AUDIO JUNKIE: A regional roundup

Published May 15, 2021, 10:24 AM

by Punch Liwanag

We check out some of the finest musical movers that you will ever come across in the neighboring south and central regions of our lovely little archipelago.

Starting with the soothing soundscapes that Joe Vince conjures up.

On his latest single titled “Hilik,” Joe Vince lays down a lullabye-like number that leans a bit on the side of alt-pop. 

Joe Vince is an emotional communicator much like his heroes Noel Cabangon and Johnoy Danao. A deep-voiced balladeer who makes good use of the tools available to him.

His minimalist acoustic finger style guitar approach on “Hilik” says that he is above the average acoustic guitar-toting singer who cares enough to make sure that he is able to convey emotion with his playing as much as his singing.

And speaking of, his vocals have that even, smooth quality to it that makes listening to him akin to feeling a cool breeze.

And to think that this is Joe Vince’s initial foray into acoustic-style folk-pop.

His previous singles “Masaya Ka Na Ba” and “Sa’King Tabi” have been more along the lines of R&B.

The singer shared that “Hilik” is about “someone I met online, who I talked to for hours, and really connected with,” adding, “she actually fell asleep and I could hear her gently snoring on the other end.”  

The south is fertile creative grounds for artisans and creatives. Pop artist Melody Hodgson is one of them.

The Filipina-Brit is an Awit-awarded singer-songwriter who won Best Regional recording for her excellent and easy going folk-pop ditty “Hahay.” She returns as a featured artist on a vibe-y collaboration with producers Ugly Heads in the minimalist pop-jazz “Tropical State Of Mind.” Or at least Melody Hodgson’s vocal gives it its pop jazzy feel somewhat like Dianne Schuur, who incidentally, recorded Billy Joel’s song called “New York State Of Mind.”

“Tropical State Of Mind” is a sonic equivalent of seeing sunsets by the beach with a cold beer in hand. Or hot summer nights, with an even colder beer in hand.

Melody Hodgson will release a new single soon titled “Di Ako Mahal.”

Singer Justine Narvios is proud of her southern roots. Justine sings in full Visayan dialect on her modern dance-pop sounding single titled “Asa.”

The track is equal parts melodic and dance-centric with just the right amount of vocal grit. Justine Narvios is a pop dance artist from Cebu and this is her second single, following 2018’s poppier “Towards The Sun.”

Alt-pop rock band Three Two One is doing quite well thank you very much! Doing their native Tarlac City proud are Diane Espinosa on vocals, guitarists JL de Leon and Kael Baldonado, drummer Pipoi Espinosa and bassist Alain Estabillo.

Their surging  new single titled “Ikaw Pa Rin” is a pop-punk tinged rocker that recall the sounds of early-aughts Pinoy alt-rock delivered with the pep of Paramore and peppered with ‘hugot’ feels. 

Three Two One is steadily building an impressive oeuvre: starting with 2019’s “Hinahanap” single that became the OST for the K-drama “100 Days My Prince.”