New songs from sophomore acts and newly sprung record labels are this week’s feature.

Ethan Loukas

We first heard singer-songwriter Ethan Loukas last year when we reviewed that wonderful, easy listening tune he did with Leanne & Naara, “Meant To Be.”We thought then Ethan was a regional artist given the assured air he has when he sings. But, no, he is Pinoy through and through from Iloilo.

Ethan has just released his first original Tagalog song “Manghuhula.” The mid-tempo track shimmers and sounds immediately familiar. There are quite the memorable hooks and choruses as he sings “Alam kong alam mo na /Lahat ay nagbago na /Kahit ilang beses ko pang sabihin /Ikaw lang nga talaga.” 

Ethan is now under new labelBlacksheep Records Manila headed by former major label executive Jay ‘Jaworski’ Garcia, with former The Youth bassist Robert Javier as head artist and repertoire guy and producer. In an interview, Garcia said his label’s main aim is “to see our artists become relevant in the world stage.” Well, with Ethan, they’re off to crackin’ good start.

Speaking of record companies, Island Records launched its first division in Asia (Manila).Founded 61 years ago in Jamaica by Chris Blackwell, it’s the same Island Records label we’ve  seen on those old Bob Marley and U2 records. The label was launched by Universal Music Philippines (which we’ve known locally for a long time as MCA Music).

Island Records Philippines is “a new domestic label division dedicated to helping the best musical talent from the (country) to achieve local success, whilst reaching new audiences worldwide.”  

The initial roster includes “Buwan” singer Juan Karlos; former “The Voice” (teen edition) contestant and soul singer Lala Vinzon; solo acts Zack Tabuldo, Fern;and the bands Over October and One Click Straight.

Mark Thompson

For the past few weeks, musical outfit Project Moonman has been releasing a steady stream of new music, beginning with the dreamy alt-pop single “The Great Alone” From there, Project Moonman—the “future rock” alter ego of DJ-producer Mark Thompson—dropped “I Care,” “Finding A Way” and “Streetlight.”

The songs seem to be narratives Thompson has gone through; like reading snippets from his journal about relationships, struggles and what-nots. The music—equal parts crafty electronic music producing, and alt rock motifs—could be his therapy and way to make sense of it all. 

He describes his sound as “raw vocals and textures, live and electronic sounds (that) are thrown into the pot that is Project Moonman.”  Project Moonman can get gnarly and sensitive alternately. He is set to release “Love You” under OC Records.

Source: Manila Bulletin (