#nowplaying Bands! Groups!

I’ve been immersing myself in music the past couple of months since the Christmas season, and I’d thought to share with you guys just where my money went thanks to iTunes.

Here’s a load down of the albums currently on top of my Most Played list on my iPhone. Okay, I never really look at that feature on my iPhone so I’m not sure but I’m assuming it is. Happy listening!

Hale – Hale (2006)

Always been playing eveHaler since 2006, always been there during my problematic high school days three years later, and always around during my walks to and from work. Hale’s lyrics are so deep and relatable they can transport you to a college campus around Manila, letting you relive the pain the lead vocals Champ Lui Pio is feeling at that very moment.

Their second album “Twilight” deserves the same level of praise, as well. I’ve got my dad and his incessant playing of “Blue Sky” to thank for getting me into this band.

Songs to watch out for: “Take No” for its really catchy, emotional roller coaster hook, one of its singles “The Day You Said Goodnight” and “Underneath The Waves“. Not included in the album but in need of cheering is their other single “Toll Gate“; its storyline holds a very, very special place in my heart, a time when being young was all I had.

The Corrs – Talk on Corners (1997)

az_B53556_Talk On Corners_The Corrs

I’ve got my mom to thank for instilling The Corrs in my young, impressionable mind. I will always credit them for my being a poet, what with their simply yet really clever lyrics, melting into double entendres, playing with pronunciations and making me a hopeless romantic at age five.

All throughout my life, I grew up believing that I’ve been in the same field where they filmed their “What Can I Do (To Make You Love Me)” music video because I watched it over and over again it must have been misplaced in my memory. I’m the only person who can also dance to “Runaway”, one of their famous songs not included in this album.

Songs to watch out for: “So Young” for the ultimate road trip song, “No Good for Me” and “Love Gives Love Takes” are the two songs that painted my childhood a poetry rainbow.

One Direction – FOUR (2014)


I read an article somewhere last year that One Direction’s Liam Payne believes their fourth studio album will not only keep their female fans satisfied, but can also garner some attention from male listeners. Fast forward to now, and their more alternative rock-pop sound has effectively won me and my iPhone over. Well, you were right, Mr Payne.

Take away the mass merchandising and the screaming fans, the album has strong weapons under its sleeve to make it a solid record on its own. The lyrical depth, the raspy voices matched with the retro sound that they’ve slipped perfectly in like a glove. For cynics out there, I don’t suggest you be fooled by their first single.

Songs to watch out for: “No Control” for the Louis solo, “Fool’s Gold” and personal favourite “Stockholm Syndrome” for the 80s vibes.

Spice Girls – Spice (1996)


I’ve got my sisters to thank for getting me into Spicemania, from dancing to “Who Do You Think You Are” up to remembering every single scene of their movie (“Sunday drivers! It’s only Saturday!”). I was the songs’ sense of optimism that made them stay in my playlist until now. Perfect for dark, rainy mornings to college and when it’s so nice and sunny but you have to go to work.

I also remember defending the Spice Girls as one of the best bands of the 90s when me and my friends were talking about it back when we were around eight years old and I still believe in what I said. Sorry, Backstreet Boys.

Songs to watch out for: “Naked“, “Say You’ll Be There” and my all time favourite “2 Become 1“, the single version, by the way, but I really, really like the version from their 2007-08 reunion tour.

And by the way, it was Posh Spice who captivated me the most, if you were wondering.

Jaspects – Broadcasting the Definition (2006)


Blending together the musical genres that are jazz and hip-hop, one of the ambitions of this band is to combine these two genres, automatically creating a bridge between those two groups of listeners. I’m not fully familiar with this band, with my our mutual friend being the ever so elegant and fun Janelle Monae. Thank you!

One of those outcomes of my lazy scrolling around iTunes after payday, I love how clean the trumpet sounds but it still sounds quite vintage.

Songs to watch out for: “Next Stop, MLK” (the intro though!), “Is She…? (feat. DJ)”, “Peachtree Blues (feat. Janelle Monae)” for the ultimate throwback feel and “Throw Yo J’s Up (feat. Iyana)” because that beat, man. I will certainly be looking more of their work soon!

The Pernice Brothers – Overcome by Happiness (1998)


Another band hailing from the 90s, The Pernice Brothers and I crossed paths in 2012 when my favourite Twitter person @JoshRadnor posted their titular song as his daily Song of the Day tweet, and from then on, their calm if not melancholic music has found its permanent home in my life.

Intense feels during my A-Level days, writing introspective poetry and Christmas ’12 with friends, the last year we were all irresponsible and living only for fun.

Songs to watch out for: “Overcome by Happiness“, “Chicken Wire“, “Wherein Obscurely” and “Ferris Wheel“. Pure joy, pure sadness. A poet’s dream come true.

How about you? What’s currently on your playlist?

– Troy

Published by troycabida

Troy Cabida (he/him) is a Filipino poet and producer based in south west London. His recent poems have appeared in TAYO Literary Magazine, harana poetry, MacMillan and bath magg. He is a producer for London open mic night Poetry and Shaah and co-founder of Liwayway Kolektibo, an arts and culture network providing space for UK-based Filipino/a/x creatives. His debut pamphlet, War Dove, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2020. Photo taken by Ray Roberts.

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