AUDIO JUNKIE: The cool sounds of summer 2021 pt. 2: Emphasis on vibes

With the heat turned on, the sound of summer 2021 veers toward cool vibes.

Continuing our rundown of the latest tracks brings us to R&B territory.

Starting with Arthur Nery’s new single titled “TAKE ALL THE LOVE.”

The neo-R&B singer-songwriter became a full-fledged music streaming star just before the pandemic hit in 2020. The Cagayan De Oro native’s rise to the top was a slow build. His album “Letters Never Sent” never blew up right away and it took a year at least before the songs from said album gained traction. In particular was the single “Higa” that to this day continues to top some of the biggest Spotify listings. In fact, the song is currently number one over at the OPM Favorites playlist. Pinoy listeners have always reserved a spot for cool sounding R&B. Nery takes it up a level. His brand of neo-R&B is evident on most of his songs and he seems to get better at dishing them as he goes. Case in point is his slick sounding new song. On “TAKE ALL THE LOVE,” mood, melody and head bobbing rhythms meet and Nery delivers it with a modern soul singer’s approach. The effect is almost hypnotic. In a good way at that.

The same air of coolness can be said of the new John Roa and Flow G collaboration titled “Hannga’t Maari.”

The two Ex-Batallion associates have found themselves working together again on this minimalist R&B-rap infused ballad. It only takes an arpeggiated chord progression on guitar and the occasional lead fills for singer-wordsmiths John Roa and Flow G to come up with such a compelling ballad.

Roa and Flow G’s voices complements each other so much that this song can stand on so little. That the implied rhythm of the song comes from the vocals—Flow G’s rapping as rhythm and Roa’s hook vocals as the lead line says a lot and brings this song about devotion, home.

Heavy on R&B and vibe is young music artist DENY on her debut single titled “Gusto With Ya.”

The singer (real name Denise Pimping) has the distinction of being the first release for newly launched music label WAYBETTR.

More than just an imprint, WAYBETTR is a music collective of young and talented music acts with a predilection for R&B and rap that includes music producers NEXXFRIDAY (Emmanuel Salen) and NAKI (Wilde Quimson) and yes DENY. Grooving “Gusto With Ya” is a classic girl-waiting-on-his-boy-to-make-a-move tune and is also quite minimalist. Just a mid-tempo trap beat, some synth and of course, DENY’s robust and sexy sounding vocals. We’re keeping an eye on DENY and hope she doesn’t take that long to release a new single.

Southern queen of rap and Cebu’s pride Karencitta’s new single “V!b!n” (styled as such) is a mid-tempo banger that has a surprise up its proverbial sleeve.

Trading with Karencitta’s rhythmic L.A. styled rapping (by way of Larega) is DJ Loonyo who sneaks in a verse and some back up vox. We can almost see the oncoming TikTok post from these two to push this song. And with DJ Loonyo’s slick choreo coupled with Karencitta’s firecracker attitude, it’s going to be killer.