AUDIO JUNKIE: New pop songs, movie soundtracks

Published November 27, 2021, 10:17 AM

by Punch Liwanag

A look and listen at the latest single releases from some of the most interesting Pinoy pop acts today.

Talented 17-year old singer Rob Deniel drops one with new single “Diwa” this weekend. Deniel is one of the leading lights of retro styled Pinoy pop and it’s exactly that type of sound that we hear on “Diwa.” Airy single note melodies and twangy, reverb-filled guitars accompany Rob’s musings on what love might feel like at the end of the world. His press uses the following to describe Rob’s sound: “alt-pop and kundiman blues,” it goes. Oddly enough, “Diwa” sounds exactly a bit everything as mentioned.

Bandang Lapis has a new song out too in “Pagbilang Ng Tatlo.” The Rizal-based band had a runaway hit in “Kabilang Buhay” and the new song is somehow cut from the same cloth. Which is to say that there’s no shortage of heartbreak on this rising pop rock ballad. BL ruminates on the fact that love too sometimes is tormented. Prepare to weep.

Promising young newcomer Jehramae sings a new song titled “Magparaya.” If you hear it and go, this style sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a Vehnee Saturno-written tune. The painful act of letting go is a well worn theme in said songwriter’s toolbox, but we’re more interested in Jehramae’s delivery. A perfect song is waiting for Jehramae in the near future, but she’s nevertheless convincing on this one.

A newbie as well is songwriter Pat Cardoza. Her modern Pinoy pop tune “Habangbuhay” is a beautiful number that puts Cardoza’s dulcet tones to good use. And she chooses a pretty sounding piano and string combo as the vehicle for her exchange-of-forever-vows themed song.

Magnus Haven recently dropped the easy-listening and R&B-esque “Mapaglaro.” While primarily a soft-rock band, sonically, the 5-piece band can navigate whatever sound and style they put their attention to. And “Mapaglaro” is groovy and middle-of-the-road enough to appeal to a large swath of OPM listeners. Also, Magnus Haven’s mildly suggestive “Rosas,” aptly enough, is on the soundtrack of the Vivamax movie sexy spoof Pornstar 2. Magnus Haven includes lead vocalist Rajih Mendoza, David Galang on keyboards, guitarist Louise Vaflor, bassist Rey Maestro and drummer Sean Espejo.

And while we’re on the subject of original soundtracks, The Juans scored a theme song on the Vivamax movie “Dulo.” The title is actually (and Juanistas would know this) the title of a recent hit by the band. “Dulo” with its inherent hugot feels and themes was a mini-movie in itself with its story-centric music video. Now whether “Dulo” the movie is an extension of the music video remains to be seen. The Juans’ most recent single, the excellent sounding “Anghel” is also part of the film soundtrack.

Ditto, Marion Aunor probably has the most songs written for a film. She does it again with her recent single “Kama” which found its way onto the film “Palitan.” The moody, synth-pop sounds of “Kama” (the first single off Marion’s own Wild Dream Records label) is a perfect fit for the movie’s sexy undercurrent. And for that matter, the sultry tone of Marion’s vocals certainly won’t be out of place in a stimulating and sexy-themed film.

Jom, one-half of the hook singers in hit-rap quartet ALLMO$T strays from his usual sonic stylings and goes for an alt-rock sound on “Para Sa’yo.” Jom’s pipes lend themselves well on a rocking song as it does supplying hooks for a rap number. Jom sings about falling for someone who’s already in the arms of another. As painful love songs go, isn’t that usually the case?

 
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