Shabu-Shabu – Nanay Mo
A banger in every sense of the word, this two-minute gem from “RAKENROLL!” outfit Nanay Mo is a scathing, satirical take on the War on Drugs. One look at the single’s artwork shows a pair of Big Brother-esque eyes, signifying the song as a rebellion of sorts, with over-the-top one and two-liners such as “Patay ang nagshashabu!” and “Wag ka magpapagabi / Di ligtas ang daan.”
Make no mistake, Shabu-Shabu is a lethal weapon, an effective two-fold agent of change. One, it can make you headbang in the name of carnality. And two, it can make you revel in the (political) riot.
You can listen to ‘Shabu-shabu’ on Spotify. For updates, check out Nanay Mo on Facebook.
Mend – Ciudad
Legendary rock/dream-pop band Ciudad is back! Released just after Valentine’s Day, Mend is a condensation of all the emotions surrounding the season of love. It’s a soft, intimate ballad, with intricate acoustic riffs and reverberated vocals. Much like Valentine’s Day dark chocolate, the track is bittersweet, lined with heart-on-the-sleeve musings — “If I fall apart / You will be the one to mend my heart.”
Mend serves as a deceptively calming medium for all of us to think about what has transpired over the past couple of months — over the past New Year and Valentine’s, and to remember the ones close to our heart.
You can listen to ‘Mend’ on Spotify. For updates, check out Ciudad’s Facebook.
I Wish – Niki Colet
Love is a dream. The two concepts have the same features — they’re confusing, whimsical and present themselves as otherworldly experiences. Funny thing is, we accept both love and dreams as reality despite all that, as exemplified by Niki Colet’s Valentine’s Day single I Wish.
Colet sings of multiple moments put into one, a collection of dream-like sequences that don’t just smell of love — they reek of love. From stolen glances to cuddling, this beautiful song has it all, a complete story from start to finish. Send this to your crush.
You can listen to ‘I Wish’ on Spotify. For updates, check out Niki’s Facebook.
Promenade – Moon mask
Tastefully done synthpop will never go out of style — it’s a genre that has survived since the ‘70s. Add Moon mask’s single Promenade to the “good synthpop” list. The first thing we notice is the intertwining of bright synth hits with heavy, almost distorted guitars that brings a level of ethereality to the track. Then we hear frontman Zeon Gomez coming in with a high, almost nasally vocal intonation reminiscent of ‘80s new wave vocalists.
He croons of the harsh reality of expectations that come with relationships — “Cause I love you always / You say / Always never enough.” These two elements evoke a passionate energy — when you have such a strong desire for something, but know that you’re never going to be able to attain that thing. Painful? Yes, but the song will have you dancing anyway.
You can listen to ‘Promenade’ on Spotify. For updates, check out Moon mask on Facebook.
Luna – Cheats
Get ready to bawl. On this track, Cheats deviates from their usual melodic rock offerings to pay tribute to frontwoman Saab Magalona-Bacarro’s daughter Luna, who didn’t make it past the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Saab’s voice simply glides over the sparse guitar and piano set-up, carrying her sentiments, pure and sincere, up to her dear daughter. This simple track serves as an equally simple reminder: treasure your loved ones. Ephemerality is a double edged sword — we’re lucky to be able to love and lose.
You can listen to ‘Luna’ on Spotify. For updates, check out Cheats on Facebook.
Four Corners – Oh, Flamingo!
They just keep teasing us. Last year, it was Bottom of This. This 2019, it’s Four Corners.
Oh, Flamingo!’s new single is typical of them, exhibiting influences from a myriad of genres. In contrast to Bottom of This, the single is a slower, bass-driven ballad lamenting the dark, claustrophobic confines of a room with, well, “four corners.” Production is tight as we’ve come to expect from the four-piece band, coming hand-in-hand with the band’s superb tonality. Seriously, these people can play — the song is subtly groovy in all the right places (namely, the chorus), and brooding, emotional in the rest (the bridge is a stringent, slow breakdown that hits you in all the right places).
You can listen to ‘Four Corners’ on Spotify. For updates, check out Oh, Flamingo! on Facebook.