the journey been so far?

The gigs have been awesome - I've got a really supportive guitarist and bassist (Mark John Hariman and Jase Sng), who also play for Inch Chua and Charlie Lim, so it's really great to have that kind of experience backing me up live. The best crowd I've experienced so far was at the Home Club. I really enjoyed that as everyone was really supportive and it turned out to be quite an intimate set in the end.

The video for 'Anchor Bleed' is lovely, tell us how it was like filming it.

It was incredible to film it. I've been recording in Snakeweed Studios with the most legendary producer in Singapore, Leonard Soosay. After my first session, he really took to my music and we've been making it ever since. After about knowing him for a month, I was on my way to the airport this summer to fly back to the UK for my annual trip home, when I got a facebook message from him saying that he would like to come up to my hometown, Swansea, in Wales, in the third week I was home to shoot the video. He was coming with an extremely talented local director, Gerald Stahlmann, an art director, Gilani Sumida-Moseiff (who has since moved back to Hawaii), and one member of crew, Jason Elpheus Wong. I was completely taken aback with joy when Leo proposed the idea of this. I really didn't know what to say and couldn't stop thinking about it all the way on the 13-hour-flight to London.

When they came up, we didn't have a very good start to filming; we rented a car so we could get all the equipment about, but the company didn't have the one we requested, so we ended up with a 12 seater van for the four of us. We had a little crash on our first day which didn't really get us that excited for the rest of the week but looking back now I think it prepared us more. After that, we started filming properly and going round all the locations I'd come up with in the Gower. The opening shots are of my village called "The Mumbles" which really means the world to me. The song is about missing my home, and feeling apart from it being out here, and it was incredible to go back to the same place it was written about. The whole experience was really natural as we didn't really have a plan for shooting, it was very honest and pure and I don't think any of us could have predicted the feelings we had whilst taking the track that meant a lot to us to the UK, and then going to these powerful sites and seeing the emotions we withdrew. We got stuck in rain almost every day, and all the early mornings were incredibly worth it for the finished product. It was an experience I'll truly never forget.

Do you think being young heightens or hinders your progress as a musician?

It's a little bit of both actually - I think being my age brings attention to my music, but at the same time it's really hard to work alongside my education. For example, I had quite a long lecture about my university and Sixth Form pathways this morning, and I couldn't stop thinking to myself throughout that I don't want to deal with this now and just get on with my music. I do know I have to concentrate on my studies, but it's really hard to balance both music and school sometimes. I do most of my music in the evenings and on weekends, but there is a very delicate line between balancing the two. It's something I'm working on, and after being this way for the last year, I've learnt to deal with it, so it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. I also worry sometimes how much people will take me seriously as a musician because of my age - writing is and always will be the thing I feel best about. I'm so happy that i've been quite welcomed into the local scene, as I'm not from Singapore. I've had very generous opinions from locals and really do hope it continues. I'm extremely grateful.Who do you list as your influences and where do you draw inspiration from?

Oooh this is a hard one. It really varies but I listen to a lot of the same stuff. I guess a lot of my sound is influenced by British acts such as The xx, Florence + The Machine, Daughter and other dark and unique sounds like that. I listen to a lot of gloomy folk too – Laura Marling, Keaton Henson, James Vincent Mcmorrow, Bon Iver, Kyla La Grange. A lot of my writing is about missing my hometown. Although I’m incredibly lucky to have such incredible experiences in SG, I do feel homesick from time to time. I miss the people and scenery a lot of the time, which is really what a lot of my material is about.


"The Singa-Welsh Boy Wonder – Chris Jones"

He doesn’t exactly behave like a young teen nor does he even speak like one. At the tender age of 13, Singapore-based Welsh-born, Chris Jones, must have traded his young teenage soul with an old wise man up in some foggy mountain area in Swansea.

“I get that quite a bit, people always say I’ve an old soul,” says Jones while his gaze somehow meandering slightly as if quizzing that’s a good or bad thing.

But there’s no time to ponder such banal philosophies. Not when at age seven, the indie gods christened him ‘These Brittle Bones’ and beckoned him to start tinkering with the ivories and within a year later, to write and record his first EP, Leaving the Woods, in his bedroom.

Fast forward the imaginary tape to 2012, and Jones is working on his second EP (which may evolve into a full album) but no longer with struggles to find the best recording techniques.

These days he’s hanging out at Snakeweed Studies with well-known music producer Leonard Soosay who has helped to produce popular local bands such as I am David Sparkle, The Great Spy Experiment and Caracal to name a few.

“Leonard has been extremely helpful and generous in terms of expanding my sound and making it bigger. For example, we recorded this song but I felt as if I could take the track a lot further. He introduced me to some wonderful local musicians, who then contributed to the track and helped make the finished product sound a million times better,” Jones says.

It’s easy to dismiss the young lad’s music as hipster drivel. But it’s not.

His haunting and emotive vocals dissect his piano melodies in dark tones that, admittedly, are not easily palatable by the average mainstream music listener perhaps, but then again, Jones is no ordinary kid and his music is not for the regular LMFAO or Nickelback crowd.

The Music Video

Blessed with lyrical, musical and vocal abilities, Jones now is armed with one hell of a debut music video – shot in his seaside home town of Mumbles in Swansea over a week in July.

And he had the help of his producer Soosay as well as popular director of photography, Gerald Stahlmann.

“Just as I was leaving Changi Airport and stepping onto a plane to take me to the UK for the summer in June, I got a Facebook message from Gerald and Leonard saying they would like to come shoot the video in the rolling hills of the Gower in my home town.

All the early mornings and standing round in the rain was incredibly worth it for the video. We even had a car crash in the making of it. But it was all worth it,” says Jones.

Stahlmann who was a popular musician in the late 90s with his band Sherene’s Closet, fell in love with the lead track of the upcoming EP, ‘Anchor Bleed’, when long-time friend Soosay let him hear it at Snakeweed Studios.

“It is an honest piece of music written by a very talented singer/songwriter. His music is also very visual. I can sense it when I listen to his songs because I am a director of photography and a songwriter as well. He has good melodies and strong lyrics and I find that lacking in the music we hear on the radio these days,” Stahlmann says.

It took just one week for both men to decide and travel to Wales.

“It was impromptu and we didn't really have an idea what we wanted to shoot. We went back to Chris’s hometown to feel the space and all the ideas came from when we were in Swansea for a week. With a track like this, it's hard to go wrong...we just wanted the whole shooting process to be unplanned and organic. A lot different from the kind of commercial and corporate work that I normally do over here,” says Stahlmann.

What’s next?

Extremely focused on his music, Jones now has gone one stratum up among the unsigned army of the indie music fraternity.

In July, he had a meeting in London with a top talent management agency which he doesn’t want to name at the moment.

That’s not bad for a lad who is still too young to drink his country’s most famous liquid exports.

Whatever happens, the student who is enrolled in an international school in Singapore, is as grounded as they come, without letting ambition control his life.

“I would like to be doing music for as long as I can. It is my only hobby, and it’s what I feel the strongest in. As long as I am proud of the music, I will release it – and listeners are just an amazing added bonus. Although I know I have to finish school, but I definitely know that music will always be the path I take,” he says.

Currently, his entire family is based in Singapore. His father, Richard Jones, is working at a bank here.

And the senior Mr Jones is quick to add that mom and pop have had nothing much to do with Chris’s musical abilities.

“This is definitely something that Chris has gained by nature rather than nurture. Whilst we both love listening to music, neither of us plays an instrument or can sing,” he confesses.

But the support the young Jones is getting from his parents, has no doubt, played an integral part to help bloom the scatterings of his musical notes into meaningful coda – be it in a bedroom studio or at a professional one.

“We want Chris to be happy in whatever he does. At the moment he is managing to balance the demands of his studies and his music. Chris still is young so has plenty of time to decide what he wants to do in the future and hopefully he will continue to do we at school so that he has plenty of opportunities when he has to decide on a future career,” says Jones’ father.

Busy checking out the local music scene when he can and constantly working on his music, the teenager with an extremely normal and average name has already accomplished some impressive feats – that is already setting him apart from the other millions of boys called Chris or Jones.


"Interview: These Brittle Bones"

Singapore-based musician These Brittle Bones produces gorgeous melodies and poetic lyrics. And did we mention that he’s only 13? He tells Cherylene Chan how he does it.

While most average 13-year-olds are bemoaning school and gluing themselves to their Nintendo DS, UK-born Chris Jones (aka These Brittle Bones), who moved to Singapore with his family four years ago, has been spending much of his time fixated on his passion for music and songwriting. Having picked up piano at the age of seven and started penning originals at eight, he pieced together and recorded Leaving the Woods, his debut EP, in his bedroom earlier this year. Contrary to what you might expect, the recording is a far cry from any juvenile, cut-and-dry pop; instead, his hauntingly ambient melodies lap gently beneath quiet, emotive vocals, while his poetic, reflective lyrics reveal a precocious songwriting mastery. With his debut live show pencilled in this month at Lasalle College’s 15 Minutes gig space, and a new album on the way, Jones tells us about his musical journey thus far.

Your lyrics and melodies have a lot of sorrow and depth – where do you draw inspiration from them?
Inspiration’s quite a general thing for me. I can take it from pieces of art, poetry, even tales I’ve heard from others. I guess I do take inspiration from my experiences, but a lot of my work’s about trying to find an escape from routine.

Are people often surprised by how introspective you are, considering your age?
That’s been quite common when people meet me. I think some are slightly apprehensive to listen [to my music] at first, as they expect my songs to be lyrically weak and have ‘bubblegum pop melodies’. Generally people who’ve heard my music are surprised, and many have been quite impressed that it’s so meaningful. I hope people do see past my age, which I sometimes feel is engraved on my forehead, and listen to my music like it’s coming from someone beyond my years. I believe anyone can be a performer.

Are there any musicians that have a strong influence on you?
I’m absolutely obsessed with a British band called Daughter, who have a similar indie style to me. I grew up listening to mainstream pieces, and the first indie song that really affected me was Bon Iver’s ‘Creature Fear’ from their first record. I’m also quite influenced by acts like Florence + The Machine, Bombay Bicycle Club and Lucy Rose. Leaving the Woods was entirely self-recorded, which is a pretty impressive feat.

How did you go about it, and did it take long?
I recorded some demos off a phone, then realised I was being ridiculous and the quality wasn’t anywhere near what I was hoping for. So I got myself a USB mic, hooked it up to GarageBand and took it from there. The drums on ‘Hollow’ were structured by an iPad app. I started putting the songs together in March, and the EP was released in April. It was quite a quick process – I just wanted to get something out quickly.

What’s the feedback from listeners been like?
The last few weeks have been crazy with the amount of downloads and emails I’m getting praising the EP. Lots of local musicians that I look up to have been really impressed with my lyrics, which has been a real honour as these people have had such an influence in putting my music out.

Recently, you’ve started recording with local producer Leonard Soosay at Snakeweed Studios. Have you been enjoying the experience?
I love recording there. I was really worried going in because I often get put off by studios. They seem quite dull – no windows, no inspiration. But Snakeweed was a completely different experience. Leonard’s cats are about and it makes the studio seem so much more alive, and they’re a breath of fresh air to my worries of claustrophobia. Leonard’s been incredibly supportive and he’s done so much for me on the scene in the last month. He’s made some of the new tracks sound quite magical.

Tell us about your upcoming album, Anchor Bleed – will it be different from Leaving the Woods?
The new record will be quite similar material to Leaving the Woods. There are some tracks that are really quite dark, but other songs are a lot brighter and more reflective. It’s a lot more autobiographical than anything I’ve ever done before. The tunes will have a lot more instruments in them – we’ve worked with guitars, violins, drums, bass and included some cool loops too. I can’t wait to release it.

What can we expect at your upcoming show?
It’s definitely going to be a lot more intimate, very raw and honest. On the record, there’s quite a bit of drums, guitar, violin and mastered piano effects, but on stage, it’s just going to be me with the piano. It’s going to be very personal, as I’ll be playing to a crowd for the first time, so I can’t really predict what it’ll be like.

How does it feel to be performing live for the first time?
I’m really excited but nerve-racked too. Coincidentally, I’ll have some [members of my] family in town at the time, and quite a few people have told me they’re coming. I think it’ll be nice to meet some new fans and I’m thinking of getting some physical copies of the record to give out.

Do you have anything else big planned for your music in the future?
I’ve got a few ties with management companies at the moment, and I’m hoping something will come out of it so I can release the full-length to a wider audience, instead of out of my bedroom. Music’s very personal to me, but after writing for the best part of five years, I’d like people to hear what I’ve been working on. I’ve got a few music videos coming up too!

- Time Out Singapore


When we heard that Chris Jones aka These Brittle Bones is in fact a thirteen-year old boy, we sort of died for a little while. And then when we found out that this young UK lad is based right here in Singapore, we got down to our knees and thanked the music spirit and deities (well, not really) for bestowing this person so close to home. He cites big names like Florence Welsh and The XX as musical inspirations, but all that you listen to in this heart-swaying four-minute video is all him. Wide-eyed and bushy tail he is not, but his evident poetic prowess and flawless music stirs even the hardest of souls – it is possible our hearts grew twice its size while listening to this. Directed by Leonard Soosay, the video is shot in Wales and sees Chris immersing himself in the beauty around him and ends with him penetrating his haunting gaze right into your soul. This young singer-songwriter gives off melancholy way beyond his years, and never have we been more receptive to subtle lachrymose. - JUICE Magazine

"BBC Radio Wales - Welsh Sounds of 2013"

These Brittle Bones

Just before Christmas I caught up with a very young Swansea born artist called These Brittle Bones. Playing mellow electronica driven songs in the vein of James Blake, Chris Jones is just 13 years old but already has a band, a brilliant blog, and, oh yes, lives in Singapore!

His situation is all rather unusual, but the music speaks for itself, and these tracks by Chris are really worth listening to. He's working on a debut album as we speak. - Bethan Elfyn of BBC Radio Wales



*"It's All Indie"'s Track of 2012
*Mike Taylor of Amazing Radio's Listener's Pick of 2012

*BBC Radio Wales's Sound of 2012
*Mike Taylor of Amazing Radio's Listener's Pick of 2012



13 year old Singer Songwriter melancholy.

"His hauntingly ambient melodies lap gently beneath quiet, emotive vocals, while his poetic, reflective lyrics reveal a precocious songwriting mastery."

Time Out Singapore (August 2012) -

"His evident poetic prowess and flawless music stirs even the hardest of souls – it is possible our hearts grew twice its size while listening to this."

JUICE Singapore (August 2012) -

"Blessed with lyrical, musical and vocal abilities, Chris Jones must have traded his young teenage soul with an old wise man" (August 2012) -