The 2010s was a decade of transformation for music.
It was in this era that the consumption of music shifted from fans snagging albums and EPs to them taking on singles at hyperspeed, faster than any period in history. From Chicosci adapting more liberating decisions like dropping singles one at a time rather than a full-length offering in one go, UDD breaking their 3-year timeframe to release their fourth studio album, to December Avenue closing the decade with a collection of their post-2017 hits on their sophomore record Langit Mong Bughaw, the music industry has shifted in many ways.
Best Releases of 2019: Readers' Picks
Here are the most noteworthy releases that some of your favorite Filipino musicians dropped in the closing year of the 2010s.
UDD - UDD
UDD's self-titled album comprises of stories that go all the way back to the yesteryears of the Terno Recordings act. Through joy and heartbreak, the 'Sigurado' outfit pieced together a whole new collaboration they'd never attempted before. It's packed with different sounds, including strings and horns, and a maturity that shines through despite all the struggles they'd faced over the past seven years.
I Rose Up Slowly EP - Clara Benin
Clara Benin offers five tracks with I Rose Up Slowly, including 'Wrestle' and 'Tightrope,' and pushes out of her comfort zone to deliver her most personal songs to date. Through her lyrics (with some that started off as poetry), she tackles her greatest fears and social anxiety and comes out more liberated than ever.
Tigre EP - Barbie Almalbis
Barbie Almalbis offers three songs that show how her music has been influenced by the new hats she had to wear in the past five years she had not released any new material: still a musician, but also a friend, a wife, a mom, and a pet owner.
Limasawa Street - Ben&Ben
Ben&Ben have been delivering hit after hit since their early days. Now with their first full-length albun Limasawa Street, they're out for the ultimate 13-hit power combo to knock your emotions out of the ring.
Paradigm Shift EP - half-lit
Paradigm Shift reveals a quieter and more intimate side of BP Valenzuela with a more organic sound, away from the electropop tunes she is commonly known for.
“It is something else altogether: a way to reach other people. A way to revel in collective sadness. Suddenly I’m not as lonely,” Valenzuela writes in a statement about the side project, which made its first public performance in 2015.
Self is Universe - Ourselves the Elves
Ourselves the Elves' first full-length album Self Is Universe is an aural adventure in itself. The record is packed with powerful and unapologetic words and organic tones that will have you swaying and contemplating in the same space. It takes on complex themes, like empowerment and abuse, sobriety and overindulgence, and waywardness and a sense of home, to express the overall meaning of what it is to be human.
Kolateral - KOLATERAL
Filipino hip-hop artists BLKD and Calix released their 12-track political record KOLATERAL, which features Kartell'Em, Muro Ami, Tatz Maven, Tao, and more, who aim to talk about the Philippine Drug War through tracks backed by "real data and narratives."
Kulayan Natin - Munimuni
Munimuni's first full-length album Kulayan Natin features the tracks 'Oras,' 'Tahanan,' 'Kalachuchi' and 'Solomon' featuring Clara Benin.
Fools and Foes - Fools and Foes
“This album sings about the external struggles, conflicts with people, lost relationships, homesickness, coping mechanisms, dependence, and however you would want it to mean to you. Our ultimate goal with this album is for our listeners to relate it to their own experiences, interpret it in such a way that can speak to them deeply and personally,” Fools and Foes vocalist and bassist Isa Romualdez shares.
Silent Battles EP - Peril Streep
Peril Streep's 4-track offering takes a deep look into moving on from hurt and seeing things under a different light.
AOUI - AOUI
Straight out of the four walls of drummer Franco Malaya's home studio, AOUI's self-titled record is packed with nine DIY tracks, including their singles 'Recess,' 'For Now,' and 'All Good,' that will get your feet moving and your heartbeats racing to their feel-good groove. If isn't going to make you smile, it's definitely going to make you feel tingles of joy all over.
Mother Night - The Mind is a Terrible Thing
The Mind is a Terrible Thing released their full-length record this year, featuring standout tracks like 'What These Arms Are For', 'If This Isn't Nice, What Is?', and 'While I'm Alone'.
CLAPCLAPCLAP! - IV of Spades
CLAPCLAPCLAP! is packed with 15 tracks that expand IV of Spades' horizons in songwriting and musical growth. It features the tracks 'In My Prison,' 'Bata, Dahan-Dahan!,' 'Take That Man,' and 'Bawat Kaluluwa,' and is only a taste of what else this trio will serve up in the future.
Life is a Simulation EP - GYHT
Electronica/dream pop act GYHT served up the poetic 5-track EP Life is a Simulation in September, following 2017's Maybe in Another Universe I Deserve You.
See Me - Kiana Valenciano
See Me is a 10-track record loaded with a soulful vibe and backed by electro-pop elements, inspired by Kiana Valenciano's love for '90s R&B, disco, and Janet Jackson. It follows the release of the Manila-based singer's EP Grey and her performance on the Bandwagon Stage at Music Matters 2017 in Singapore.
All I Feel and See - Any Name's Okay
All I Feel and See EP shares "stories of youth in its experience of love, triumph, and growth," according to the Any Name's Okay. It includes the tracks 'Orasan' and 'The Sun.'
Ur Shoes - Luncheon
Luncheon's debut record under A Spur of the Moment Project, Ur Shoes, features the lead single 'Decoy,' 'Deadlines,' 'Disaster,' and 'What You Mean to Me.'
Labyrinth EP - crwn and august wahh
Labyrinth, which features the tracks 'Sahara' and 'Blue Dreams,' is about "stories of loss, acceptance, vulnerability and choosing to be brave after everything," according to August Wahh.
Die With Me EP - Lindenwood
Lindenwood returned from their year-long break with their new Die with Me EP, after getting over their hurdle of self-doubt and skepticism.
Laro - Laro Lang EP - Chud Festejo
"The process in making the EP was fun with some pressure and adjustments," Chud Festejo, the PhilPop 2018 Grand Champion, says. "It was far from how I started, like just writing the song and then perform it whenever I had the chance (laughs). There was a lot to think about, like deadlines and of course expenses. Two of the songs have already been written so most of the time was in the arrangement, production, and recording."
life after EP - tidal
Filipino alternative act tidal made their breakthrough in the local music scene with their 4-track EP life after.
Streets We Frequent EP - Dante & Amigo
Dante & Amigo's Streets We Frequent EP follows the release of their 2016 offering Easy with the Six the Northstar-produced EP which includes their single 'Cool With You.'
Fatigue - Assembly Generals
Electronic hip-hop supergroup Assembly Generals' second studio album Fatigue dropped earlier this year with a massive launch. "Salute to every1 who came through. We hope you’re bumping Fatigue loud, and wearing it proud," the band wrote on Twitter.
Ciudad Forever - Ciudad
"We worked on redoing, remixing, and remastering the older material ourselves," Ciudad frontman Mikey Amistoso tells Bandwagon. "This time though, we were armed with years of experience and knowledge on record production. So we corrected a few mistakes we did before. Some purists might not like it. Try looking at it as something like George Lucas’ Special Editions of his original Star Wars Trilogy. So that could be a good thing, or a bad thing, or both."
From the Rear View Mirror - Ian Penn
The Arayat-based indie artist returned to the road to unveil his 7-track record From the Rear View Mirror.
Intraverse III: Dark Matter EP - Lustbass
Lustbass closed off November with the third chapter of his Intraverse EP series, a 6-track collection of beats and mixes to get you through the night.
Langit Mong Bughaw - December Avenue
December Avenue have been on the rise since their 2017 self-titled debut, and it's with their highly anticipated anthem-packed offering Langit Mong Bughaw that they truly rise up among the clouds.
Kept in Mind - Banna Harbera
Kept In Mind, which includes previously released material, features five new tracks -'Getting There', 'Always Clueless', 'Intuition', 'You've Already Won', and 'Face That You Loved'.
(((1))) - (((o)))
((( 1 ))) is the first full-length album in an ambitious project embarked by ((( O ))) to release a new moondrop single every full moon over the course of 12 years. According to the Filipina artist, ((( 1 ))) is "a return to nature for those who need it".
Press Play - Over October
If you're on the lookout for a feel-good, laid-back record to keep you company on road trips or a night at home press play on Over October's debut album.
Making Friends - Rusty Machines
Rusty Machines' debut album follows the release of the garage rock act's City Lights EP, which they premiered back in 2014.
Binibini - Pamcy
The electronic producer and DJ dropped Binibini, which features the tracks 'Beauty Parlor' and 'Sinigang na Hipon' via Healthy Tapes. The new LP is packed with 8 tracks all titled after Filipino trinkets, clothes, and food.
Dwellers, Overthinkers EP - Pikoy
The self-produced Filipina musician's first mini-album Dwellers, Overthinkers is a 5-track offering that delivers candy pop that will get you pumped up with aural sugar.
Neutropical - Mark Redito
For Mark Redito, his Filipino roots expanded his perspective, reflected in the creation of Neutropical. “Having that bi-coastal, multicultural experience really informed the making of the album and also the ideas that I pursued,” he said.
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