BY MC GALANG
Since 2018, we’ve been expanding our programming to include foreign artists at our shows and in our curated content online (e.g. THIS SIDE playlists). Last year, we introduced a series of music talks to better inform and equip Asian artists, particularly independent Filipino musicians, on the latest trends and practices in the music industry outside the Philippines.
It is at the core of our dedication to our music community at home to foster and strengthen connections not just locally, but abroad—because music is a language that transcends boundaries and differences. We constantly create new ways to champion great music, focusing on those made by Asian artists, wherever they come from—through mounting events ranging from pocket shows to outdoor music festivals, and for almost a decade (years before the first TRIN show in 2015), writing about independently released Filipino music.
To keep up with the dizzying release cycle, we’re launching New Music We Love, which tracks our favorite new releases from Asia (and elsewhere), which will be released every Wednesday. We’re deviating from the usual Friday schedule, just because it’s almost impossible to squeeze in a respectable amount of time to listen to all new releases and to allot some time to curate which ones we’d like to highlight for the week. Also, it’s a little something to break the mid-week lull.
For our first edition of #NMWL, we’ve got some fantastic selection of tracks from Ruru, Yaeji, Gym & Swim, Teya Logos, and more.
“U” – Tosh (Japan)
We caught Okinawan singer-songwriter Tosh’s set at Sakurazaka Asylum last month, where he premiered songs from his new EP, In My Room. Stream his first single, “U.”
‘The Odds’ – Ruru (Philippines)
The title track to Ruru’s brand new EP is a welcome reprieve in this dreary heat. I find it ironically soothing in how it embraces a whimsical narrative that switches from delight to mournful longing. It feels like watching an impressionist painting—with its swirling colors and often muted textures—come to life, bathed in light.
‘花疫テＬｏｖｅ░ｍｅ’ – Conehead 錐頭 (Taiwan)
One of my personal favorite producers from Taiwan, Conehead, released a supple lo-fi flip of this Jackie Chan R&B ballad from 1984 that I did not know exist, neither expected. I would recommend all the uninitiated like me take a listen to the original.
‘Don’t Leave Me Behind’ – Gym & Swim [featuring Sunset Rollercoaster] (Thailand)
Initially released last year, the standout single from Thai tropical pop band Gym & Swim (featuring Taiwanese jazz-funk quintet 落日飛車 Sunset Rollercoaster) makes for a great, endearing videoke song: a good chorus, a memorable sax interlude, and perfect with street food helpings and a cold bottle of beer/soju.
‘WAKING UP DOWN’ – Yaeji (US/South Korea)
Brooklyn-based electronic artist and sharer of homemade curry at her shows Yaeji is back with a new track off her upcoming mixtape, What We Drew, out on April 2. Yaeji has carved a space for socially awkward (or inept) folks such as myself to let loose on the dance floor—or maybe just casually stand in the corner doing half shimmies all night long and have just as much fun. ‘Waking Up Down’ is no different, turning anxiety into an empowered movement.
Additionally, watch the animated visuals for ‘WAKING UP DOWN’:
‘Beki Bounce’ – Teya Logos (Philippines)
Teya Logos is a young, queer artist who has never stepped foot in a club before. And yet, her track ‘Beki Bounce’ is ripe with influences ranging from hardcore, experimental, avant, industrial, and ballroom, embodying the raw, subversive energy of the underground club scene. It is a mandatory, floor-thumping addition to your electronic music diet.
‘Walk Away’ – ena mori (Philippines)
Ena Mori’s debut self-titled album is highly enjoyable pop that not only has a distinct grasp of pop songwriting that makes for good radio but more importantly, unburdened by the pressure to succumb to fast trends and gimmickry. ‘Walk Away’, like most of the songs from the album, works specifically because it’s compulsive, uncomplicated fun. You just move, you just do.
‘Slow Down’ – Aries and Loner (Philippines)
Logiclub producers Aries and Loner just released their joint EP, Manila Dance, featuring anodyne four-to-the-floor cuts—a wise choice for older millennials who just punched out of their third consecutive overtime and have the strong desire to dance and still be able to hold their drink without spilling it. We’ll sleep in the morning.