(SPOT.ph) While good old bands and their classic hits are guaranteed to never fail us, it wouldn't hurt to give some new names and sounds our undivided attention. Our local music scene, in particular, has never fallen short on showcasing raw Filipino talent. And the past year has seen fresh acts rise close to the ranks of our OPM favorites, so we hope you're itching to update your music collection, stat!
Here are some names we strongly suggest you add to your playlist right now:
Must-listen: "Asked You to Dance" and "Hanggang sa Muli"
The latest addition to Offshore Music's roster is bound to be your newest obsession. Pinkmen, now out with their debut single "Asked You to Dance," is an alternative folk-rock band from UP Diliman. What began as the duo of vocalists Giro Alvarado and Matt Medrano eventually grew to a six-piece act including bassist Mark Armas, drummer JR Recla, keyboardist Jed Zulaybar, and percussionist Immanuel Baile. With influences such as Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and the Eagles, expect to hear a familiar folk-rock sound but with a distinct Filipino flavor.
Must-listen: "Ili (Hush)" and "Aninipot" (with Shirebound and Busking)
Manila-based singer-songwriter and kalimba artist Bea Lorenzo gave us all a taste of her unique R&B-slash-soul sound with the release of her first single "Ili (Hush)." The track, a product of Elements Music Camp 2018, is a fitting introduction to the artist's free spirit and experimental music. The blend of electronic and organic elements create a mesmerizing sound that merges modern and traditional sensibilities. Her vocals are hauntingly beautiful, too.
Must-listen: "Dalaga" and "Bagay Tayo"
Rap gets some love in this list, too, thanks to the breakout group ALLMO$T. Officially launched in 2018, the four-man rap team composed of Crakky and Russell from Olongapo City, Clien from Milan, Italy, and Jom from Calgary, Canada, has been giving us LSS with their super-chill singles. Unless you've been out of commission lately, you'll know that their track "Dalaga" has been playing on loop everywhere and has even inspired a viral social media challenge.
Must-listen: "So Good" and "One True Friend"
At first listen, it's easy to hear BRWN's influences. Inspired by the music of icons like Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Stevie Wonder, the four-piece band offers pop-R&B ditties they say can be best described as "sexy and groovy"—and we couldn't agree more. Their initial releases feature sleek vocals and notable guitars that will make you want to bust a move on the dance floor.
Must-listen: "Tulog Na" and "Pikit"
Sabu released her first official single in 2017 and has since been offering relatable music to her growing fan base. She has been writing songs since the age of four, so we're not surprised to see the depth in her lyrics. As she explores her music, one thing remains—that it will always bring positivity and hope to listeners. Last year, she bagged her first Awit Award as 2018's Favorite New Female Artist, making her a true artist to watch for.
Any Name's Okay
Must-listen: "Hawaiian" and "Clouds"
Formed in the UP Music Circle in late 2017, five-piece indie-pop band Any Name's Okay has been gaining a strong following with their upbeat and sunny sound. The Wanderbattle 2019 semi-finalist band is composed of young talents Sofia Abrogar (vocals), Renzo Lumanog (vocals and rhythm guitar), Mike Armas (lead guitar), Arvin Olete (drums), and Juan Lada (bass). The group recently signed with Sony Music Philippines, so expect to hear more from them.
Must-listen: "Tayo" and "Layo"
Twenty-year-old singer-songwriter Meg Zurbito only has two official singles out, but they're enough to make you want to hear more. Her debut track "Tayo" is a poignant piece of work, while "Layo" features a more playful arrangement. In both, she showcases her warm, folky vocals capable of smoothly switching between varying phrasings, as well as her impressive guitar-playing skills.
Must-listen: "Bukas Makalawa" and "Dapithapon"
Another folk artist on our list is Makati-based musician Yan Abelardo. Not a stranger to performing at different music venues and events around the Metro, his musical career hit another milestone when he was joined last year by Louis Mendoza (keys) and Ralph Justin Ulep (cellist). This partnership has added more heart and warmth to Abelardo’s tender sound. His influences include Bon Iver, Ben Howard, The Staves, Jon Foreman, Matt Corby, and Damien Rice, among others.
Must-listen: "Heto Na Naman" and "Dalawang Tao"
Singer-songwriter and multimedia artist Rice Lucido recently released her first full-length album titled Hele ng Maharlika, and we couldn't be more thrilled. The record captures her strong indie-folk sound inspired by nature, imagination, creativity, and the human experience. Take a listen and be wowed by her commanding vocals, and the haunting melodies that are making her a true star on the rise.
Must-listen: "Nights" and "Coffee"
Young talent Elise Huang describes herself as "a singer-songwriter and storyteller who likes to write on the behalf of others." Her song "Nights" is a crowd favorite at her performances for its memorable melodies and edgy vibe. Listening to her soothing vocals and catchy guitars in "Coffee," on the other hand, will put you in a chill, moon-eyed mood.