AUDIO JUNKIE: Pinoy pop free for all

Published September 25, 2021, 4:26 PM

by Punch Liwanag

From Pinoy styled R&B, pop and folk, this week’s picks are a free-for-all.

Here’s a snap shot of where Pinoy pop is currently at, and we sample a tiny bit of what’s currently been put out there.

Thyro Alfaro, whom we all know as an ace tunesmith, just released his debut solo EP titled “Bagong Buhay Volume 1.” Thyro opted for live musicians to flesh out the songs in his new set, and the result is a punchy, lively sound as heard (and felt) on carrier “Sariling Wika.”

The Stevie Wonder-esque keyoard motifs that opens the track leaves no doubt that we’re in for a dive for Thyro’s brand of R&B.

It’s go-big- -or-go-home for Thyro, who even threw in a live brass section to augment the song’s sound.

The musicians deserve a mention—keyboardist Marlon, Janby Teodoro on bass, guitarist Gino Madrid and drummer Karmi Santiago provide the robust rhythms. The brass section features Archie Lacorte on Alto sax, Dix Lucero on Tenor sax, Fards Tupas on trombone and William King Asano on trumpet.

Thyro said that the theme of the new song is about “relationships having its own language,” that more often, when relations near its end, things that are understood, need not be discussed. Hence his lyrics that go, “Ang nagpapaalam na puso ay may sariling wika, di na kailangan sabihin pa.”

This 7-song EP includes upbeat and funky “Ginto.” Smooth R&B ballad “Loving You Good” (featuring Paolo Banaga and Johann Mendoza) and upbeat “One More Time, With Love.” Then soul-tinged “Wag Kang Ganyan,” jazzy-pop and danceable “!,”and groovy Jungee Marcelo-Thyro collaboration “Wankatank.” Oh, and Thyro Alfaro released this new EP under his own Diwang Records label.

Just Hush has a new single in “Lonta.” The reclusive singer (who’s known for “Maikee’s Letters”) is not known to ride the fame train, and we can respect him for that. Every now and then, he’d drop a single or two and just go all sonic moody on his listeners. Which is how “Lonta” sounds and feels like. The track is at its barest. Just the snyth pads, the spare beats, and the almost indecipherable reason why “Lonta” (an old slang for pants) is associated with the Just Hush lyric “nakaka-adik ang umibig sa’yo.”

One of the most fetching songs we heard this week is from Divino Rivera whose song “Langit” made us reach for our headphones. This acoustic guitar-driven number is a pretty piece of folk-pop. Listening to it, we think of the soft yellow, twinkling lights used to adorn on a garden wedding. It’s walking with a loved one the beach as the sun begins to set. And it’s time spent with the loyal dog who looks at you like you’re the best thing ever to happen in this world. And I don’t think we can give this song any more higher props than that. Divino Rivera is one of the chosen songwriters that came out tops in the recent Viva Musika songwriter search.

And then there’s former Pop Girl and now movie actress Aubrey Caraan who returns with a new song titled “Magnet.” We like the synth-drenched stanzas, the tinkling pianos in the choruses, and the simple but earnest way in which Aubrey delivers the hook lyrics “’Di na kaya ng powers ko, anlakas ng magnet mo.”

Yeah, we are attracted as well.

The single is part of the original sound track of the movie “Ang Manananggal Na Nahahati Ang Puso’ which features Aubrey Caraan in her first starrer with Marco Gumabao. The OST also features a new single titled “Iyo” as recorded by prolific singer-songwriter (and recently minted label head) Marion Aunor.