A week of whistling, day seven: Nicksy’s third pick

“Huwag Na Lang Kaya” by True Faith | But of course I have to write about this song. It’s not a universally-known one, but anyone who knows this (and there’s a lot of them) will first think of the whistling that forms the backbone of the chorus, that hint of fatalism in Medwin Marfil’s soothing vocal. (Not his whistle, apparently.) This, however, isn’t my favorite True Faith song: it would be “Minsan (Lang Ako Umibig)”, the last track off their first best-of album released in 2000, which my father bought, which introduced me to a band I always heard of but never really got to listen to. That compilation also had “Muntik Nang Maabot Ang Langit”, which Ely Buendia name-checked on the Eraserheads’ “Kamasupra”. But I digress. Back to the song. Again, that whistle of submission. Oh, man, never mind. Like Jake Peralta to Amy Santiago last week. But, again, I digress. [NB]

A week of whistling, day six: Rainy’s third pick

“The Twisted Nerve” by Bernard Herrmann | I love psychological thrillers. That’s why Tess Gerritsen is the Suzanne Collins (or Meyer, if you’re a Twi-hard) of my teenage years. You might have also heard of this song from Kill Bill, or more recently, on the first installment of American Horror Story. Well, I freaking love AHS. If you haven’t seen it yet then you should. I’m just sayin’. Evan Peters’ character was a sicko and he was awesome at whistling this tune. The song starts with the promise of a feel-good ballad, and all of a sudden there’s this creepy whistling. And the violins. And all of a sudden I’m behind you, holding a knife because we need to carve roasted chicken. [SY] (Tomorrow: Niko picks a song for slightly drunk people wallowing in regret.)

A week of whistling, day five: Nicksy’s second pick

“Prinsesa” by Apo Hiking Society | Some of my earliest memories as a human was my first trip to Baguio. I was three years old. I remember only three things: how green the place was (definitely not anymore), how I wanted a glass of Nesquik from our host, and how we all listened to cassette tapes of Apo Hiking Society while we were driven around the city. My mother pointed out, two decades later, that I always liked Apo, that I’d stop and listen closely whenever one of their songs came on the radio – must be the vocal harmonies – but I’d only know more about them as a young adult, when the two tribute albums to the band were released, forcing me to go through their originals. (I was a 90s kid, so I mostly knew them as noontime show hosts, although of course I knew they had songs.) The Itchyworms covered “Prinsesa” on one of those compilations, and that had a whistling element too, but I will, of course, post the original, if only for the childhood factor, but mostly because those vocal harmonies – from three men who, by a few twists of fate, became one of the Philippines’ most celebrated musicians. [NB] (Tomorrow: Rainy goes for a spooky whistle from, for most of you, Kill Bill.)

A week of whistling, day four: Rainy’s second pick

“Stand Still” by Flight Facilities featuring Micky Green | This may well be my favorite Flight Facilities song. As a matter of fact, it is. They’re not interchangeable, but I always mistake this for Peter, Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks”. I equally love both, and I wish I had more slots – you can change “o” with a “u” if you’re into profane words – because I have a whole playlist of awesome whistling songs. The only irony is that I cannot whistle to save my life. [SY] (Tomorrow, Niko goes local with his second pick.)

A week of whistling, day three: Nicksy’s first pick

“Skinny Genes” by Eliza Doolittle | “I really don’t like your skinny jeans,” Eliza Doolittle sings in this summer-y hit, “so take them off for me.” Yep, this song – which I discovered from a hipster source via an inoffensive radio station for old people – is about sex. I mean, what else is the whistling for, right? Novelty songs did this. You whistle, cheekily, to cover up innuendo. In this case, the whistle is so incognito it ceases to become pervy. But I think that’s the charm of the former young Cosette’s early stuff. Her turn to more anthemic soul-pop in her sophomore release In Your Hands may be a bit hit and miss, but her first album was full of swingy, throwback-y, slightly twee, very summer-y things. What else explains the “tweet tweet” bridge on “Pack Up”? And then there’s “Skinny Genes”, her debut single, which is about a guy who’s good in bed and nowhere else. Must be an awkward situation to sing about… but then again, you prolly enjoyed the sex. [NB] (Tomorrow: Rainy takes a page from Niko’s Fantasy Festival line-up.)