There are songs that make you tap your fingers as you follow the rhythm. There are also those that make you belt your heart out like you’re competing for the finals of The Voice. And then there are those that pull emotions out of you you didn’t even know you had. Songs with lyrics which, for some reason, seem to be conversing right at you.
They call it poetry, art. I call it sorcery. It’s magical how songwriters are able to articulate their emotions so well that those listening feel these emotions too. Even more magical is how they conjure the perfect melody to push those tears out of you.
Our local music industry doesn’t fall short of this as well, especially quite recently. For whatever reason, here are recent local songs where my reaction ranges from warm fuzzy feelings to ugly cry.
1. Walang Hanggan by Quest
This one you have to watch the music video to understand the context. It’s so much more than a melancholic song. It’s a story about love that transcends time and life itself.
2. Maybe the Night by Ben & Ben
Of course there’ll be a Ben & Ben song on this list. And rightfully so. As they continuously settle into the mainstream the past few years, they haven’t disappointed music enthusiasts with the quality of their craft. The richness of their vocals and instrument coupled with heartwarming lyrics make you fuzzy all over. The good kind of fuzzy that, depending on the song you listen to, even losses could be perceived as hopeful. I don’t know about you but hearing someone they’re certain of loving you until you are old is right up into my hopeful alley.
3. Wait by Over October
Patience and love, yes they go hand in hand. The lyrics seem to even reassure both ends of a love affair– that the waiting will be there, and that it’s fine; and that someone is patiently waiting for you. Wait by Over October has a kind of strength in the vocals, instruments, and the steady increase in tempo towards the latter part of the song that will make you obsess on this song first, then the band, and sooner rather than later, you’ll already have a number of their songs in your playlist.
4. Tahanan by Munimuni
This one has rather short lyrics but certainly doesn’t fall short in emotions. Those vocals with those instruments don’t exactly spell grandeur. It doesn’t have too. The simplicity and honesty of its words and music is enough to transport you into that “it’s so beautiful it aches” moment. Not to mention the cleverness of the wordplay tahan na, tahanan.
5. Dumaan Ako by Cynthia Alexander & Joey Ayala
This one isn’t so recent but I have to share nonetheless. Dumaan Ako is a tribute to the late poet and painter Maningning Miclat by no less than Cynthia Alexander and Joey Ayala themselves. Here is their live performance during Cynthia’s send-off series at Conspiracy Garden Cafe. The rawness of this live performance, those soulful voices and captivating percussion, has an appeal that relaxes both the mind and heart.
6. Ambon by Barbie Almabis
An entry to 2016’s Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs, here is poetic approach to a one-sided love story. It’s light, the melody’s catchy, and Barbie’s voice makes you want to listen to it again and again. Despite its seemingly fun tone however, it’s actually has pretty powerful emotions that contemplates on one’s intensity of feelings felt for someone else.
Our local music scene is filled with talent, music, and poetry you wouldn’t find anywhere else just as easily. They turn real life human experiences into magic that will either make the struggles bearable or highlight the truly wonderful.
Some of them are budding artists while some have been in the industry for quite a while but haven’t gotten the recognition they deserve. Some aspiring musicians might even be your kids, or siblings, or cousins. So support and encourage them in any way you can.
Let us know in the comments your picks, too!
Almira Manduriao does content marketing by profession, works with nonprofits and social enterprises to strengthen their cause, and advocates for the protection of women & children in the country. She travels to collect local paintings, eat whatever’s on the menu, and get lost in crowded train stations.