Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy tenth, UDD!

One of my favorite local bands, Up Dharma Down, just turned ten last March 9.
Screenshot from @armimillare's Instagram

I love this band so much. I've been raving about them since I fell in love with their songs "Oo" and "Tadhana."

You could go and back-read some of my accounts online and it will in one way or another contain a lyric or a video of UDD or even an entire post about the band. I love Armi's voice. I love how they tug the strings of my heart every single time. I regret that I learned of them late 2009 (or a little earlier than that). I would've seen them play up close. I've already watched them perform live twice, in UST Paskuhan 2010 and Tanduay Rhum Rockfest VI 2012, but those were far encounters. I want something close. Like that of Coach Rio's proposal to his now wife, Nicole Wuthrich-Dela Cruz. That was sweet. I envy those who went to Van Gogh Is Bipolar's Madhatter's Masquerade Ball, I wasn't aware that Armi would be there. I was sad I missed them perform in front of Project Pie where I was just days ago before they were there. I regret not being able to go to the Capacities launch in November 28, 2012, (yep, I am good with dates).  And I hate all the times I missed their gigs, but I will go to one soonest, hopefully (So, join me, pretty please?). For now, thanks to Youtube for the incredible videos of the live and  recorded performances I could play whenever I need my UDD fix.

However, this is not about me and my rants in missing them perform. This is about Up Dharma Down and why we should be applauding the ten years they have been making good music and bringing pride to the local music industry.

I could go on praising and giving ten reason why we need to listen to them or celebrate their music or explain why most foreign indie bands choose them as their front act, but I won't do that. That is for you to discover and experience. I would only leave you my ten favorite UDD songs (in no particular order) with the lyrics I love and maybe a line or two on why I do. And hopefully, you will realize how and why I fell love with this band, too.

1.  Feelings

"Bland and bittersweet, wondering what went wrong, there goes all hope, there goes all hope/
"You left and you were right, so I have to let us down this time"

Every lyric of every UDD song is always remarkable, especially to me, a lyric lover. This is one of those. It streaks our feelings right from the start till the end. I love it. Beautifully written. Plus, the collab with Paul Buchanan of Nile River band. Heavenly voices in one good track.

2. Indak

"Makikinig ba ako sa aking isip na dati pa namang magulo, o iindak na lamang sa tibok ng puso mo at aasahan ko na lamang na hindi mo aapakan ang aking mga paa"

The fact that it is written in Filipino makes it more effective in conveying its message. I cannot deny this is one of my favorites. Replay button of my Itunes for this is insane. I'm glad it was part of Sana Dati's soundtrack. It added pain to the film, the kind of hurt I wanted to feel while watching that. The good kind of hurt for the fickle-minded.

3. Turn it Well

"Forty days, fortnights all we have every little often so, take my hand to help you learn to turn it well, maybe we could really turn it well"

While the first two were sad and nostalgic, this song shifts one's mood into something electro-happy. This is my feel-good morning song. The band kept evolving through the years and they could really turn it well. I hope this is not the last time we would be seeing Armi dance while performing.

4. Luna

"Bawat nakaw tingin sinasalo lang ng hangin, minamasdan ang saya ng puso mo sa piling ng iba, inaasam ang paglaya ng buwan na laging mag-isa"

Let's go back to sad because sad is what they do best. Luna is a sad and lonely song I could listen to this at night or on rainy days. The black and white music video suits the mood of this song, too.

5. Sana

"Nalilito na ako, hindi na dapat ganto. Nakaraan ay natapos at napagdaanan na. Bakit nasisindak pa sa tuwing naaalala? Matatauhan na wala ka na pala."/ 
"Kung babalik ka pa, hanggang kailan kaya ako dito mag-aabang na magdugtong na ang patlang? Ang kulang ay mapupunan wala nang makakahadlang, wala na yatang hihigit sa pangungulila ko. Iba na bang nagbibigay ng mga kailangan mo?

There will always be songs that you could relate the entire lyrics too. I think this is one of those for me. It is painful to hear  but I love how this song gets me and my feelings. "Umaasa sa natitirang sana" is such a wristcutter line (Disclaimer: Not emo) You should listen to UDD too, and believe me, you will encounter one song that will hit you. There's always one UDD track for every listener.

6. Taya

"Huli na ang lahat para bawiin ang hindi nararapat"/
"Nagtataka ako, bakit siyang pinili mo?

This is poetry in a song. The rest I have to say is already here: On repeat

7. We give in Sometimes

"Hear my confessions, lingering intentions"

Another beautifully written song. It is short but bittersweet. I see myself meditating to this song by the beach. The tune is just so relaxing.

8. Kaibigan

"Iniwanan ka ng minamahal mo sa buhay ng bigla. Sinamba mo siya, binigyan mo ng lahat at biglang nawala."

Because why not? This is part of KaminAPo muna tribute for the Apo Hiking Society. I think no other band could could revive Kaibigan as beautiful as this, but that's just me.

9. Tadhana + Oo

"Sa hindi inaasahang, pagtatagpo ng mga mundo. May minsan lang na nagdugtong, damang-dama na ang ugong nito"/
"Baka sakali lang maisip mo naman, puro siya na lang. Sana ako naman, 'di mo lang alam ika'y minamasdan. Sana iyong mamalayang hindi mo lang pala alam"

Well, this one's a cheat. I could never miss these two UDD songs I first heard back in College. These two are timeless, like Sana and they won my heart from the start.

10. Thinker

"When I try to say goodbye, you stop me on my feet and push me up to lead the way and there you go leaving while I stay down believing."/
"But you let me slip through your fingers and expect me just to stay behind it all"

Capacities I must say is one of their best albums so far, and this track is one of those gems. It's new electro-The XX-feels is just  too pleasant to hear.

 Give credit where credit is due, this band has earned it. Happy birthday, UDD!

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