Tricks & Cider
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Tricks & Cider

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Picks of the month"

The local music scene is now bursting at the seams with music makers, and pop-rock quartet, Tricks & Cider are the latest to hopefully clinch a place on your faved-up music list. Their five-track debut is a well-studied EP, traipsing through the soft martial march of "Girl From Outerspace", to the jazzy-dreamy "Post Recording Dreams", to the surf-rock of "Superstar", all anchored by the oh-so-clear-n-steady voice of Victoria Ho. Won't hit you like a Molotov, but a slow-burn love it might become. - JUICE Magazine

"Tricks and Cider EP Launch"

As my first contribution to City Nomads, I just want to say that I am here to write about the music that you and I love, this indispensable colour to life, this mysterious conductor of souls. The notion that Singapore produces a) lousy music or b) pretentious western-copy-types music is long gone; that
fallacy smashed and left for dead like a dirt-caked signpost on a journey that we as a community and as a generation share. There is an exciting independent scene bubbling, with acts coming to and coming from our shores. My energy comes from seeing their energy, my passion to write from their passion to perform songs they love.

So it is, that I found myself at Tricks and Cider’s self-titled EP launch at a neat looking loft-house venue at Prinsep Place last Tuesday, looking forward to seeing them perform following their polished promotional video for the EP. I loved how the attic-esque space was hidden behind the strip mall’s façade, making you feel like it’s a place you stumbled upon.

Esther Lowless opened as one of the supporting acts that night. To be honest it was my first time catching her and apart from a creepy-looking EP teaser video, I had not actually heard much of her music. With her raw talent as a singer-songwriter, she was definitely bringing something new to the metaphorical table, though it seemed a little too early to define her musicality just yet. Her blend of organic instrumentation (of the violin and cello) tempered with a 2 keyboardist that had more of an indie electronic edge, was refreshing to experience.

These Brittle Bones took the stage next. Welshman solo singer-songwriter Chris Jones is a nascent force in the scene at all of fourteen years old, but it is easy to see why. Possessing a certain sensitivity and capacity to translate that into a musical as well as aesthetic style, These Brittle Bones draws you in with the fragile vocals, the heavy piano motifs. With Tricks and Cider member Karen on violins, he entranced the crowd with songs from an upcoming album. Flecks (a new single) and Anchor Bleed were my favourites.

Tricks and Cider came on to warm applause from friends who had by now, crammed into the tight space in front of the stage in anticipation; they weren’t let down.

In addition to their own material, Tricks and Cider are a seasoned band with plenty of gig hours under their belts – they showed their chops at songs like Payphone which delighted those who came. At the same time, they have a distinct character in their own music, a kind of a bubble pop/ pop rock personality that brought to mind the vibe of Chinese indie pop bands scene like Bearbabes and Tizzy Bac. Girl from Outer Space and Post Recording Dreams were the standouts.

You can buy the digital version of Tricks and Cider’s self-titled EP debut here.

Written by Greil - City Nomads

"Balancing music and a day job"


YOU know the old stereotype – the starving Singaporean musician, lugging his guitar around Clarke Quay looking for gigs to make ends meet. The last thing you expect is for the bassist you see on stage to be a legal counsel, or the frontman a creative director at a wellknown advertising agency.

Four local musicians have managed to build up successful careers in videography, advertising, law and Web design, even as they make their names in the local music scene. Despite their disparate backgrounds, all four have one thing in common: the belief that you can be passionate about music and still have a career like anybody else.

“Where people stop, we continue,” says Yee Chang Kang of the band TypeWriter. “We didn’t think like ‘oh, the local audience is so unsupportive so we should just give up’. No. We’re relentless. You must have the tenacity to continue doing something that nobody else wants to.”

Each of them found their own ways to balance music with work. Yee believes in making time for your passion; Noel Yeo of Shelves simply makes do with meeting up with his band once a fortnight; and Dawn Ho of Tricks & Cider traded in her job at a law firm for a less time-consuming work environment.

As for Sean Lam of Concave Scream, his music making didn’t end just because he and his fellow band members stopped playing after their last album due to their busy schedules. He went solo instead, and now plays under the moniker Hanging Up The Moon.

“Real life took over,” he says of his band members putting their music on hold. “But it felt like I still needed to pursue the passion of writing songs so I continued on my own (as Hanging Up The Moon).”

“But many years down the road when maybe our kids don’t want to hang out with us any more and we’re all old and greyhaired, Concave Scream might probably get back and do something together. Music is just something we’ll always do one way or another,” shares Lam.

Maintaining the desired balance

Dawn Ho, 29, legal counsel/bassist of Tricks & Cider (

YOU could say that Dawn Ho (right) grew up playing music. She took piano lessons as a child, messed around with her mother’s old guitar, and played the bass guitar in bands in school and church during her teenage years.

But somewhere along the way, she felt that there was something missing. She wanted to progress a little more – something that she knew could only happen if she went back to the basics, and get her foundations right.

So in June 2010, she quit her job in a law firm and packed her bags for Los Angeles to study music formally.

“After I had worked a couple of years and saved enough for music school, I decided that it was now or never,” says the 29-year-old.

A changed person

And when she returned, she didn’t want to go back and let go of all that she had learnt. The year at music school had changed her. “It had opened my eyes to what kind of musician I could be and how much practice and commitment I needed to get there,” she shares.

So she decided to look for a job that would allow her time for music. “I knew realistically that the high intensity and irregular hours of practice in a law firm would make it more difficult to maintain my desired balance between work and music. And so I went in-house.”

As luck would have it, the very week that she returned from LA, she met Victoria Ho and Karen Lee, her future bandmates who, at the time, happened to be looking for a bassist and drummer to form a new band.

Eventually, she and drummer David Liu were roped in, and the four of them formed Tricks & Cider in 2011. The band recently released their eponymous debut EP, and recently got through to the second round of the finals for Baybeats Festival. But despite their best efforts, the judges decided that the vibe was too laidback for the festival. Still, Ho remains optimistic: “We are still very grateful for this experience, because it forced us out of our comfort zone to explore a new type of music,” she says.

She describes her band’s sound as “melodic, scrumpy pop” which is the result of the each member being so diverse in their music tastes. “Karen is a ‘Bach nerd’, Dave is a 90s alternative rock fan, I’m a funk and jazz enthusiast and Victoria wishes she were Karen Carpenter,” she shares. “It has been a bit of a challenge to define or put a clear label on the kind of music we create. That being said, it has not been difficult to combine
our interests because we love music, and a lot of our tastes overlap. We aim to turn this diversity into our strength.”

Ho now works as a legal counsel, and it helps that her boss is supportive of her musical endeavours. “The band has been very understanding as well. We generally jam on evenings and weekends,” she says. “But I’ve also had to be more disciplined in terms of managing my time and priorities.”

Still, it isn’t easy juggling work and music, even if she enjoys doing both. “But, han - The Business Times (Singapore Press Holdings)

"It's no trick"

SINGAPORE — Making music has become less of a hobby with many musicians in Singapore, who are making the jump to pursue music full-time, sometimes leaving “stable 9 to 5” jobs in the process.

And local pop quartet Tricks & Cider is another example of this, with their members also opting for work opportunities that give them enough time to devote to their music. Singer/guitarist Victoria Ho writes as a correspondent for; drummer David Liu is a freelance commercial film-maker; keyboardist Karen Lee is a part-time project manager; and bassist Dawn Ho, eschewed her high-commitment job with a prominent law firm to work “in-house” instead.

It’s a brave step, considering the band was only formed in 2011 — primarily as a result of Victoria Ho and Lee entering one their songs into the Yamaha Asian Beat competition that year. According to Lee, their life-changing decisions were the result of the encouragement from fans and fellow musicians to keep pursuing their interest.

“What started out as a competition band effort has evolved and matured into so much more. We’re very grateful for the support we’ve received so far and the experience we’ve gained,” said Lee. “Our goals and our craft will continue to evolve with time, but for now our mindset is that of constantly pushing ourselves to try new things and learn from them.”

However, she acknowledged that it would “still be a lot of hard work doing gigs, writing songs, recording and promoting ourselves, and keeping things fresh”.

The band is currently focussed on the launch of its debut eponymous EP, a five-track release with one song written by the each member — Victoria wrote House By A Hill, Lee wrote Post Recording Dreams, Dawn wrote Summer Breeze, Liu wrote Superstar — and one track, Girl From Outer Space, being co-written by Victoria and Lee, and another friend.

“It is very reflective of each of the band’s members and influences. We wrote songs individually but polished and arranged them together, bouncing ideas off one another and tapping on each of our influences, experiences and musical training, formal or otherwise”, said Lee.

Being their first recording effort together, Lee said the band found the recording process to be “an eye-opener” and in addition, “also learnt a lot about each other’s working styles and how all the various instrumental layers can make or break a song”.

The band plans to promote the EP mostly online, on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube and want to produce a music video very soon. It is also on the lookout for interesting, alternative ways to promote themselves, such as through collaborations with other parties.

“We’re hoping to venture beyond Singapore very soon to the rest of the Asian region,” said Lee. “We also aim to keep writing original music and definitely record again in the near future.”


Tricks & Cider will launch their EP at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre on May 3. - Today T (Mediacorp)

"Tricks of the Trade"

Put together a "Bach nerd", a funk and jazz enthusiast, a Karen Carpenter wannabe and a 90s alternative rock fan and you get local melodic pop-rock band Tricks & Cider.

It might seem like a strange combination of people, but according to the quartet, it works very well on and off the stage.

They are, respectively, project manager Karen Lee, legal counsel Dawn Ho, freelance journalist Victoria Ho and film-maker David Liu and together, they are Tricks & Cider. - The New Paper

"Free Shows Around Town"

Handmade Movement Craft Fair

Local artisans ply their wares and conduct workshops, while home-grown musicians serenade the crowd.

The upcoming indie acts in the line-up – Tricks And Cider (above), A Boy Named Sue, She Falls Asleep, Kristie Larsen and Johnny Eyeglass – may sound unfamiliar, but are worth catching for their breezy melodies and dulcet sounds. - The Straits Times Life! (Singapore Press Holdings)

"Sing A New Song"

For artists I had worked with before – Celina Foo (my former Noise apprentice) and Vicki Ho (together with her band Tricks & Cider) it was a case of marveling at the development of craft unfolding before my eyes. ...

Tricks & Cider (with Karen Lee on piano and David Liu on drums), on the other hand, play regularly and there was a definite chemistry in how they communicated their original musical ideas, favouring the classic singer-songwriter era of the 70s, with Vicki’s vocals the highlight. - Power of Pop

"Baybeats Auditions 2013 Round 2 - Review"

Kudos to Tricks & Cider who proved that they had a couple of ‘tricks’ up their sleeves when it came to adding a certain edge to their smooth pop-­rock vibe. Armed with a ‘rockier’ image, the band impressed the audience
(filled with many adoring fans) and the judges with an edgier version of the band that auditioned in the first round. Personally, I think it worked a charm and although there is obviously more work to be done, it cannot be denied that Tricks & Cider are moving in the right direction, whatever the final auditions result might be. - Power of Pop


Still working on that hot first release.



How did the band begin, you ask?
Okay we'll tell you, but only if we must!
Yamaha Asian Beat was the reason
We did pretty okay, rose to the occasion
Continued to gig and perform live
Around the island making people jive
We also released an EP this year
A well-studied effort, so it appears
But whats in our name, what does it mean?
If we told you here, itd lose its appeal
So ask us in person, find out more
Weve got lots to tell and tricks galore!


TRICKS & CIDER is a fledgling three-piece Singaporean pop-rock outfit. Since forming in 2011, the band has played at various live music venues including the Esplanade Waterfront, Timbre Gillman, Timbre Arts House, Beer Market, Pigeonhole and Home Club.

Their distinct "bubble pop/pop rock personality" is reflected in their five-track debut eponymous EP, independently released in May 2013. The EP "[traipses] through the soft martial march of 'Girl From Outer Space', to the jazzy-dreamy 'Post Recording Dreams' to the surf rock of 'Superstar'."

TRICKS & CIDER continues to push their musical boundaries, experimenting with bigger, bolder sounds and instrumentation. Bookmark the band's website at and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.

Band Members