Royal Estate Introduces Next Chapter With New Release ‘Only’

Local indie band ROYAL ESTATE returns with an anthem for an alternative life.

Been listening to The 1975 and The Neighbourhood religiously? Here’s a local band that you’ll definitely appreciate.

After three years of separation due to the realities of adulthood and pursuing their various personal creative endeavours, ROYAL ESTATE returns with an anthem for an alternative life. Their rebellious single ‘Only’ muses over the zero-sum game of choice.

This next chapter, titled “RE: Conversations (Or Lack Thereof)”, comes from the band’s initially intended full length album that was set to begin production in 2020 but was put to a hard stop. Since then, the band has regrouped from their various pursuits within and around the Singapore music industry to release three singles from the original project, starting with “Only”.

‘Only’ describes an individual’s desperate pursuit of a grounding force, regardless of how elusive or abstract it may be. Despite the subjectivity, the homegrown band found commonality in this new phase of their lives while being faced with a similar question: is there space for difference?

“I didn’t want to write about romantic love (or the lack of it) straight after the first EP, especially because it’s something I’ll end up writing about again eventually”, reflected frontman Russell.

“Generally, love is a topic I (and I think others too) naturally gravitate towards due to the sheer visceral and universal nature of it. So there I was, isolated in my room, watching the creative community that had been my second home, suddenly suffocating (if it wasn’t already) — I wanted to write something for you, here, reading this now at your desk, taking the time to troll through a bunch of words strung together by a band attempting to write in the third person in order to come off as professional.”

The brainchild of three friends five years ago, ‘Only’ began with the working title ‘Only 52’ while bearing a different concept in mind. It was originally “a commentary on the dichotomy between a single lifetime and that of generations” — a contemplation of the immaturity of a young, 52-year-old society versus the maturity of a 52-year-old individual. And through the band’s process of taking the song from phone to guitar, it was gradually reworked to be “a song for anyone who feels out of place for simply living differently”.

“I remember looking at what I had written and it felt…dishonest, and I had no idea what I was getting at. I think the sentiment remained the same but I just found a different way to word it — it’s a lot less angry and a lot more hopeful,” shared Russell.

Initially self-produced, the band found budding co-producer KODELLE during her stint at Homeground Studios. With added production from Jason Gelchen, Daryl Hor (aka Sun Cell), and PravOnTheLoose, the track sticks true to the band’s initial pursuit of genre and sonic melding. Drawing from the band’s favourite sounds of 80’s pop, today’s modern-rock and synth-pop bands, the song captures the drone of daily repetition, contrasted with the hope of what could be.

Speaking more on the song, Russell added: “I think most of us have the occasional fantasy of just fucking-off from our routine and living a different life. I always hear people half-joking that they want to be a farmer, sugarbaby or marry rich.”

Marking the return of ROYAL ESTATE in force as an independent band, ‘Only’ is now available on all music streaming platforms. In lieu of the message of the song, the band will also be releasing a tongue-in-cheek video that observes the socio-political climate in which the number was written for and from. And looking towards 2023, expect more transformative and thought-provoking music as the band basks in this new phase of their artistry.

Head-bobbing beats, relatable lyrics and ingenious art. A grand “re-entrance” into the scene, if you ask me.


Born out of a shared love of iconic indie bands in the vein of The 1975, The Neighbourhood, and Foals, ROYAL ESTATE creates guitar driven modern-rock and synth-pop inspired, alternative music. Having grown up very much on the music that spans the last six decades, the three friends combine their favourite sounds to reflect their overarching struggles with love, loss and longing, in their varied manifestations. Since their debut in National Arts Council’s “Noise Music Mentorship 2017”, the band has been steadily gaining traction in their home country and region.

The band, known for their versatile pop sensibilities that range from intimate/ambient synths on their sophomore single ‘Another’, crowd favourite guitar driven pop-rock anthem ‘Mess’, and more recently 80s synth-pop inspired ballad ‘Stranger Things’, are ever eager to genre bend and explore new sonic territory in this new era of their music.

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All images courtesy of ROYAL ESTATE.


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