Top 5 indie acts of 2013 worth listening to
MANILA, Philippines – 2013 is a great year for the independent music scene in the Philippines.
Numerous raw demo songs and even full-production albums are circulating all over the Internet, particularly on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, aside from the occasional gigs held around the metro.
Here are 5 homegrown artists with their respective albums and extended plays (EPs) released in the past year that are worth listening to.
1. It'll Be Alright EP – Ourselves the Elves
"Pakinggan ang sariling mong duwende."
A quote by filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik asking you to lend an ear to your inner elves will greet you on the front page of their band website. The band's 4-track EP titled It'll Be Alright is proof that they did just that, and their inner elves can make anyone feel fuzzy and warm inside.
Sincerity may be the key ingredient making their songs endearing to their followers – myself included – as they shy away from pretentiously deep words and settle with phrases that, albeit cheesy, paint an honest picture of love.
Their lyrics combined with an upbeat melody that is reminiscent of Best Coast will make you sing along. These University of the Philippines-Diliman students certainly know how to exceed expectations with their music.
You can stream the entire EP here: http://ourselvestheelves.bandcamp.com/
2. Audio Baby – Slow Hello
If your closest friend is an album, he might just be Slow Hello's Audio Baby. The band's debut album – composed of some tracks written back in 2011 by lead vocalist Selena Galang (of Ang Bandang Shirley) – knows what to say at any given time. It will always be there and will make you feel good in a snap.
Indie pop is a great genre but with bands like Slow Hello, you can't help but feel it's the greatest. Each track is equipped with an amazing combination of lyrics and melody of emotional confessions. It's like reading a letter that you wish is addressed to you.
Audio Baby will make you feel at ease, similar to being slumped on a beanbag in your best friend's room, listening to his tales.
You can stream the first single here: http://soundcloud.com/numberlinerecords/slow-hello-you-know-its-you
3. Silence is a Villain EP – Your Imaginary Friends
With guitar tunes and storytelling that will remind you of the 90s, Your Imaginary Friends' new album is perfect for that afternoon of endless ranting with your circle of friends concerning those-who-must-not-be-named, or ex-girlfriends/boyfriends.
Gone are the days that power ballads dominated the heartbreak playlist, and tracks such as those featured in Silence is a Villain are worth yelling over and over again. The staple teenage angst was turned into an emotional – at times, funny and sarcastic – confessions by the band.
YIF's sophomore album is distant from the curse that struck most artists' follow-up records – failure. The charming way the band sent out the bitterness of heartache captivated their fans.
You can stream the entire EP here: http://yourimaginaryfriends1.bandcamp.com/
4. Fantasy – No Rome
You may be reminded of the 80s as each track of Fantasy flows with technobeats. No Rome, or Romeo Gomez in real life, was able to create a distinct voice in the music scene by incorporating the newest trends and turning them into tunes that resonate melodrama without being too sappy.
The songs will make you want to jump to your feet and dance. In “Tru Feelings,” No Rome sugarcoated a sad confession of yearning with a happy vibe.
And that's what Fantasy is all about – taking sad, sentimental lyrics and injecting them with amazingly-crafted melodies that excite the senses, and the occasional K-pop sample.
You can stream the entire EP here: http://soundcloud.com/ylgrome/sets/fantasy-ep
5. Elysian (EP) – Library Kids
Channeling the great guitar duos like Kings of Convenience and Simon & Garfunkel, this ambient folk duo in their Elysian EP is an example of how the minimalist approach in creating music can still produce tracks that are overflowing with feelings of ethereal greatness.
The combination of guitar tunes and soothing blending voice tracks envelope whoever is listening, taking him into a magical world that will leave him breathless.
The Library Kids' Elysian is perfect for that long drive you will take this holiday season for it will remind you of your hometown, its naturalness, and tranquility.
You can stream the EP here: http://librarykids.bandcamp.com/album/elysian-ep