February 3, 2012

12 MOST ANTICIPATED OPM ALBUMS OF 2012



















The Mayans have long predicted that 2012 will be the end of the world, but that shouldn’t take us away from all the great music slated for proper release this year. In an attempt to shed light to this, Vandals On The Wall rummaged through official artist pages and related links to give you a foretaste of the upcoming OPM albums that we wish to review in the coming months. To avoid playing favorites, we listed them in alphabetical order:

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Ang Bandang Shirley
Power-pop supergroup, Ang Bandang Shirley is back on the studio recording the long-delayed follow up to 2007’s excellent debut, Themesongs. So far, they’ve teased us with the Broken Social Scene-leaning “Nakauwi Na” and the mopey “Di Na Babalik,” both pretty good tracks in classic ABS bent. And then there’s “Taksil,” an awesome song that explores the subtler dynamics of break-up. So far, it’s my favorite among the new tracks in Shirley’s forthcoming record, and has a winsome crossover appeal written all over it.

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Bagetsafonik
Travelogue was a favorite album back in 2007. It’s a fuzzy, space-psych pop affair of some sorts that drowns itself from the cosmos of heartbreak and escapism, two things, that I guess occupy most of people’s memory bank right now. Fast forward 2012 and we’re happy to announce that the boys from Bagetsafonik are already working on the finishing touches of their sophomore self-titled album, which they promised to be “fuller, darker, perhaps more bittersweet than sugary.”


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Bent Lynchpin
Bent Lynchpin, a supergroup formed by electro music heavyweights Caliph8, Malek Lopez, Fred Sandoval, and Mark Zero made its debut last October at B-Side Collective, pulling off a tricky, challenging assortment of Krautrock, IDM, jazz and maximalist electronic music during their set. They remind us somehow of Flying Lotus, with the improvisational pizzazz of avant-garde musicians trying to collate the skitter-scatter of every sonic strands in a cohesive package, or lack of it. According to International music webzine, CHAIN D.L.K., the electronic supergroup is eyeing for a late, year-end release this 2012. We just can’t wait to get a hold of it, like right now.


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Dong Abay
In a Facebook status message dated January 12, 2012, Dong Abay posted details on the new record that he’s working on. “My soon to be released 7-song collection entitled Rebulto is not an EP nor a full length album. It is a body of work.” Dong’s debut solo album, Flipino which came out in 2006 was easily one of the best albums of the last decade, a spot-on throwback to the conscious folk records of the ‘70s and ‘80s that we all loved. It’s also subversive and in-your-face, and showcases a mellowed down Dong Abay reinventing himself as a singer-songwriter who can actually, sing. We’re happy that he’s back recording new songs of his own. What we’re expecting from the new album: the familiar, razor-sharp commentaries (“Perpekto” “Mateo Singko”) and yes, the love song (“Dyad”) that colored us impress.


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Hidden Nikki
Terno Recordings has been one of the primary movers and shakers of the independent music scene, and is always on the go discovering new acts with something fresh and innovative to offer. Hidden Nikki, a jazz-pop quartet from Ateneo is lucky enough to get noticed by the 6-year old indie label. To give us an early year salvo, they happened to launch the aptly titled, debut album, Found last night at 19 East. Based from the song previews, most of the songs rock in a positively, pogi-jazz kind of vibe: cleaner on the edges with a groovy, cozy sound perfect for Sunday afternoon chill outs.



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June Marieezy
June Marieezy’s trippy neo-soul jam, “Sometimes” is a solid proof that viral marketing is the next big gun that independent musicians should consider big in relaying their music to a wider audience. We were amazed at how on its first day, the music video cracked 4,561 hits and went on to become one of the most successful viral music vids to ever graced 2012. Under the tutelage of Manila-based record label, Deeper Manila, June is expected to release her solo album on the first quarter of 2012, featuring collaborations with Silverfilter, RBTO and Justin De Guzman. Now that is something to look forward to.


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Kate Torralba
We’re glad that acclaimed Fashion designer Kate Torralba has already resumed recording her debut EP, Long Overdue—a collection of songs that according to Kate, reveals the “equally defining facets of her persona. “ She’s been working on it for several years now, even sharing some of her original compositions at her gigs. The last time we saw her perform live was at Conspiracy Café, where she played the quirkily giddy “Pictures” and “Anywhere With You”, two of the songs we’ve been crossing our fingers to make it to the EP line-up.


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Lally Buendia
For those who care, Lally Buendia used to be the frontwoman for alt-pop band Domino, which was signed by Viva Records several years ago and even managed to put out the underrated but brilliant album, Fair Tales. “Cat Eyes” was a stand-out track from that album, drawing restraint and brood in equal measures, kind of like a poppier version of Portishead. It’s great that she’s been active in the indie scene for quite some time now as a solo artist, and even promised to deliver a brand new album this year. And sorry for this, but is it wrong to hope for a Lally-Ely Buendia duet?


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Never The Strangers
If there’s one band out there that we’ve been predicting to be big this year commercial-wise, it has to be Never The Strangers. Judging from the first single alone, the fist-pumping “Alive,” they remind us of a talented ragtag with an ear for catchy, emotive melodies and hooks. Think of Hale, minus the pogi-rock tag. Or maybe Switchfoot, Silverchair, and Gin Blossoms. According to Warner Music Philippines, NTS is expected to drop their debut album come first quarter of 2012.


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Patience Dear Juggernaut
“I am actually working on the second one. And it will be an all Filipino-album. Hopefully this April,” reveals Wincy Ong himself in a recent conversation that we’ve had early January. Patience Dear Juggernaut’s homemade indie pop debut, Girl The Impaler was released as a download-for-free album last year, and it’s the first one under Wincy Ong’s solo project. The sophomore album, to be released just in time for the summer is expected to be closer to home, one that once again would reveal his whacky, geeky, and helplessly romantic persona.


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The Purplechickens
What would happen if you’d lump in Mars Volta, Radiohead, and Elbow in a studio? It’s going to be batshit crazy for sure, stormed by a wallop of creative tension and riot. I know it’s an impossible casting stunt, but the closest thing we’d get from that imaginary force of a sonic pomposity would have to be listening to The Purplechickens. They’ve been on the studio in and out since last year, completing the follow-up to 2007’s Girls, Etcetera—that brilliantly complex, chaotic-as-mind-fucked record that deconstructs musical structure and style without swarming pretentiousness. We’ve already heard the track “Dayami” and it’s an effortlessly beautiful piece that eventually dissolves in a narcotized stretch of mood music.


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Up Dharma Down
In a span of 6 years, we’ve witnessed them mound pop music in a gorgeously ramshackle wall of sound, a conscious effort that strikes a balance between sounding commercial and experimental. Only Dharma has mastered such stunt of an art form, mixing and decomposing music genre-lines while immersing into our inner thoughts and souls, writing the populist anthem of our lives. It’s great to hear that they’re on the process of recording their third album, Capacities. They’ve already previewed two of the tracks (“Indak” and “Turn It Well”) from the forthcoming record, and the critical reception as always, remains positive.



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