AUDIO JUNKIE: Claudia Barretto being cool, This Band on auto pilot and Kyle Raphael’s charm

Published June 19, 2021, 3:56 PM

by Punch Liwanag

Claudia Barretto is different from the rest that came before her.  

While every other Barretto took to acting on TV or in the movies, 21-year-old Claudia is taking the music route.

Claudia recently released her debut single under Viva Records titled “Nothing To Do.” This mid-tempo track puts on display Claudia’s pop and R&B leanings. Said track also features Curtismith a.k.a. Mito Fabie.

“It was one of those songs that came quite easy,” said Claudia, sharing how “Nothing To Do” came about.

Claudia and Curtismith were working in the same studio but were working on their own stuff when producer Xavi Panlilio made them listen to a track one time.

“We instantly took a liking to the song when we first heard it from my brother-in-law. When we learned that it didn’t have any lyrics yet, we worked on it quickly and wrote the verses in about ten minutes.” Claudia and Curtismith recorded their vocals in a couple of takes and the result is this vibing track that also verges on lo-fi style R&B and rap.

Claudia, who recently had a presscon thrown by Viva for the release of her single and an accompanying music video (directed by Dominic Bekaert), mentioned that she had spent the better part of the lockdowns on her brother-in-law’s studio.

The singer-songwriter also shared that the time spent there was a productive one and that she has a couple tracks tucked away for future releases. But more important, what she found during that time is a new found vigor in her craft.

“I have been working on this (music) for the past few months. Because I want to be good at this thing,” Claudia said, adding: “I want to be ready for it.” Sounds like she is.    

Whatever happened to This Band?

Wonder no more because the biggest band of 2019 (who could easily forget “Kahit Ayaw Mo Na”?) returns with a new single titled “Wala ka Nang Magagawa,” their first new song after their 2020 pop rock album “Huwag Matakot,” and the in-between singles of acoustic flavored re-imaginings of their previous hits.

“Wala Ka Nang Magagawa” is an agreeable sounding track.  This Band as, er, a band, just keeps getting better at what they do as a pop rock styled group.

Case in point, on their new single, the rhythm section of guitarists Euwie Von Loria and Raymart Gubat, bassist Miccael Galvan, keyboardist Melvin Carson, drummer John Macaranas and lead singer Andrea Manzano gets playful and gets “jazzy” just to prove how tight they are a band.

At this point, This Band is on auto-cruise control. Dishing out a perfect sounding track, but somehow never standing out. At least not yet. But everybody knows, most of all This Band themselves, that they’re capable of another hit. It’s just a matter of time.

And speaking of hit-in-the-making, singer-songwriter Kyle Raphael is just a new single away from getting one.

The Davao-based singer-singer, who has been quietly, but steadily growing his reputation as a songsmith with excellent singles such as “Pa’no Kung” and “Paraluman”  (not to be confused with Adie’s “Paraluman”) that became a quiet staples on all the streaming playlists that mattered, has just released a new song titled “Byahe (Hunyo).” 

Kyle is all about acoustic-styled pop but he has that all important ingredient that he infuses all his songs with: beauty. His songs just ooze with pretty melodies and it’s there in his mellow, soothing voice (which occasionally goes into falsetto), and it’s there in the simple-and-unobtrusive guitar and arrangements that he uses to accompany his songs. The thoughtful theme of “Byahe (Hunyo)” seems to be an arc concept for Kyle as he also released the equally charming “Buwan Ng Mayo” back in 2019. Having said that, Kyle Raphael is the type of singer that listeners should keep an ear out for, for the simple fact that he is such an easy and pleasant listen.

 
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