PODCASTS

Spotify’s new Filipino shows remind us of the appeal of radio shows

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Music + Talk experience brings music tracks and spoken word commentary into one neat auditory package. Photos from SPOTIFY

Before personal listening devices (or now, mobile phones) became the norm, we grew up at the mercy of a moving vehicle’s designated DJ. Rides to and from school embedded in us permanent memories of radio station IDs, talk show hosts, annoying commercials, and the occasional hit song that we’ve been dying to hear. To some, that feeling has been long gone now — thanks, in part, to the fact that no one goes to school anymore — but also because we’re now accustomed to hearing our favorite songs whenever we want to.

Streaming platform Spotify has brought back that feeling through their new Music + Talk experience, which brings music tracks and spoken word commentary into one neat auditory package. Freshly launched in the Philippines, listeners can now enjoy an array of locally made shows by known Filipino creators who are adding more context and depth to the songs that we enjoy.

While there is a growing library of global Music + Talk shows on the app, Spotify’s local selection features the following shows: “Soundtrip with Jugs & Teddy,” a podcast in which “It’s Showtime” hosts and musicians Jugs Jugueta and Teddy Corpuz study some of OPM’s biggest hits and the stories behind them. In the premiere episode, “Songs that Made Us,” they talk about their first consciousness of OPM, growing up in an environment where their music was primarily foreign. Some notable songs include “Beautiful Girl” by Jose Mari Chan and “Tell Me” by Joey Albert.

“Makinig Ka Muna with Jim & Saab,” a sort of advice column/listening show hybrid where they answer letters sent by their listeners and recommend songs that might help them through tough times. For the first episode, titled “When Your Boyfriend Has No Ambitions,” they make a playlist for a letter sender who’s getting tired of her relationship with her “bum boyfriend.” Expect songs from Death Cab for Cutie, The National, and more.

Finally, “Worms Upon a Time: An Itchyworms Podcast,” in which the local band Itchyworms dives deep into their favorite tracks in the last two decades. The first episode focuses on their new song “Eto Na (Ang Maliligayang Araw),” released just in time for their 25th anniversary, and covers their influences and composition work. The band even humorously argues over which part of the song is the first verse of the chorus.

Although podcasts have long been available on the platform, the new Music + Talk configuration also adds a nifty feature on the interface: under each episode summary, listeners can easily access the song being played within the episode. (In the case of “Makinig Ka Muna’s” first episode, the highlighted tracks are separated in parts, to identify which song goes with each letter on the show.) More than anything, Music + Talk might just help deepen our appreciation of local music history and shed light on the work of Filipino songwriters and composers. It’s a great blend of on-demand listening and once again, allowing a DJ to lead us to the songs that might unlock something new within us.

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Music + Talk is available to both premium and free Spotify listeners.