MORE THAN 10 years have passed since Filipino pop-rock group, Orange & Lemons disbanded acrimoniously, but now that most of the members have resolved their differences, the band has reformed and is releasing its first single in more than a decade.
“Pag-ibig sa Tabing Dagat” is described as a homage to the kundiman, the traditional Filipino love song.
Now that they’re back together, Clementine “Clem” Castro, the band’s de-facto leader, said in a June 6 press conference in Thai Street, Pasig City, that they feel ready to “take the chance to create an album” again, and while the new album is not set for release until early next year, Orange & Lemons is once again making its presence known with “Pag-ibig sa Tabing Dagat.”
“The new single is an old song. I have this habit of writing and writing songs and we just pick songs whenever we need an album,” Mr. Castro said before explaining that half of the songs in the band’s third album were written even before the first one came out.
Mr. Castro said the song was written in 2007 and was originally made for the bossa nova singer Sitti and was thus arranged with that feel, but since it wasn’t used, they re-arranged the song and made it theirs.
“The whole message of the song is about reminiscing,” Mr. Castro said, noting that it can be about remembering times spent with a loved one by the sea.
The single’s art was created by Mark Villanueva, an artist from Baliuag, Bulacan and features the profile of a woman looking out to sea.
The single is a precursor to an all-Filipino album they are creating, something they never tried to do before.
“We try not to repeat ourselves… [So we wanted] to challenge ourselves with an all-Filipino album,” Mr. Castro said.
REDOING A DEBUT
The band members initially came together again in 2017 to re-record its debut album, Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream, though Mr. Castro admitted that it was hard for the former members to find the time and the willingness to sit down and talk at first.
“Now, we just laugh about it. We were so young then,” Ace del Mundo, the band’s drummer, said.
Mr. Castro said they didn’t think of reuniting at first — they just wanted re-record the album, “fix [their] accents,” (the band’s English songs often had British accents because of their Beatles influence) and get it on streaming sites.
Orange & Lemons debuted in 1999, influenced by bands like the Eraserheads, the Beatles, and The Smiths. It launched its debut album, Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream in 2003, “(Just Like) A Splendid Love Song” was one of its 10 songs. The band was named Best New Artist for 2004 by radio station NU107 at that year’s NU Rock Awards.
The band’s original lineup was made up of Mr. Castro (vocals and guitar), Mcoy Fundales (vocals), JM del Mundo (bass), and Ace del Mundo (drums).
Mr. Fundales — who released his song “Bakit Kita Hahabulin” under AltG Records on May 30 — is not part of the reunited Orange & Lemons.
It was with the second album, Strike Whilst the Iron is Hot in 2005 that the band gained commercial success. The album spawned hits like “Hanggang Kailan (Umuwi Ka Na Baby),” “Heaven Knows (This Angel Has Flown),” and “Lihim.” That same year, the band did the official theme song, “Pinoy Ako,” for the reality TV series, Pinoy Big Brother.
The band’a third album — and the last before it broke up — was released in 2007. Called Moonlane Gardens, it included the singles, “Ang Katulad Mong Walang Katulad” and “Fade.”
Due to creative differences, the band split up: Mr. Castro created the three-piece indie-pop group Camerawalls, while the other three ex-Orange & Lemons members formed Kenyo.
Ten years later, the band — sans Mr. Fundales — came together in 2017 and headlined Moonlane Festival, a self-produced music festival. The band was joined by live keyboardist, Jared Nerona.
The band is set to film a music video for “Pag-ibig sa Tabing Dagat” and go on a multi-city tour of Canada in September. — Zsarlene B. Chua