AUDIO JUNKIE: New hugot songs from Truefaith, The Juans, Raphiel Shannon

There are feel good songs, and then there are songs that just want to break your heart.

The new Truefaith song titled “Refriend” is of the former. This new Eugene Marfil-penned tune is about former lovers not ready to be friends just yet (or ever will), still the music is the type that reels you in, sonically.

The whistling melodies that keyboardist Jake Lumacad uses to open up this cruising tune invites us in. Then Medwin’s vocals and brother Eugene Marfil’s acoustic guitar lends a relaxed vibe.  Then lead guitarist Allan Elgar articulates with his arpeggiated lines and later drive the point home with snarly chords as drummer Kaka Quisumbing punctuates with what we can only surmise as a synthesized but otherwise sweet sounding timpani, the overall effect is desirable. Heck, even Macky Macaventa’s basslines sing fer cryin’ out loud.  From the get-go “Refriend” just oozes 80’s pop and new wave. The kind you instantly like.

The story of jilted love underneath that go, “sa iyong  pagbati / boses mo’y muling napakinggan / gusto ko sanang umawit / ngunit di na tayo  ganyan / naayos man ang gulo / marami na sa’ting dal’wa ang nagbago,” but delivered in Medwin’s dulcet vocals makes the sting a bit tolerable as he intones “Lilipas din ang sakit / tatamis din ang pait / sana’y maintindihan / di ko pa kayang tayo’y maging magkaibigan.”

Regardless, there’s something about Truefaith’s new song “Refriend” that makes one feel almost light and unencumbered. Now that’s a song worth listening to.

As one of the leading bands who specialize in ‘hugot’ songs, The Juans are staying true to form and delivers on latest single “Dulo.” Singer Carl Guevarra said “we believe that we must first give up what’s not for us, so that we can receive the love that we deserve,” adding “sa bawat relasyon, kadalasan sabay pumapasok, pero kadalasan din, may nauuna sa dulo.”

On the surface, “Dulo” is a mid-tempo ballad that yearns. But the devil is in the details. Soundwise, The Juans have settled on a style that we can only describe as contemporary pop with the occasional excursion into 80’s synth pop balladry.

But as we’ve seen, The Juans are not one to be pegged down to just any one style. “Every end (dulo) marks a new beginning,” exclaims Guevarra. “And this single is just the start.” Carl is referring to eventually releasing a new album soon. “(Listeners) need to brace themselves because the hugot just got deeper. Also there’ll be songs about love, hope and inspiration and (soundwise) it will be filled with so much color.”

Raphiel Shannon’s start was through Youtube covers but she has since grown into a singer with the potential to be the next Moira Dela Torre. Why? Let us count the ways. One, she looks the part. Raphiel is eye candy and upon seeing her, it’s no wonder that all her posts did so well. Two, Raphiel’s voice. Cool, soothing, relaxed and mesmerizing are just some of the words we can think of when we hear Raphiel sing. Her memorable take of Rico Blanco’s “Hinahanap-hanap Kita”  and her cover of “Kisapmata” and the Unique Salonga-penned “Mundo” are fine examples. Throw in the fact that Raphiel also plays the guitar (and the uke) and what you have is a self-contained Gen Z acoustic pop act that can sing and look good while at it. Her new single is a rethinking of the Caleb Santos-original titled “I Need You More Today.” This tune’s devotional profession of love becomes even more pronounced in Raphiel’s effortless lilt.