June Javelosa

Major Major: Major Major  

Anthemic bravado sampled with creative melodies define Major Major’s sound—a formula reminiscent of Muse’s lovably unlovable music and Radiohead’s self-loathing. Still, as an indie act that covers thumping beats and striking guitar riffs, it’s an album that will strike a chord with the pop/rock set, despite the minimal variation in terms of theme or mood with each song.

Billie Holiday

For the younger generation, it might be surprising to discover how Billie Holiday, whose music is defined by its muted and subdued crooning could possibly tap into an impressive emotional range; but that’s exactly the magic behind this legendary jazz singer. And as Holiday beautifully warbles a quiet serenade, a younger audience might realize that highly stylized vocal gymnastics aren’t the only weapons in a singer’s arsenal when it comes to making people feel their music.

Carlos Castaño: Permanence City Light Soundtrack

Singer/songwriters have a penchant for writing about love, ad nasuem— But Carlos Castaño, a Filipino musician, armed with his acoustic-guitar-of-emotional-distress breathes new life into the subject with his vulnerability; combining crowd-pleasing beats with clever wordplay and an introspective take on what is evidently, his preferred subject matter.

Luzius Stone: Electric Dreams

It’s hard for musicians these days to deliver their musical offerings in that seamless way that just makes a song click with its listeners—particularly when their flavor follows that pleasingly off-kilter vibe that electronic indie artists have a penchant for. But with Luzius Stone’s 2014 album, Electric Dream, the independent electronica musician seems to have hit the stride right, offering up a collection of songs that stays true to its genre’s quirky neon beats but still anchored on a crowd-pleasing pop chug and punctuated by haunting melodies.