Just one spin of the album No Water, No Moon, Bamboo Mañalac's first solo release under PolyEast Records, and it's clear there is life beyond his career as frontman.
"Nothing's changed. It's the same pressure that I've always put on myself. Whether in a band or going out on my own, or whatever I do. Just wanting to push, claw and climb," Mañalac said in an interview.
Mañalac's debut album was released in the market last November 20 by Polyeast Records. Produced and compositions by Mañalac himself, the album preceded by the lead single "Questions" which debuted the radio stations nationwide last September 22 accompanied by a music video co-direction with Treb Monteras III.
Come December 4, No Water, No Moon will be officially launched on ASAP Rocks! This will be followed by in-store CD signing / meet & greet at Odyssey SM Megamall (4PM) and Astroplus SM Mall of Asia (7PM). Those who will join the signing will get free Bamboo baler and poster plus a chance to be a part of the CD launch in partner with PONY.
"Questions" however gave us a glimpse of the polished-pop direction Mañalac's music is heading: towards on-trend synth chord progressions with cascading backup strings.
Mañalac says about this song: "I felt this was a good intro to the album because it has a lot of colors and instrumentation that we have in the album in just one song. The song is personal but I thought it spoke of human experience."
Mañalac continued sharing his thoughts about the album title, "It's a Japanese Koan. Something I've read from time to time over the years. I never thought of it as a album title but when it came down to choosing one and basing it on the general tone and sound of the album and what the koan meant for me. It just fit with the album's concept."
The release includes such songs as "In Shadow", "Please", "Morning Rose", "Back on my Feet", "Spin", "In This Life", "Down the Line", "All Hail the Fool", "The Only Way", "Just Go" and a bonus track and only Tagalog song in the album "Ikot ng Mundo."
"The songs just draw from my own personal church of music. The stuff I sit around listening to. So I see this album as homage to my favourites. The idea was to still continue doing what I enjoyed when I was with a band. Some songs have an element of hearing it again for the first time because of what the other players brought to the pot."
Paving his own name from a band's frontman to a solo act, is no easy feat. That did not stop Mañalac's ambitious resolve to conjure up a new and eclectic set. Teamed with some of the top musicians in the music industry like Ria Osorio, Kakoy Legaspi, Jun Jun Regalado, Bong Gonzales and Simon Tan, he presents his musical visions as he says, "I wanted to find a chemistry between the players that made me feel like we've been playing together as a band for years. So the process was longer than usual from my experience and we hit a snag or two along the way."
As Mañalac goes back to what he's known for, he's also back with depth and personal nature of his lyrics, coupled with his cool, smooth voice and brilliantly adept song writing capabilities.
Mañalac, who produced and wrote most of the songs, has been in the U.S. for mixing at Hyde Street Studios by Scott Mcdowell and final mastering of the album by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters. He also visited parts of the U.S. like New York City and California to Canada.
Mañalac's infusion of rock, pop, jazz and bluegrass melodies along with a 12-piece orchestra to create a collection of hypnotic, genre-bending material shows renewed confidence from musician unafraid to stride beyond industry expectations. "It's a restart. The whole process from start to finish was different from all the years I've been doing this. It was just great to relearn a lot of the stuff and get that joy back again, "Mañalac shared.
1. In Shadow
3. Morning Rose
4. Back on my Feet
7. In This Life
8. Down the Line
9. All Hail the Fool
10. The Only Way
11. Just Go
12. Ikot ng Mundo (Bonus Track)