Electro-pop band Dustybuns offers reassuring comfort on new single “Seasons”

Dustybuns, an electronic pop duo formed by Charles Baltazar and Jok Oloquina, has finally released their second single “Seasons”—out today on indie record label, Lilystars Records.

Expanding the eclectic pair’s sonic palette with delicate harmonies, bright keyboard tones, and subdued arrangements, “Seasons” delivers an effortless, almost slick sound pulled from vast music resources that range from indie pop to chillwave, electronic music to ‘80s pop.

Despite its incredible mélange of influences, the song remains confident in its delivery and intent. In fact, “Seasons” stands out as an anthem that offers reassuring comfort and warmth. It packs a punch, while also inspire listeners to stay strong even when the going gets rough. 

“The song is about being there for the people you care about no matter what, and reassuring that you’re never alone and there’s always someone out there ready to lend a hand when you need them,” Charles Baltazar shares.  

To date, Dustybuns is currently busy writing songs for their debut EP to be released soon. “We’re not yet sure if Seasons will be included in an EP, but we have some songs already made that will sit well along with it. We’ll just see when the time comes,” multi-instrumentalist Jok Oloquina says. 

Seasons” is available on digital and streaming platforms worldwide via Lilystars Records.

Celebrate #GenTikTokPH with Ben&Ben, Inigo Pascual and Rico Blanco on Oct 18

To celebrate TikTok’s diverse and growing community, the Philippines’ top artists Ben&Ben, Iñigo Pascual and Rico Blanco will perform LIVE on TikTok Philippines this Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 5PM for the platform’s biggest virtual event of 2020, #GenTikTokPH.

Music is universal and powerful. It is what unites us with the community. #GenTikTokPH will be a celebration of everything we created out of love through music. Invite your Mahiwaga and let us have a wonderful time,” said Miguel Benjamin Guico, Ben&Ben

The 2-hour online LIVE show will feature various performances from top local artists, dancers, and content creators including JMKO, Kuya Ching, Madelaine Red, Mikey Bustos, Ralphe Austria, and many more. Auntie Julie, aka Macoy Dubs will be hosting the online event.

#GenTikTokPH is a recreation of the great moments on TikTok from entertainment to education and top trends. This is for the Generation TikTok and who made things happen.

Expect nothing but a happy feeling all throughout! I’ll see you on Sunday,” said Rico Blanco. The OPM icon was TikTok’s ambassador for the #TikTokOPMPlaylist campaign which promoted independent Filipino musicians and local talents to the app’s growing audience back in October 2019. Since then, he continued to make OPM an ever-present content on the platform.

TikTok was built to inspire and enrich people’s lives through experiences that are genuine, joyful, and positive. TikTok has gone beyond being just a  content platform. TikTok is the content, the community and the culture that it created.

Every click of the record button starts canvas for human creativity and every phone screen becomes a window to our world. Whether one’s making, remaking, reacting, or simply watching, we’re changing the world one TikTok video at a time. We’re happy and grateful to share this milestone to our community,” said User Content and Operations Manager John Castro

With its growing community of creators and users in the Philippines, TikTok is now ready to take the platform on a whole new level with a big announcement! After the event, TikTok will no longer be the same as they’ll take further all the creative possibilities.

Join the #GenTikTokPH hashtag challenge in-app and share why you’re officially part of Generation TikTok! You can get a chance to win TikTok-branded goodies! Invite your friends, stay safe and healthy at home. Download the TikTok app via iOS or Google Play.

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo. www.tiktok.com.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

Kubra Commander debuts first official single “The Now” under Lilystars Records

Kubra Commander joins Lilystars Records’ impressive roster of music acts from the Philippines and beyond.

Prior to signing up with the indie record label, the Cebu-based psychedelic rock outfit has been making waves online since the release of their breakthrough track, “On Your Left,” which made it to CNN’s 8 New Local Releases for your Listening Pleasure and earned a glowing review from indie music website, Flying Lugaw.

Kubra Commander’s “The Now” lyric video

To mark their debut on Lilystars Records, the band has finally released their latest single “The Now”—a brooding, post-punk number about “gaining a new perspective on things through experience, and having an inclination to share the experience with other people in hopes that they can gain something new in return.”  

Propelled by Kubra Commander’s inherent brand of disaffected cool, “The Now” starts off strongly with glistening synths straight from the ‘80s pop playbook, and builds up into an anthemic chorus at a brisk pace. Music-wise, it sounds more indebted to the band’s post punk and new wave influences, as well as the escapist, modern indie rock anthems of music acts such as MGMT and Empire of The Sun.

“I believe the chiming synth riff was what nailed it for me, playing it over the chords and beat gave a danceable feel to the track which I really liked,” vocalist and guitarist Bobbi Olvido shares the details about the music arrangements. “Everything just followed through from that point. It’s the first song where in all the members we’re able to contribute in the recording process, and it was quite easy to have everyone be on the same page production-wise. I also wanted to try to play with the idea of singing all the verses first and having all the choruses after.”

“The Now” will be part of Kubra Commander’s upcoming new album, Rhythm Tourists to be released in 2021. 

Image and details provided by Lilystars Records in a recent press release.

Indie pop trio Parasouls drops debut single “Can We, Can We”

Indie pop trio Parasouls deftly captures the frustration of romantic yearning on their debut single “Can We, Can We”—released today via Lilystars Records.

A brisk but engaging alt-rock number that brings to mind the likes of The Cranberries and Frankie Cosmos, the band’s latest release is a tribute to a beloved sci-fi character from one of the longest running TV series in the world. 

“This is a funny story: Can We, Can We is actually the first song I’ve ever written back when I was seventeen,” guitarist and vocalist Dani Dimaano says. “I wrote about one of my favorite TV shows, Doctor Who. This song, in particular, is an ode to Rose Tyler and The Doctor in the TARDIS.”

The song was originally recorded in acoustic form, and was written way back in high school by Dani and bassist Joshua Gaces. “We tweaked the rhythm a little bit so it would fit theband setting better,” Dani shares. “Also, fun fact: I really wanted to put in a dotted 8 delay somewhere in the song, so I spent so much time trying to learn that just to make sure it makes it to the record.”

The final version of “Can We Can We” is indicative of the band’s combined music influences, which touch on a more playful but deceptively simple arrangement and anthemic pacing. It sets the tone for their future releases, where the music is written and produced with the right mix of inherent rawness, melodic sheen, and pop sensibility. 

Parasouls’ “Can We Can We” is now available on all streaming and digital platforms worldwide.

Image and details provided by Lilystars Records in a recent press release.

Alessandra de Rossi signs with Lilystars Records; releases remastered version of “Make It Better”

It’s official: ADR, the ambient music project of actress/producer/director/writer Alessandra de Rossi, officially joins the growing roster of music acts under Manila-based indie label, Lilystars Records.

Her first major project as a solo artist is the re-release of the landmark single “Make It Better”—now out on all digital platforms worldwide this October 2, 2020 (Friday). Delicately arranged with ethereal soundscapes, trip-hop beats, and New Age-inspired vocals, ADR’s self-penned and self-produced electro-pop number has been given a remastered treatment, making it sound more polished than ever.

Alessandra de Rossi re-releases landmark single “Make It Better”

Written in as early as 2010, “Make It Better” is a product of its time: a confessional outlet that simmers with disappointment and heartbreak. “It’s supposedly written for someone, but maybe I was looking for the exact words that I really wanted to tell myself,” the multi-hyphenate artist shares in a statement. “But dedicating it to someone else felt easier. Is it too vague? Don’t worry, the feeling is mutual.”

Aside from “Make It Better,” ADR’s debut record, Adrift will also make its way to several music platforms soon in remastered format. Initially released in 2012, the 13-track chillout, electronic and ambient album was made available for free download as a zip file. 

“I was told by so many, that no one would buy my music because it’s not pop enough for radio,” ADR said. “But it’s 2020: everything is much more accessible, thanks to all online streaming platforms. I’m just really happy that people who don’t have access to laptops or computers can now finally hear it through their phones. And skip throughout the whole song, if it’s not pop enough.”

Music was once just a hobby for ADR, and dropping old and new music under a record label felt very new to her, despite giving out songs for free since 2008. “Now under Lilystars, it makes me feel crazy to be lined up with musicians who are really legit, and I’m still trying to let everything sink in. I don’t know if I should be terrified or very terrified.”

The remastered version of “Make It Better” is now available worldwide via Lilystars Records.

Image and details provided by Lilystars Records in a recent press release.

Dey Rose debunks conformity on new EP, Panting Heart

Vancouver-based Filipina singer-songwriter Dey Rose maintains a gripping sense of vulnerability on her debut EP, Panting Heart—released on all digital platforms worldwide via Lilystars Records. 

Intricately written and produced to capture a sound of lasting resonance and warmth, the 6-track record blends jazz-infused pop with folk, country, blues, prog rock, ’70s soul, and R&B, while exploring fascinating new directions in terms of arrangements and lyrics. With an eclectic selection of songs grounded in evocative storytelling, the Baguio-born musician presents a snapshot of confessional intimacy in the time of restlessness and paranoia, freeing herself from the conformity of others and social expectations.

The EP’s focus single “Di Mo Lang Alam” is inspired by the stories of new friends Dey Rose met in the Philippines. Its smooth, jazzy runs and suave rhythms swoop and slide effortlessly in the background, while the Filipina-Canadian artist’s mesmerizing vocals take the center stage in a rejuvenating light. It’s easily one of the best songs in the record, a balm of sunshine that conceals its very brooding narrative with a tale of caution and hope. 

Other must-hear gems include the throwback-sounding jam “Puzzle Piece,” the bluesy ballad “Paulit-ulit,” the vocally arresting tune “When I’m With You,” and the title track “Panting Heart.” The EP’s signature sound feels like a hodgepodge of influences that range from Lolita Carbon to Etta James, Amy Winehouse to Lorde, seamlessly rendered to capture a wide range of emotions strengthened by both experience and technique.

Musically diverse and engaging, Panting Heart serves as a testament to Dey Rose’s incredible maturity as an artist of characteristic composure. It delivers moments of earnest beauty and restraint in equal stride, inhabiting a sense of balance for good measure.

Dey Rose’s Panting Heart EP is now available on all digital and streaming platforms worldwide via Lilystars Records.

Image and details provided by Lilystars Records in a recent press release.

Ben&Ben to hold online benefit concert for ‘Balik Eskwela’ project

Ben&Ben continues to support vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 through Balik Eskwela: PuhonPart 2. The nine-piece collective is slated to perform their massive hits for a one-hour live show on October 4, 2020, Sunday at 5pm onwards via simultaneous streams on their official Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

Following the unprecedented success of Puhon: A Ben&Ben FB Live Event for the COVID-19 Efforts and YouTube Live “Doors” Single Launch + Fundraiser, BalikEskwela: Puhon Part 2 aims to support students and teachers who are “left with limited to no ability to adapt to the changes” implemented in the Philippine education system during the pandemic.

“Ever since the end of the first Puhon, we’ve been aching to help out even more in our own little way,” Ben&Ben lead vocalist and guitarist Miguel Benjamin said. ”And so, when we were figuring out where to help with the myriad of problems in today’s landscape, we eventually zeroed in on helping out a sector that is very close to our hearts: education.”

While the first Puhon gig focuses on COVID-19 response relief efforts, Puhon part 2 prioritizes assistance to the education sector. As Ben&Ben lead vocalist and guitarist Paolo Benjamin puts it, “We have concluded upon analysis that this is one of the areas wherein most help is needed in these times. School in the time of the pandemic is something that none of us expected, and so we will do our best to help out in this major challenge.”

As part of the growing community of artists with a platform of hope and love, Ben&Ben is committed to holding a free online concert to rally support for their fellow countrymen and come up with response efforts specifically for those who are in need.

According to Miguel, this is the first time that Ben&Ben will self-produce a full-length online show during the pandemic, live from the BBTV house. “Expect a very intimate, premium live concert experience straight from our home to yours,” the singer-songwriter said.

The Balik Eskwela: Puhon Part 2 project is the second fundraising initiative of Ben&Ben through their community-driven website, www.puhon.ph, which aims to inspire, uplift and boost the collective morale of all the key stakeholders of the COVID-19 response through uplifting stories, music, art, and more.

The goal of the Balik Eswela Project is to gather funds for:• E-learning and physical supplies that will be distributed to public schools.• Care packages (PPEs and vitamins) for teachers and personnel assigned for distribution of said supplies.• Distribution efforts with localized transport systems that will be coordinated with LGUs.

To know more on how you can be part of Ben&Ben’sfundraising campaign, visit www.puhon.ph or check out the band’s official social media pages.

This event is brought to you by Ben&Ben, Sony Music Philippines, Y4WU Philippines, Planet Drugstore, Limitless Lab, The Spark Project and Brand On Demand.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

syd hartha reflects on her self-awakening with new single “hiwaga”

In less than two years of being signed under Sony Music Philippines, syd hartha quickly rose to prominence with compelling pop/folk anthems that expertly balance lyrical depth with relatability and social relevance. From taking a pro-woman stand on “ayaw” to documenting the importance of self-restraint on “paru-paro,” the young singer-songwriter marks a clear step forward in terms of exploring outsider themes that even her contemporaries would seem to avoid. 

Having that same grasp of writerly elegance without resorting to repeating herself, syd hartha takes a moment to reflect on her personal actions through her latest single, “hiwaga”—a stunningly produced, stripped-down tune that deals with self-awakening and healing in preparation to becoming “the best version of herself”—to reference a line from the coming-of-age film, Lady Bird

Writing from a place of newfound perspective and riveting wisdom, syd wrote “hiwaga” as a reminder that no matter who you are and what you may be going through, you are still capable of being part of a better change. “Basically, the love you have for yourself reflects to everyone and everything around you,” the critically acclaimed musician explains. “There was a time in my life where I felt so stuck and started to question my existence and the reason for everything. What inspired me to write this song is my awakening to the fact that I was given this life for a reason. I want to heal so I can be the best version of myself for everyone around me and I want to inspire people to do the same.”

Quite a diversion from her usual sound, “hiwaga” is produced by Johnoy Danao, and performed with her backing band consisting of Bea Fabros, Raisa Racelis and Pat Sarabia. According to syd hartha, the track was recorded at the confines of the musicians’ homes under the guidance of Johnoy Danao. “Initially, we thought of a big production incorporating more instruments like horns, but we decided we wanted to give the song a lot of room to breathe and let the lyrics shine.” syd adds, “recording ‘hiwaga,’ was definitely challenging because it was our first time producing a single without seeing each other.”

The song also features a rap verse from syd herself, who admits that hip-hop has greatly influenced her songwriting. “As someone who’s so fond of several hip-hop artists’ writing and delivery, I noticed how stronger and more effective it is when the message is somehow spoken instead of sung. Also, when I wrote ‘hiwaga,’ it all started with just words; it was me having a conversation with myself. I decided then that I wanted the feel to be more conversational and more focused on the message of the lyrics.” 

syd hartha’s “hiwaga” is out now on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

The Geeks return with new single “The First Time”

After two years of not dropping any new material, indie pop quartet The Geeks are finally making a comeback with the release of their new single “The First Time”—out today via Lilystars Records.

Strumming its way comfortably into slacker and honeyed guitar pop territory, The Geek’s latest song rejects the notion of predictability by going vintage in aesthetic and function, while connecting on an emotional level with newfound grace. 

“Our new single in two years is an homage to local Filipino kundiman music – a tribute to a time when we still wrote letters and the internet was non-existent,” vocalist and guitarist Jam Lorenzo shares the inspiration behind their new song. “Partly inspired by the portrayal of young romance in Filipino period films, ‘The First Time’ discusses in vague detail the enduring cliché of being stood up on the eve of a planned elopement.”

With its subtly heartbreaking observations on a kind of love that’s a product of a different time and milieu, “The First Time” shines through more than ever with a sharper, more deeply layered turn in The Geeks’ songwriting style: its sense of defeat is more palpable, and the verses wreck when you’re least prepared. 

The Geeks’ “The First Time” is now available on all streaming and digital platforms worldwide.

Maris Racal shows her introspective side on new single “Not For Me”

Aside from making a name for herself as one of the breakout young actresses of her generation, Maris Racal has successfully dabbled in writing her own songs and challenging industry expectations with her intimate and refreshing take on pop music. From penning the chart-topping confessional “Ikaw Lang Sapat Na” to collaborating with Rico Blanco on the city pop-influenced ditty “Abot Langit,” Racal is surprisingly an effective chronicler of love anthems for the modern age—a guitar-toting songstress known for balancing commercial appeal with artistic integrity.

Bursting with youthful fervor and charismatic edge, Maris Racal’s latest single “Not For Me” stretches her introspective side of music-making to interesting places, while retaining the accessibility of her recent crossover hits. Her resounding confidence translates perfectly into the musical output, but it’s her conversational and matter-of-fact songwriting style that earns the stripes, revealing a degree of self-assuredness that comes with experience.

Inspired by Britpop acts such as Aqualung and folk-pop chanteuses like Lily Allen and Regina Spektor, Racal wrote “Not For Me” not so much for intriguing unconventionality, but as an outlet to express herself in a way that feels truthful and inherently raw. The driving piano chords and the soaring arrangements give her storytelling a more authentic spin, lending it an effortless breeziness while making sure it doesn’t lessen the emotional impact of the song.

With “Not For Me” putting a spotlight on her songwriting strengths, Maris Racal explores the complexities of romantic uncertainty with a surprisingly nuanced approach—unfiltered, no longer afraid of possibilities, and ready to own the moment.  

Not For Me” is out now on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.