2013 was solid year for local music, sound and variety-wise. The year proved to be tremendously fruitful for these 8 indie and underground acts, whether flying off a debut or having been around for a while. Gig venues were filled with overflowing talent and spectacle, from alternative to electronic, from R&B to hardcore. These remarkable live wonders covered all corners of the sound spectrum and gave listeners an audibly satisfying year.8. Autotelic
In today’s OPM scene, most bands are forgetting how to express their sentiments in our homegrown language. But not Autotelic. In their Tagalog compositions, mild synths blanket a trickling guitar presence that morphs into something different in every song. “Misteryoso,” the band’s popular track, not only presents brilliant instrumentalism but also quirky sentiments that we choose to ignore but feel so deeply about. In a way, Autotelic is writing our tangible-yet-invisible memoirs through their luminous-sounding songs.
Get to see Autotelic live on Route 196 in Katipunan on December 27, or listen to the band’s tracks on their NDFY page: ndfy.me7. FXXXYBLNT
2013 is the year of beat makers, and one act proved to be more than just your bedroom musician. Ants Agarpao a.k.a. FXXXYBLNT made some hypnotic waves this year, especially during BAKUNAWA nights, the local go-to production promoting the celestial and ever-expanding genre of new age break beat and electronica. Listening to this act feels like walking through flickering lights in a lucid dream, and there’s no turning back from the sound he paints in your head.
Catch FXXXYBLNT’s psychoactive tunes in his Soundcloud page: Soundcloud6. Bent Lynchpin
The group who provided score for Erik Matti’s highly-acclaimed cinematic wonder, “On The Job,” is made up of Drip alums Caliph8 and Malek Lopez, together with guitarist Fred Sandoval and bassist Mark Zero. Though having been around for more than two years, the group made some ears really happy this year. The drum machine-engined downtempo sound of Bent Lynchpin is dark, jazzy, and almost improvisational—making it all the more engaging and mysterious. When listening to their compositions, think of your inner consciousness walking through the streets of Sin City, with a cigar on your hand and a dirty thought in your mind.
To find out what it’s like to delve into the world of Bent Lynchpin, watch this recorded performance: Youtube5. Chocolate Grass
Tender, expressive, and passionate: the right formula of a soul band that will entice your every nerve. Chocolate Grass made a lot of hips sway in 2013, especially with their EP that came out late this year. The band performed in many venues in 2013, earning them a steady cult following that completes the velvety live experience each time they play.“I testify that life is good, a storybook of love from above” sings poetic vocalist, Abs Haw, in their song “Testify,” seeming like a vibrant flower straight from Erykah Badu or Jill Scott’s garden. Local soul has never been this sweet and heady, thanks to Chocolate Grass.
Listen to their four-track EP here: Soundcloud4. Faintlight
Happy hardcore, that’s what Faintlight is all about. The band has been around for quite some time, but this year acted like the river gushing towards the ocean of sound certainty. After replacing vocalists a couple of times, the band finally found its truest and most celebrated form built by its original members, with their album, “Flight,” released on July this year. Imagine getting a heavy dose of pop punk, something like Four Year Strong, breakdown-wise, laced with the entertaining jolt of comic relief in-between songs. No band is as entertaining and satisfying to watch as these boys.
Check them out on Facebook.3. Motherbasss
Think of a local DJ AM and Travis Barker giving you a world-class party experience right in the metro. Motherbass is made up of R&B DJ extraordinaire Nix Damn P, and all around prolific drummer Macky Brillantes. Aside from their gigs in Manila, the duo has performed in Tagaytay Electronic Festival and Cebu’s annual Mardi Gras, the Sinulog festival, in which both times they made the crowd go wild in euphoric exhilaration. Since their formation six months ago, Motherbasss has been performing bouncy gems that your dancing spirit will find impossible to resist: live percussion and bumpin’ mixes worthy of any kind of taste.
Take a peek of how Motherbasss carves out a party in this live performance: Vimeo2. Lions and Acrobats
Complex in sound, heavy in feeling. Six-piece Lions and Acrobats is a band that lays out vivid mixtures of sound elements on the table. In their song, “The Artist,” reverberating guitars and melodic vocals design the spine of their sound, and it goes all throughout their recently-released album, “Points and Perspectives.” To sum up the character of their style, it’s a more expressive offshoot of post-hardcore without the anger or discord, tinged with jazzy time signatures that embrace the rhythmic sensibility and aerial quality of post rock.
Listen to some of their songs here: Soundcloud1. NOUVUL
Listening to Nouvul is like taking a fast train back to the glory days of smooth ’90s R&B, with guitar licks, bass lines, and fluid, modulated vocals harmonized together by trippy beat play. Their compositions are supple to the ears, with a nostalgic style that injects calmness into the listener’s state. Their EP, “Twinflames,” is a collection of songs that color the romantic energy one feels within, offering an enchanting kaleidoscope vision through the slices of their music.
Listen to their EP, Twinflames, here: nouvul.bandcamp.com