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MANILA, Philippines – It isn’t unusual for artists to release new music every Friday – which is the day of the week new tracks usually drop. But this Friday happens to be Independence Day, so it’s no surprise that we got more than just love songs and inspirational tunes in this wave of new releases.
This year’s Independence Day happened in the middle of a pandemic and under the shadow of an impending anti-terror law, but several musicians sang louder than ever with tracks that celebrated freedom while criticizing forces that threaten to take it away.
Here we round up a bunch of newly released songs that are perfectly timed for Independence Day. Each song sounds different – from Dicta License’s hard-edge numetal vibe, to Carousel Casualties’ sunny alternative rock sound – but common through each of them is a thirst for freedom and a desire for truth.
‘Salita’ by Dicta License
In true Dicta License fashion, the band’s latest track – their first new release in over a year – does not shy away from social commentary. Written by the band’s frontman Pochoy Labog (who also happens to be a lawyer), the song reads like a compilation of comments often used against dissenters – lines like “Ano bang naambag mo?” or “‘Wag ka ngang pasaway.” Ultimately, the song is a call to speak up and fight for freedom
‘Mabuhay Ka’ by Carousel Casualties
It sounds like a quirky love song and it is – though not for one’s crush, but for one’s country. In this song, Carousel Casualties muses about what it’s like to love a country that doesn’t love its people back. Of course, in the end, its conclusion is “Mabuhay ka,” which could read as “Long live the country,” or could be interpreted as an invitation for people to simply live the best lives they can in such challenging times. Appropriately enough, it’s also the band’s first Tagalog release.
‘Sinungaling’ by Zild Benitez
Without any warning, the IV of Spades frontman released a new song (and a quirky video to match), displaying a wisdom beyond his years as he explores what truth means in this post-truth era. We don’t know exactly who Zild is referring to as he repeatedly sings “Sinungaling (Liar)” with such ire. Could it be the government he’s throwing shade at? Or maybe it’s all of us? Whatever it is, this song invites listeners to yearn for, and speak, the truth.
‘Damaso’ by Martin Riggs
This busker did not mince words when he wrote this scathing tune that calls out hypocrites on every rung of society. That it’s called “Damaso” – after the corrupt friar in Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere – only makes it the perfect Independence Day anthem, which begins and ends with a battlecry” “Amen, amin ang Pilipinas.” – Rappler.com