Category Archives: New Music

Ace Banzuelo explores grief and romantic disintegration on his new song “Kulang”

2022 has been a stellar year for Filipino singer-songwriter/producer Ace Banzuelo with his emotional single “Muli” breaking through the mainstream pop consciousness two years after it was released—thanks to its relatable lyrics and vibey, electro-ballad sound. After trending significantly on TikTok, the song launched Banzuelo into the spotlight, unmovable at the top of the Spotify Philippines and YouTube Philippines Trending charts for an extended period of time.

Fast forward to November 2022: Banzuelo continues to build on the success of “Muli” with the release of “Kulang,” an unabashedly vulnerable track with trap, R&B, and bedroom pop influences. Decked in retro-futurist synthesizers and laid-back, hip-hop beats, “Kulang” finds the 22-year-old multi-hyphenate aimlessly writhing over heartbreak in his quiet, subdued time, wallowing in loss or lack of personal direction.

According to the Himala artist, “Kulang” examines a stage of grief where you find out that you have been wronged but still try to make things work. He goes on to say, “The story is inspired by a time in my life when I was questioning myself about where I went wrong, and where I lacked. Whatever I’d do, it was just the same thing all over again. You’re aware that you’re in this drama, and you keep coming back to it, but you just want it to stop.”

In true Banzuelo songwriting style, “Kulang” belongs to the crop of tunes that depict heartbreak, grief, and relationship fallout in their most vulnerable state, be it confessional or observational. “I’m here to talk about things most people are afraid to let out,” the young hitmaker adds. “I’m not often sad, it’s just the mood of my music right now, and I think the beat and production style speak for themselves.”

He also recorded, produced, performed, and engineered the entirety of “Kulang,” but what distinguishes it is Banzuelo’s effortless ability to wrap melancholy in incredibly catchy packaging. To make it special, he also adds a rap verse in the middle of the song. “I kind of collaborated with that side of me. Being a hip-hop head myself, I’ve always wanted to experiment with performing songs in a certain way. I’m not a rapper yet, but this is a much-welcomed reprieve from the usual.”

Ace Banzuelo’s “Kulang” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Entertainment. Listen to the song here.

Asia’s Phoenix Morissette Delivers A Special Rendition Of “Colour Everywhere”

Award-winning singer and Asia’s Phoenix Morissette releases her very own rendition of “Colour Everywhere”. She surely interpreted this Deana Carter original as if it’s her very own, of course, thanks to her sophisticated vocal prowess and this version’s fairytale-like rhythm.

Her loyal listeners can expect tremendous sincerity in her stylistic approach to this classic. The talented singer sprinkled her energy and absolutely made this song her own.

“Thrilled to be reviving another classic,” Morissette proudly says on one of her posts that features the song’s official album artwork.

Right now, she has over 1.1 million monthly streams on Spotify and her videos on YouTube always acquire millions of views. With this release, Morissette continues her legacy to be one of the most important voices in recent memory.

Released digitally under Universal Records Philippines, “Colour Everywhere” is available on all digital music platforms and streaming sites now.

Zild releases the much-anticipated Medisina album

Zild has had years of musical practice, including multiple recordings and live performances, and it has led up to this. Medisina, Zild’s much-awaited first release under Island Records Philippines, drops on major streaming services on October 29. The album draws together his unique sound, his knack for connecting with listeners, and his storytelling talents, all of which have served him well over the years.

Medisina has eleven tracks on which Zild mostly plays and produces, reflecting the DIY approach which has distinguished his music in recent years. The overall goal, he says, is to create an album that evokes emotions more than themes or musical complexity. He says, “Growing up in the city also created this sound that I wanted to share: messy but contained, gloomy but still [feeling] like home, and young.”

To give an idea of the sonic scope of Medisina that helps Zild achieve his goal, the opening track, “CRAB,” is a post-punk number that recounts the unintended consequences of friends knowing one’s insecurities. Sometimes, even they don’t want their friend to succeed, the song suggests. Another track, “Duda,” tells the story of a relationship where one partner is frustrated by how the other doubts his sincerity. It takes on a genre Zild grew up with, 90s and 2000s Pinoy rock, through its sonic and lyrical influences.

It took a year for Zild to come up with this album, and the challenge of completing it was twofold: which songs would he include, and if so, whether these songs were really done once he worked on them. He has tried out some of the previously unreleased tracks in his live set lists. One recent favorite, “Dekada ’70,” which shares its name (and theme) with Lualhati Bautista’s short novel about dissent during the Martial Law years, is something that Zild says people sing along to with much fervor, particularly its chorus.

Zild says that his plans for the record include a launch tour, which happens all throughout November, lyric videos in the Windows Movie Maker style, and some music videos for his favorite tracks. As more people get to hear his music, they will discover an artist whose honesty and talent shines through, a needed medicine for such a challenging time as this.

ALAMAT levels up, punctuate memorable year with first-ever EP album, “Pasulong”

What a difference a year makes. If anyting, 2022 will go down in ALAMAT history as one of their most memorable. After all, it was during this time that the group – Alas, Tomas, R-Ji, Taneo, Mo, and Jao – were able to notch some of their personal best collectively as Alamat.

There were the several nods as Best P-pop Group with nominations at the 2022 Awit Awards and several pop culture media outlets. There’s The Guardian UK feature that lauded ALAMAT for championing Pinoy roots and culture through their music. And of course, there’s the steady flow of fan-approved music.

Now here’s ALAMAT doubling down on the music as they release their first ever album titled “Pasulong”.

As one of the hottest Pinoy pop boybands in the scene right now, ALAMAT stands out for its use of iconic Filipino symbolisms and themes as its stylistic take-off point. Similarly, their modern pop sound is lyrically peppered with rootsy Pinoy motifs.

All that and more can be gleaned off their much-awaited EP album, “Pasulong”.

For the EP’s carrier single, ALAMAT naturally draws inspiration from local lore as they do on the R&B-flavored dance track “Aswang”. The track is produced by Swedish music producers but is given a distinct Pinoy flavor through its theme and lyrics. Ninuno Media head and director Jason Paul Laxamana wrote the Tagalog lyrics for “Aswang”.

Then there’s the funky sounding dance-club track “Gayuma” which ups the party atmosphere of “Pasulong” as ALAMAT sonically flesh out this Curseboxxx-aranged track.

Also giving “Pasulong” with more music heft is ace songwriter Thyro Alfaro who writes and produces the equal parts R&B-inflected bop and love song track titled “Maharani”.

A highlight on this 6-track EP is the festive and rousing new original titled “Hala”. Funky and surging, this song weaves traditional folk melodies and march cadences with electrifying modern dance pop. This original is a collaborative effort between Alas, Jao, Taneo R-Ji, Mo, Tomas and Jason Paul Laxamana.

Completing the EP are previously released singles “ILY ILY” featuring Lyca Gairanod and the NEXXFRIDAY produced, Jin Chan written tune “Say You Love Me.”

Nobody is more ecstatic than ALAMAT themeselves for finally seeing all their hard work come into fruition.

Tomas had this to say about finally releaseing their EP. “Sobrang fulfilling na makita yung hardwork namin slowly paying off”, adding that all of of it, “lahat ng luha at pagod” to get where they are, are all worth it.

“Our worries have turned into excitement after completing our first EP”, Tomas adds. “Naalala ko pa dati yung checklist ni Direk Jason that we needed to accomplish, sabi ko sa isip ko, kaya ba itong matapos sa ganito kaikli na time? Natapos din at kaya naman pala basta may tiwala at nagtutulungan kaming ALAMAT and with the support of our Magiliws”.

“Every song is memorable. But I can say that the actual recording is something I won’t forget. We were given freedom to add to our harmonies and napaglaruan namin yung mga ideas especially on “Maharani” which we added a lot of harmonies” Tomas noted.

To which Taneo agrees. “I woudl say ‘Maharani’ resonates with me the most since it’s a song that greatly represents what our sound is like, whcih is a fusion of the traditional Filipino and the modern. It’s a unique sound and a song that I personally enjoy”.

For Jao, a highpoint in their creative journey in “Pasulong” was when “me and Taneo were given an opportunity to choreograph one of the songs (Gayuma) which was written by Mo, Taneo, and Alas. That and being involved in songwriting for some of the songs is a fun experience. We are also happy to be excuting ideas with our creative director, Jason Paul Laxamana and being involved overall with the artistry in Alamat.”

For inspiration, R-Ji cited “Our families even though we’re away from them. Everything that we do, we do for them to make them proud. That’s why we always give our best when it comes to our craft. Since we’re here, we’re going to push ourselves to the limit to become the best versions of ourselves. And that includes being the best performers that we can be.”

“I found brotherhood and a different kind of brotherly love in this group. Not to mention our one common denominator, love for music” states Mo. “It brought us closer, that even if we have different tastes, we have one goal – to leave a mark on people from all walks of life, when it comes to genre, style, and sound. And of course, we also aim to spread all regional languages in the mainstream. In addition, I believe that our love for music has made this group stronger because music was and still is, a big influence and importance in our lives.”

And what’s the message that ALAMAT wants to put across with “Pasulong”?

If there’s one thing, it’s that we never give up on something we believe in”. Alas said, adding that it’s not the group’s style to take things for granted. “we know success is very difficult (to achieve). You need to sacrifice everything for it, but it’s more difficult to regret when the opportunities (that come our way) are gone” he wisely opined.

“Int this EP, we are encouraging our audience to broaden their minds and appreciate the different genres and sounds we made and offer” Mo chipped in.

“We also want to inspire those who aspire to be like us the same way they inspire us,” R-Ji injects. “It’s about hard work and we want to show everyone, that you can be proud of your hometown origins. We’re proudly ‘Tatak Pinoy’ and that’s what being in ALAMAT is all about.”

ALAMAT went all celebratory with the release “Pasulong” when they launched the album at the Tektite Auditorium, yesterday October 27, 2022. The exclusive event was attended by media personalities, the entertainment press, key pop culture platforms, social media influencers, fellow VIVA artists and the lucky loyal fans who saw ALAMAT perform in its entirety, the songs from the “Pasulong” album.

“Pasulong” by ALAMAT, with its carrier single, the season appropriate “ASWANG” are now available in all streaming platforms, is released by Viva Records.

All photos are from ALAMAT “Pasulong” Album Showcase, shot by Kevin Pableo for Manila Concert Scene

Jean Kiley, singer-host revives music side with new original dance song “Te Amo”

Jean Kiley brushes up on her music and comes up with delightfully catchy and body-moving new song.

Former Pop Girl-turned event host Jean Kiley is back to making music with the recent release of her new original song titled “Te Amo”.

Said song is a 3-way collaboration between Jean Kiley, Social media personality and actress Ella Cruz and singer Krissha Viaje. This latinx-flavored song comes courtesy of Jean Kiley’s own songwriting, which adds to the handful of solo singles that the singer has released so far.

According to Jean Kiley, she went the direction of “Te Amo”, with its Latinx vibe because “dance music is my first love”. Adding that “I am a big fan for dance music”. Hearing Latin style sounds, reggaeton and the like makes people groove a little and dance. That’s the quality that attracted me to it rather than the usual solemn, mellow songs that we listen to now.

She also added that she went for her gut feeling when it came to choosing what genre to do next. “Dance music has always been a passion project that I always wanted to do.”

As to what led her to eventual collaboration with Ella Cruz and Krissha Viaje (both her fellow music acts at Viva Records), Jean Kiley said “I love K-Pop and it was my dream to do a collaboration with friends who share the same enthusiasm for it. So, I personally invited Ella and Krissha, because I know we are all big fans of K-pop”.

Jean Kiley first came with the draft for “Te Amo” in the early days of the Pandemic. “My demo was only an acoustic version. I reached out to a producer friend to collaborate. We arranged the song together and finally got the version we wanted. We arranged the song together and finally got the version we wanted.” Jean Kiley also revealed that the rap verse for the song ame together when she all ready to reord the song. “What came out is a really different song from my previous releases which tended to be slow and dramatic.”

As for the theme of “Te Amo”, Jean Kiley is doubling down on her Kpop influence. “I was inspired by a character in a K-Drama I watched on Netflix. After watching, I wrote down the lyrics about the character feelings, then got my guitar, found the right chords to back up my melody. After about an hour or so, I finished the song while I snacked on some dark chocolates.”

After that, it was all collaborative work with Jean Kiley and her friends. She had her guitarist fine tune the guitar parts, the used that demo to record her vocals. Sending files between them via messenger and email because this was during the height of the pandemic.

But it was only this year that they properly recorded the track at a studio. The work was fast paced. Eventually landed him her dream collaboration with ace songwriter Thyro Alfaro who mixed and mastered the song that became “Te Amo.”

As for her K Drama inspiration for the song, Jean Kiley revealed that it was from the hit drama “Itaewon Class”.

“The song is all about Kim Da Mi’s character Jo Yi Seo’s feelings”, Jean Kiley shared. “You know when you love someone, you get butterflies, you want ot say it, you want to confess, you want them to like you back, you’re kinikilig and all that, I just translated those feelings into words.”

“I was also fascinated with songs that incorporated different languages so I tried it too. There are Tagalog, Cebuano, Korean, Italian, and Spanish lyrics into the song. How can I personally relate to it? Maybe in the refrain part where it all says ‘I love you, I care for you, I miss you/I want to see you, you are very important to me’ (In English translation). These are the words we usually hear from loved ones, so I thought, why not make an entire song using those words?”

The new single from Jean Kiley featuring Ella Cruz and Krissha Viaje can now be streamed on all popular digital music platforms. The official music video for “Te Amo” was premiered by Jean Kiley at the El Calle Music Hall, at Newport World Resorts last October 21, 2022. Under Viva Records.

The 1975 release their highly anticipated new album ‘Being Funny in a Foreign Language’

To celebrate the release, the band have unveiled a brand new live session of ‘Oh Caroline’; the first in a series of three videos with VEVO. You can watch the ‘Oh Caroline (VEVO Official Live Performance)’

In support of ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’, the band will be taking their brand new ‘At Their Very Best’ tour on the road with dates across the US in November and December before a run of shows in the UK and Ireland in January 2023 and Japan in April. Tickets are on sale now HERE.

In addition, the band have just announced another leg of their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour, taking in shows across Australia and New Zealand in April 2023. Tickets are available now.

The 1975 made their long awaited live comeback last month, headlining Japan’s biggest rock festival Summer Sonic 2022 in Tokyo and Osaka before returning for two triumphant homecoming headline slots at Reading & Leeds Festival.

Formed in Manchester in 2002, The 1975 have established themselves as one of the defining bands of their generation with their distinctive aesthetic, ardent fanbase and unique sonic approach.

The band’s previous album, 2020’s ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’, became their fourth consecutive No. 1 album in the UK, landing at No. 1 in Australia too. The band were named NME’s ‘Band of the Decade’ in 2020 after being crowned ‘Best Group’ at the BRIT Awards in both 2017 & 2019. Their third studio album, ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, also won ‘Mastercard British Album of the Year’ at the 2019 ceremony.

The 1975 ‘At Their Very Best’ Tour Dates:

Thu 11/3/22 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Fri 11/4/22 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway – Sold Out
Sat 11/5/22 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway – Sold Out
Mon 11/7/22 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden – Sold Out
Wed 11/9/22 – Camden, NJ – Freedom Mortgage Pavilion
Thu 11/10/22 – Washington, DC – The Anthem – Sold Out
Sat 11/12/22 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
Sun 11/13/22 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium – Sold Out
Tue 11/15/22 – Grand Prairie, TX – Texas Trust CU Theatre
Wed 11/16/22 – Houston, TX – 713 Music HalL
Thu 11/17/22 – Austin, TX – Moody Center
Sun 11/20/22 – Mexico City, MX – Corona Capital Festival – Sold Out
Wed 11/23/22 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre – Sold Out
Fri 11/25/22 – Las Vegas, NV – The Theater at Virgin Hotels
Sat 11/26/22 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre – Sold Out
Mon 11/28/22 – Los Angeles, CA – Kia Forum
Tue 11/29/22 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – Sold Out
Thu 12/1/22 – Portland, OR – Moda Center
Fri 12/2/22 – Seattle, WA – WAMU Theater – Sold Out
Sun 12/4/22 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Audacry Beach Festival
Tue 12/6/22 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom – Sold Out
Thu 12/8/22 – Independence, MO – Cable Dahmer Arena – Sold Out
Fri 12/9/22 – Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom – Sold Out
Sat 12/10/22 – Milwaukee, WI – The Eagles Ballroom – Sold Out
Mon 12/12/22 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
Wed 12/14/22 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory
Fri 12/16/22 – Newport, KY – PromoWest Pavilion at OVATION – Sold Out
Sat 12/17/22 – Pittsburgh, PA – UPMC Events Center – Sold Out
Sun 08/01/23 – Brighton – The Brighton Center – Sold Out
Mon 09/01/23 – Bournemouth – Bournemouth International Center
Tue 10/01/23 – Exeter – Westpoint Arena
Thu 12/01/23 – London – The O2 – Sold OutFri 13/01/23 – London – The O2
Sun 15/01/23 – Birmingham – Resorts World Arena
Mon 16/01/23 – Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena – Sold Out
Tue 17/01/23 – Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena
Thu 19/01/23 – Glasgow – SSE Hydro
Fri 20/01/23 – Manchester – Manchester Arena – Sold Out
Sun 22/01/23 – Nottingham – Motorpoint Arena
Mon 23/01/23 – Leeds – First Direct Arena
Weds 25/01/23 – Newcastle – Utilita Arena
Thu 26/01/23 – Liverpool – M&S Bank Arena
Sun 29/01/23 – Dublin – 3Arena
Mon 30/01/23 – Belfast – The SSE Arena

Sat 08/04/23 – Perth – Red Hill Auditorium
Mon 10/04/23 – Adelaide – AEC Theatre
Wed 12/04/23 – Melbourne – Rod Laver Arena
Fri 14/04/23 – Sydney – ICC Sydney
Sat 15/04/23 – Brisbane – Riverstage
Wed 19/04/23 – Wellington, NZ – TSB Arena
Fri 21/04/23 – Auckland, NZ – Spark Arena
Wed 26/04/23 – Yokohama – PIA Arena
Thu 27/04/23 – Yokohama – PIA Arena
Sat 29/04/23 – Nagoya – Aichi Sky Expo
Sun 30/04/23 – Osaka – Jo Hall

​​‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’ Tracklist:

The 1975


Looking For Somebody (To Love)

Part Of The Band

Oh Caroline

I’m In Love With You

All I Need To Hear


Human Too

About You

When We Are Together

Ebe Dancel releases “HABANGBUHAY” EP on limited edition vinyl, launching event on Oct. 14 at 123 Block

The first extended play single release from renowned singer-songwriter Ebe Dancel, “Habang Buhay” is now out on vinyl as a collaborative effort between Widescope Entertainment and Backspacer Records.

Dancel’s “Habangbuhay” EP takes the listener on an inspirational journey that brings you to new depths with his incredible lyricism and signature sound.

“’Habangbuhay’ is a wedding-themed EP that I wrote and recorded during the lockdown,” said Dancel of the new release. “Because of the restrictions back then, most of the musicians had to record at home. As for me, I would go to a studio to record vocals with Rico Blanco – who served as producer for the EP – on Zoom. It was very challenging but at the same time, very rewarding.”

The four songs – “Manatili”, “Tanging Kailangan”, “Huling Sumayaw”, and “Habangbuhay” — touch on passion and everlasting love, masterfully showcasing Dancel’s talent as a renowned storyteller through music.

“This is my first concept-based release,” summed up Dancel of his new music that is also his third on vinyl. Previously, he re-recorded some songs from his former band, Sugar Free, on an album titled, “Baliktanaw” that was released in 2020. His second solo album, “Bawat Daan” was re-released on vinyl last 2021.

“I feel very blessed,” he said of his music on vinyl. “I never imagined I’d be releasing my music on vinyl. This is coming from a guy who used to record demos on tape recorders.”

Although the song is available on all streaming and digital platforms, “Habangbuhay” is also available as a limited edition release on 10-inch silver colored vinyl with a gatefold cover.

This also represents the first collaboration between Widescope Entertainment and Backspacer Records.

“We are happy to partner with Backspacer Records on this special limited edition of vinyl with our very own Mr. Ebe Dancel. We believe in OPM as we strongly venture into more pioneering efforts of breaking barriers and bridging talented Pinoys in realizing their dreams. Moreover, we will be introducing more artists as they join our roster of nurturing labels namely, Icons Music and Bandido Rekords releasing songs from various genres as we further create the best in Filipino Music to satisfy the industry we all love,” said Vic De Vera, President of Widescope Entertainment.

Watch Ebe Dancel performs Manatili during the press launch

Backspacer Records is the brainchild of Robert and Tasha Tuazon and has been the leader in new OPM vinyl releases since 2021.

“Backspacer Records takes pride in releasing the best quality OPM records on vinyl. We are grateful that Ebe and Widescope trusted us to be their collaborative partner in this project. Now fans can enjoy an elevated listening experience of Ebe’s new songs through this vinyl release,” said Robert Tuazon, co-owner of Backspacer Records.

Music fans nationwide may order Ebe Dancel’s “Habangbuhay” from Backspacer Records’ website at or they may visit their vinyl shop at the 2nd Floor of ACE Plaza, Brixton St. corner United St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City.

Ebe Dancel will be launching Habangbuhay EP vinyl + performing long set on October 14, 2022 at 123 Block with special guest 46 Hope St. To reserve tickets, contact: 09550529239. Pre-order your Habangbuhay EP copy at Backspacer Records and get a free ticket to the launch.

Oh Wonder share new track, ‘Can We Always Be Friends’

Oh Wonder have today shared a new track ‘Can We Always Be Friends?’, which is available now on Island Records. This comes ahead of the unique London band’s new album, 22 Make, which is due on October 7th. This was previewed by brooding first single ‘Magnificent’, the anthemic ‘Fuck it I Love You’ and the cinematic ‘True Romance’.

‘​​Can We Always Be Friends?’ was hastily reworked hours before Oh Wonder went on honeymoon. Having started life as a pop banger, they just knew it wasn’t quite right. With vinyl deadlines looming and the very real deadline of a flight to catch, they stayed up all night reworking it into the louche, after-dinner jazz number it is now. It’s a song that sums everything up for Oh Wonder, and the album completing their two-part, 22 Break project; that no matter what, the connection between these two people can never really end. “We’ve got too much love,” they sing. “You and me together to the end: can we always be friends?” An album like 22 Make will leave you in no doubt that the answer is yes.

22 Make unpicks a turbulent period in the incredible story of Oh Wonder. Its first half, 22 Break, dropped with little warning towards the end of 2021: here were universal themes (loneliness, inadequacy, resentment, fears for the future) as experienced by one couple in real-time, all blown up in the pandemic. Not many bands can make a break-up album that culminates in them tying the knot – but then again, Oh Wonder have never been like other bands. Coming out of 22 Break and all the soul-searching that it forced them to do, Josephine and Anthony got married and channeled all this into 22 Make: a whole new album soundtracking the light at the end of a tunnel.

“When we nearly broke up during the pandemic, we used music as a way out,” Oh Wonder write, introducing the project in its entirety. “We wrote all our pain, sadness and confusion into a collection of songs that we eventually released as the album, 22 Break. But for us, that was only half of the story. We managed to survive our rocky patch, and emerge stronger than ever and full of love for each other. It only felt right therefore, to write about the other side, where you realise not just that you’re meant for each other, but also that it also takes two people to make a love flourish. We are thrilled to be releasing ‘22 Make’, an album full of love and life-affirming songs that reflect on fate, gratitude and being there for someone.”

This transformative period continues Oh Wonder’s remarkable, homegrown success story. 2020’s acclaimed album No One Else Can Wear Your Crown continued a run of back-to-back top 10 albums from the band who have – on their own distinct terms – become one of UK pop’s more unsuspecting breakthroughs (2.7 billion streams, 1.7 million adjusted album sales, and vocal fans in the likes of Billie Eilish and Griff). Oh Wonder even founded and literally built from the ground-up the hugely popular Nola cafe in Peckham early on in the pandemic. Through opening up to their fans and each other, the ‘Make or Break?’ poised by ‘22 Break’ and ’22 Make’ appears not so much a question, as an active choice – to be as honest as possible, to move forward, and to begin a brand new chapter in the ‘True Romance’ of Oh Wonder.

Having played a huge world tour including a sold-out homecoming show at London’s Brixton Academy, Oh Wonder are pleased to also announce a run of Instore shows in far more intimate settings on top of the album’s release. “We are so excited to announce a handful of super intimate shows across the UK to celebrate the release of our new album 22 Make! RTE and Kingston are with our amazing band, and the other record shops are just the two of us with a piano, guitar and a bag of stories / bad jokes.”

‘22 Make’ Instore shows:

6/10 Rough Trade East

7/10 Vinilo, Southampton

8/10 Banquet Records x Pryzm, Kingston

9/10 HMV Birmingham10/9 RT Nottingham1

11/10 RT Bristol

12/10 Resident, Brighton

The thrill of the ride: One Click Straight releases “MRT”

“’MRT’ is one of the rare songs I got to write in less than 10 minutes,” says Sam Marquez, lead guitarist of One Click Straight. “[Usually, the process] is [that] I go through different versions of songs when I write, but for this one, it just [happened].” This song is now the band’s latest single is now out on all music streaming platforms under Island Records Philippines.

“MRT” evokes a memory, says Sam, and this memory is of him and his girlfriend waiting in line for the train every day. His brother Tim says that the band knew that they had to aim for a minimalist sound to reflect that memory. “We were really particular [about] the sounds we wanted to put,” he says, “so I guess the most challenging part [was] really the decision making in terms of what really [fit] the song and what [kept] it interesting.”

“MRT”’s eventual sound, Sam says, evokes the feeling of being in transit. “If you listen closely, you’ll hear a train track grooving to the beat of the song,” he says. There were other unique sonic touches done with the help of their recording engineer Daniel Momong. For instance, he set up microphones to record a suitcase acting as a kick drum.

One Click Straight has played “MRT” live before, says Tim. “[It was] just for fun and…we love the instrumental ending part,” he says, “It’s just so moody and it’s the type of song we could just lose ourselves [in] and go where the vibe takes us.” His big wish? “I hope to play it someday at a festival and maybe with rain pouring down,” Tim says, “That would be cool.”

As the band begins the final stretch of 2022, they hope to release a few more songs and finish their much-awaited album. Until then, listeners old and new will get a chance to experience the thrill of riding with the one they value the most.

P-Pop girl group KAIA pivot towards a more R&B-driven sound in new single “Dalawa”

P-Pop girl group KAIA explores a more R&B-leaning direction in their new single “Dalawa,” released under Sony Music Entertainment.
Standing out in sublime contrast with their previous releases, the five-member act’s smooth jam alludes to the idea of expressing infatuation in the most reassuring, youthful way.

“Dalawa is a song that tells a story familiar to many: catching unrequited feelings for someone close to you,” describes the eclectic pop quintet. “While it veers away from the upbeat, dance-pop tunes that we’ve been dishing out since our debut, this particular material sticks to our strengths as a girl group.”

Brimming with 2000s-indebted R&B melodies and whimsical beats, “Dalawa” embraces stylistic adventurousness with effortlessness that doesn’t overwhelm the vocals. The track is written and produced by Jayson Franz, who brings a mellow yet groovy direction to the Filipino group’s sound.

“I wanted a different approach for KAIA this time around, but I made sure to take into consideration their individual and collective personalities,” shares Franz. “I’ve added some string instruments and other sonic elements to help elevate the arrangements. But more importantly, the groove that I was trying to achieve was leaning towards Y2K R&B: simple, yet melodically interesting.”

According to Franz, KAIA was also heavily involved with the demo recording, making sure to relay their own inputs on vocal arrangements and the overall vibe of the song. “One of the memorable moments during the recording of the track was the first run of every member of KAIA,” adds Franz. “It was that moment when everyone knew that the song was really made for them. Each one of them has an own personality or taste in terms of the delivery of their lines.”

KAIA’s “Dalawa” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Entertainment.