10 of the Best Releases from the Pinoy Music Scene in 2020


January 4, 2021
Read Time: 2 minutes

The only thing we wouldn’t delete from 2020 is all the good local music we got



If the quarantine has taught me anything, it’s this: the only way to avoid one black hole is to dive into another. Through nine-going-on-ten months (surprise, we aren’t letting go of our rep of having the world’s longest lockdown ever just yet!), my black holes of avoidance have looked like to-do lists that seep into the next day every day and headlines that pull sighs from my system without fail. The black holes into which I dive to cope though have been a procrastinator’s dream. They’ve looked like video games and homemade coffee and online shopping. They’ve also sounded like really good music.


We all have our emotional support somethings and, if our Spotify Wrapped summaries have anything to say on the matter, music has always been one of the many coping mechanisms we’ve gravitated towards. It’s an escape chute to jump into and a zap of adrenaline in the middle of a bad day. It’s a milestone moment to keyboard smash and cry over. Perhaps most relevant to this year, it’s a crutch for the feelings we can’t quite process yet—and man, were there a lot of those to trudge through in 2020. If anybody makes it to 2021 without unsettled emotions still swirling in the pit of their stomach, they’re among the lucky ones. 


Is it too late to jump on the year-end wrap-up bandwagon? I hope not, because the Filipino music scene deserves its three cheers (or 10) for all the coping fodder it’s given us this year. Here’s to the songs, EPs and albums that made us feel and cry and dance, that would sound even better when we hear them blaring through speakers in dimly-lit, sweat-slick settings again.




FALL INLOVE! (Reimagined) by ena mori



1:45AM by No Rome, Bearface



Waiting For The End To Start by The Itchyworms



Pop Machine: Kailan by Space-Ta



Daybreak by Leanne & Naara



Setup and Punchline by Devices



The Other Side by She’s Only Sixteen



The Sun In My Window by lui.



Is This the Love That I Need by Flu



Homework Machine by Zild




RELATED: BEKA on Cultivating Empathy and Stillness Amid Such Difficult Times


Welcome 2021 to the sound of these tracks. Here’s a playlist to make it easy. (You’re welcome.)



Art Alexandra Lara

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