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AUDIO JUNKIE: Five for fighting in PH music scene

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(Clockwise): Rice Lucero, John Roa 'Pagitan', Bayani Agbayani 'Ulo Ulo' album, JO.E, John Roa, and Geo On 'Breadwinner' album (mb.com.ph)

(Clockwise): Rice Lucero, John Roa ‘Pagitan’, Bayani Agbayani ‘Ulo Ulo’ album, JO.E, John Roa, and Geo On ‘Breadwinner’ album

Ready for a rundown of the latest from young shakers and a few veteran movers in the OPM scene?

John Roa’s ‘Pagitan’ featuring Loonie

One of the best songwriters of his age is John Roa. He’s proven his mettle with a string of well-received originals which he released over the course of this year alone. Tracks like “Taguan,” “Oks Lang,” and “Di Ako Fboy” gathered enough steam through the strength of John’s strong following online.

His new single “Pagitan” proves Roa is no one-trick pony. It has an insistent dance groove which verges on an almost Latin feel, right down to its flush rhythmic guitar motif. Nicely done vocals from John as well. And the rap break from featured MC Loonie? Well, he’s no legend for nothing.

‘Sanay Naman Ako’ by JO.E

After doing well on the indie scene and making a mark with a pair of original tracks on streaming platform Spotify, young singer-songsmith JO.E finally puts out her first new original track under a major label (Viva Records) via the tuneful “Sanay Naman Ako.”

Rooted on R&B, with a hint of alt-pop, this piano-decked, up tempo pop makes for fine listening. Catchy and uptempo, this tune is a good way to spend 3 minutes and 15 seconds of your time.

‘A Letter For Her’ by Rice Lucido

Rice Lucido so impressed us when she opened for UNIQUE’s concert that we had to check her out at length on the OC Records page. And we’re so glad that we did. Arty and exuding a bohemian vibe, Rice Lucido has the songs to match her look. One of them is “A Letter For Her,” a finger-style acoustic guitar piece that shows off Lucido’s folk leanings. Theme-wise the song displays her “refreshing take on life’s duplicity” or so an OC track description goes. Whatever, the point is, this is good listening fare.

Typecast in ‘Perfect Posture’

Hard to believe that alt-rock band Typecast are now considered veterans these days. Even harder to fathom is that the band is still together and creating music. More miraculous is that they seem to be making some of the best music of their career just now. Case in point is newly released song “Perfect Posture.” As expected, the track broods like the best of Typecast’s past songs. Here, lead man Steve Frank Badiola wrote and sang a moody song about the fragility of the mind. Some may dispel the track as just another “rock” song. But those deep into Typecast’s music would know it’s a strong statement about the oft ignored issues of mental health.

‘Breadwinner’ by Geo Ong

In keeping up with “Hiphop is the new pop” credo, we take on new MC Geo Ong and his single “Breadwinner.” On his angst-ridden debut, Geo rap and sing on this laundry list of hang ups against errant parents. Imagine it as Freddie Aguilar’s “Anak” turned inside out and in rap. In theme, it’s depressing as the trash problem in Manila bay, but Geo makes it so visceral that we can’t help but feel his blues. If he can paint an emotion this powerful in words, we can’t wait what else he can do. But in the meantime, we’re digging this one.

Bayani Agbayani’s ‘Ulo Ulo’

Call us crazy for adding anything by Bayani Agbayani in this list, but his new song “Ulo Ulo” just screams for inclusion. Written by Bayani and Kean Cipriano, “Ulo Ulo” is a surprising bit of catchy dance production. It’s just mindless fun period. But just like his long ago dance hit “Otso Otso,” this just flips a switch inside our head and eventually on our feet.

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