AUDIO JUNKIE: Of vows, promises and the one

A pair of pop scene biggies and reliable music acts led last weekend’s new single releases.

Pop and neo-folk music act Ben & Ben released their latest single titled “Paninindigan Kita.” Upbeat and positive sounding, the new song bears all the Ben & Ben hallmarks that we’ve come to associate with them—mainly the robust and rhythmically surging sounds of acoustic, electric, synth and strings—and at the top, Paolo and Miguel Guico’s now recognizable voices.

"Paninindigan Kita” (as the title suggests) is about “fighting for someone you love despite the disapproval from those around.” Think Romeo and Juliet, ‘langit ka, lupa ako.’ You get the picture.

The band adds that the song is about “a lover that might be hesitant to take a step forward in the relationship,” and that it’s “a heartfelt song that gives balance between understanding where the lover is coming from, and a gentle reassurance that the one singing the song is ready and sure, after learning a lot so far about life and love.”

Reassuring is right. The song is practically a wedding vow: “Panindigan kita, mamahalin kita buong-buo, kahit sa pagtanda ko’y sa’yong-sa’yo....Iingatan kita.”

“Paninindigan Kita” is the band’s first song done at a proper recording studio since the whole 0-member unit holed up (it’s actually a big house) in Batangas during the lockdowns so that the band can continue recording music. As with previous outings, the new song is produced by Jean Paul Verona and Sam Marquez.

Interesting tidbit, The band shared that “A definitely memorable part of the whole recording was doing the whole song in the excess of a day, working from 10 am to 6 am and rushing to the airport to catch a flight to Cebu only a few hours later.”

“We’re a bit more open in the way we speak, and we’re a bit bolder and confident with our attitude towards the subject of love, especially (because we’ve) matured and gained a deeper understanding of how love works.”

Reigning lords of Pinoy rap Ex-Battalion returns with “Bullet Sun.” No, it’s not the latest gangsta-posing, pew-pew toting anthem, the title is actually a literal, word-for-word translation of “Balang Araw.” Stylized of course, because it's not boring that way. And its actually quite the catchy new tune that sees Ex-Battalion’s Flow-G., Honcho, King Badger and Emcee Rhenn on a thoughtful mood, singing about aspirational love. Of course a big part of Ex-B’s success comes from their hook-heavy songs, and “Bullet Sun” is one of them. Our favorite verse is from Flow G that goes: “At ‘di mababaw kasi umaapaw 'yung pakiramdam / May mas masarap pa sa oras nang ninanakaw / Araw-araw nakatutok, lumubog ang araw Para sa gabi mag-abang, humiling / Kasi sa dilim lang may bulalakaw.”

Clien of ALLMO$T serves up a sequel to his fan-fave single “Sana’y Mapasakin” with a new track titled “Ginaganahan.” This R&B and soul-inflected song elaborates “how a woman's charisma makes a guy go crazy when she's not in sight, craving for her inexplicable energy.”

Singing ballads and love songs is what Mark Carpio does best and that’s exactly what he does on “Ikaw Lang Ang Mahal.” It’s a slow build, heart-on-sleeve confession of his love about finding ‘the one.’ We especially like how the middle-eight part (bridge) sets a harmonic contrast to the main melody. So much that it could very well be another song. But yeah, this song is one of the best we’ve heard from Mark Carpio in a while.