Blueboy Must Die
In their own unique way, musicians give voice to the artists that inspired them to make music and on his latest mixtape titled “Blueboy Must Die,” London-based Filipino musician No Rome aka Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez taps into his creative influences without losing his identity. Instead, he displays the depth and opulence of his sources with the bouncy ‘80s pop on “180,” the gorgeous Beatlesque hooks on “Brother” and the dreamy swoon on “Stranger.” In the swirl of subtle electronica, No Rome never masks his pop heart evoking atmospheres that feel like something from the past yet sound completely modern. His path to international stardom starts here.
8 Songs EP
In the wake of the recent celebration of forty years of Pinoi punk, this recent release by a girl-fronted band from San Jose del Monte City is a reaffirmation that a new generation of ‘80s punk and hardcore fans is rising. Note that the core members of the Youth Alteration are 14 year old Kaz and 11 year old Yeumi who have expressed fondness for US pop-punks The Linda Lindas. On their latest EP, Youth Alteration proves they have the melodic chops of The Linda Lindas but the comparison stops there because the Pinoi youngsters deliver the goodies in the speed and thrash of the proto-hardcore of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Betrayed, etc. The joyful velocity of the likes of “Anxious Me,” “Headlights” and “Clueless” off their EP will have even arthritic chongs singing their praises.
Ruminative is at the left, right and center of Iceman Bob’s cool jazz explorations. Delectable chords, smooth piano tinkles, and unhurried rhythms on the ten tracks off Bob’s latest release provide the right comfort zone for the wee hours. They’re not made for falling to sleep, but rather perfectly suited to inspire sweet reveries. Wordless to a fault, it’s music to pass the time away while floating mentally adrift towards dawn. Choice cuts: “All of That,” “Darkfall,” “Seven Kisses of Perfection.”
Two years ago, 18-year old Disney Channel star Olivia Rodrigo debuted with an album full of songs about emotional turmoil amid Covid-19 enforced isolation which topped the charts. Now, Olivia’s just unleashed a follow-up album that sees her transform personal distress into raucous anthems. Opener “All American Bitch” begins on acoustic mode before it explodes midway into pop-punk power as Ms. Rodrigo hollers, “I am built like a mother and a total machine” in riot grrrl power. “Vampire” packs the sort of crescendos you could launch a battleship while the stripped-down “Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl” will have live crowds waving hands like a stormy sea. It has taken guts for Olivia Rodrigo to free herself from her personal demons.
Former Moloko frontwoman Róisín Murphy isn’t your average pop or rock star. After leaving Moloko, Róisín has pursued her former band’s multi-faceted approach to making music. On her latest and sixth solo release, Ms. Murphy serves a gumbo of styles from post-punk (“What To Do?”) to funk (“The House”) to twisted farting sounds (“Hurtz So Bad”), with each track distinguished by euphoric hooks and melodies. Quite simply, Róisín Murphy and producer DJ Koze have laid out a virtual hit extravaganza that should cross over to TikTokers in no time at all. “Hit Parade” is a neat starting point to Ms. Murphy’s idiosyncratic musical career.
Remember xx? The group’s frontwoman steps into the limelight on her own, with help from bandmate Jamie xx, to craft a record of ecstatic shimmering sounds where pop glitter meets club land. Or, where Romy’s inherently melancholic voice pairs with joyful four-on-the-dancefloor euphoria. Not exactly ground-breaking but it’s the sonics that get you grinning from ear to ear before the lyrics start to make sense. Choice words: “Every part is weightless’”; “I’ll forgive and forget before I’m paralyzed; “Let me be someone you can lean on/“You don’t have to be so strong.” Enjoy!
Check out the artists and their music on digital music platforms especially bandcamp.