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All the Cool New Albums That Came Out This Month

The stars aligned and gifted us great music by Haim, LANY, Lana Del Rey, Oh Wonder, James Reid, and more artists.
IMAGE Careless Music
  1. Haim: Something to Tell You

Sophomore slump, what sophomore slump? It may have been four years since Haim's debut album, Days Are Gone, but their new album is definitely worth the wait. These rock stars bring back their banging sound, adding new tricks to their repertoire (follow them on IG to get a glimpse of how much they experimented while recording to get, say, the perfect thick drum sound). Can someone please, please, please bring them to Manila?

Spin these: "Want You Back," "Nothing's Wrong," "Little of Your Love"


There's no such thing as too many love songs, not with LANY's first full-length album (which was technically released on the last day of June but we're still obviously hung up on it). Their dreamy pop sound instantly brings to mind both sun-drenched seaside supercuts and neon-lit movie moments. We can hardly wait for their Ayala Malls tour this weekend


Spin these: "Good Girls," "Super Far," "It Was Love"

  1. Oh Wonder: Ultralife

We're still high on Oh Wonder's soldout Manila show last week, and we're refusing to come down by keeping their second album on loop. Ultralife lives up to its name—it retains the duo's torn-from-a-journal feel but with a bigger, more textured sound that can fill up and soothe even the most wrecked of hearts.

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Spin these: "Ultralife," "Bigger Than Love," "Heartstrings"

  1. Lana Del Rey: Lust for Life

Don't be fooled by that wide grin on the cover—your girl is still the queen of beautiful melancholy. In her fourth album as Lana Del Rey, she explores the complexities of relationships with significant others, not-so significant others, friends and fans, and a divided country. It's enough to make you go crazy, crazy in the best way possible.

Spin these: "Love," "13 Beaches," "When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing"

  1. Foster the People: Sacred Hearts Club

It's impossible to recreate the magic of "Pumped Up Kicks," the single that put Foster the People on the map, and the band wisely chooses to pursue a different kind of alchemy in their third album. Here you’ll find the deceptively upbeat, multi-layered sound that you fell for in Torches, just more grown-up and experimental.

Spin these: "SHC," "Sit Next to Me," "Static Space Lover"

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  1. The Vamps: Night & Day (Night Edition)

Remember the height of the boy band resurgence a few years ago? Sigh, those were the days. In this age of solo career launches (see: Harry, Zayn, Niall, Liam, Louis), it's refreshing to see The Vamps still making music together and making hearts aflutter with flirty, radio-friendly songs—the standouts in the first part of their third album. (The second part, Day, is set for release in December.)

Spin these: "Middle of the Night," "Hands," "It's a Lie"


  1. Capital Cities: Swimming Pool Summer

Proving that their breakout single "Safe and Sound" was no fluke, Capital Cities is back with a new collection of synth dance pop songs that'll lift you up on the dreariest days. The rainy season may be upon us, but warm sunny skies don't seem too far away with Swimming Pool Summer, which is technically an EP but is just too good to not include in this list.

  1. Keiko Necesario: Escape

Another EP we love is local singer-songwriter Keiko Necesario's Escape. Online rollout of the EP is still ongoing, but you can get a sneak peek of her powerful pipes and heart-on-sleeve lyrics in the video above.

  1. James Reid: Palm Dreams

As much as we love Basti and Clark, we always felt like the real James Reid was very, very different from the characters he became famous for. In his new R&B album (not his first but definitely the first album where he has full creative control), we get a peek of the real him: unapologetically sensual with a confident swagger that only a guy who knows exactly what he's doing can pull off. James gets some assist from his ride-or-die including Sam Concepcion, Paulo Tiongson a.k.a. Poor Taste, and of course, his girl Nadine Lustre, who joins him on I"L2LU." We imagine that Palm Dreams is largely about and dedicated to Nadine, which just gives that extra shimmer to this smooth collection.


Spin these: "Cool Down," "IL2LU," "Forever"

Which one got the highest play count from you this month? Share your favorite tracks with us below or tweet us @candymagdotcom to join the conversation!









About the author
Dyan Zarzuela
Council of Cool 9, Managing Editor, Columnist
Stalks celebrities, watches TV, marathons movies, curls up with books, and flails at concerts for a living. Also: semi-hardcore Whovian.

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"Bloodlines are nothing when you don't know how to fulfill your responsibility as a parent."
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Today, I am sharing my mother's story. I wish my mother was a constant in my life, like an angel who guards you to sleep and comes right there when you called. But angels come back home too, in heaven where they always belonged, and my mother went back a little early. My mother died when I was 13 years old. My last memory of my mother: Letting go when you are not yet ready is a very cruel thing that one has to ever experience. It is a sudden wave of total sadness and desperation crashing into your very core.

On the 28th of July 2013, we went to a resort in Bataan for the employees’ getaway. My parents own a 7-11 franchise, and it had always been a tradition to give their store clerks a get-together every year. I remember very well the last breakfast I had with my mother. The Sunday morning sky was clear and sunny, and the sea was calm and tranquil as we ate our breakfast on a cottage under the tall palm trees. She shared with us a strange dream she had the other night. She dreamt about an unknown woman holding an ice pick chasing her down on a dimly lit street, then she woke up just before the woman could grab her arm. We never knew what that dream exactly meant and now, I wished I never knew its meaning. After breakfast, my family and our employees decided to take a swim at the beach. The day was nice. The morning air may be chilly but the sun’s kiss on our skins gave us warmth. It was perfect. Everything is fine and the tides are low which made it very enjoyable to swim. We swam a little farther from the shore and we stopped to the point where the water reached our shoulders. We were talking about the good things in life and reminiscing the good old days. Those are the things that I’ve always loved about my family because I never had a meaningless conversation with them.

A few moments later, we heard a panicking call for help from one of our store clerks. It was Rachel. She was struggling to keep her head above water. She was already drowning but the odd thing was, she was only a few feet away from us. At first, we thought she was just playing around until we felt the sand in our toes dissolving like powder. It felt like as if the seafloor submerged deeper. I remembered sighting the shore and it seemed so close yet very far away. We were all panicking at that time. No one knew how to swim except my mother so without having second thoughts she swam towards Rachel and called out to my father, “Yung mga anak mo! Dalhin mo sa pampang yung mga anak mo!” and I never thought I already heard my mother’s last words to my father. I was paddling like a dog, gasping for air, as I say a little prayer to God to take us all back to safety. I felt my father grabbing our swimsuits, trying to lift our bodies so we can breathe even though he was also struggling to keep himself alive. Once I felt my toes touch the ground, there came a veil of relief that covered my whole body. As soon as my father and my sister made it to the shore we started calling out for help. There were no lifeguards on duty at that time, no personnel, nor guards. I saw my mother already floating in her stomach. We sighted a boat sailing nearby, we waved our hands and called for their attention. They almost ignored us because they cannot comprehend what we were trying to relay but the good thing was a passenger in the boat noticed my mother and Rachel in the water.

My mother’s body was laid on the shore. She was unconscious and her whole body was pale as white. My father performed CPR but my mother couldn’t get the water come out of her mouth because the food she ate earlier got stuck in her throat and blocked the passage. A concerned tourist offered his car to deliver my mom in a nearby health center or a clinic of some sort since the hospital was miles away from the beach and she needs immediate care. My father told us to stay in the hotel room and prepare mom’s belongings so that if she wakes up she has fresh clothes to change into. My sister and I finished packing our things and waited for our father to pick us up from the hotel. I was crying and I couldn’t stop myself because I was afraid to lose my mother. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I lose her that day. Moments lasted until we heard a knock on the door and it was my father, crying, and apologizing to us. He hugged me and my sister tightly and saying, “Sorry, anak, sorry hindi na uuwi si mommy, sorry hindi ko nasagip si mommy”. And that was the moment I felt sinking into the ground. I never knew what to feel at first. I was numb because my worries were now actually a reality that I have to live in. I was at shock because I am now one of the kids in those cliche teleseryes who lost a mother at an early age. We went to the health center to settle everything. The clinic was very small and it sure did lack equipment. He told us to stay in the car. I wanted to see my mom, but I know he never wanted us to see her like that. I didn’t know what to feel. I was having high anxiety levels that my stomach is churning and I wanted to vomit. I got off the car and entered the health center to find the restroom. When I was finding my way around, I passed by the emergency room. I saw my mother lying in a foldable bed, lifeless, her hands dangling from the side of the bed, she has violet bruises on her skin, and her body was partially covered with a white towel.

That is when it sunk into me that she’s dead and never coming back. My father asked the others to just commute back to Manila because what we need right now is comfort from our family. The drive back home was one of the most painful memory I had as a kid. My father was in the steering wheel crying his eyes out. We drove from Bataan to Pampanga. We went home to my grandmother’s house, the nearest house that we can call “home” because how are we still going to be “home” without her?

Once we reached Pampanga, we stopped over to the gas station and my father made some calls to our loved ones to tell them that my mother passed away. He then called my aunt to help him arrange for the funeral. We got home and my grandmother hugged us and told us to get some rest. Already tired of crying, I went to sleep for a while. I woke up and for a second, I thought everything that happened the other day was all just a dream. That she was there in Manila, sitting on the couch reading some furniture magazine, waiting for us to go home. But that’s how cruel life is, right? I got up and weirdly, I felt sands in the bed. It was gray, just like the ones on the beach. I thought maybe it was just dirt but it was a fair amount to believe that maybe she visited us before she left. - ?

- The part of how I conquered the grief of her passing is shared in my personal blog. I felt the need to share my story with everyone since she's the woman I look up to. Feel free to visit my personal blog too when you have the time. I love writing my stories. Thank You! link:

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