ALAMAT had a surprise announcement before PPop Con launched: they would have a live comeback. Instead of a pop-like dance number (which they're known for), the strains of a ballad swept through the Big Dome and into the imaginations of the live and online audiences. Described as a "pop rock-tinged ballad," the music is the exact opposite of everything ALAMAT has released to date, and we are addicted to ALAMAT's new sound. Let's find out more.
A Rough Start to A New Year
2022 has been a rough year for ALAMAT. In the wave of their first release of the year, 'ABKD' (ABCD), two bandmates announced they were leaving for personal and health reasons. They were down one Bisaya artist, Gami, and their only Hiligaynon singer, Valfer. For a group defined by their multicultural and multilingual music, the loss was devastating. Magiliws and the rest of the music world were worried, firstly for the health of their biases. As the dust settled, another question arose: What would ALAMAT sound like now? This pain and heartbreak seem to permeate their new song and bring out a more mature side in the boys.
With the depth of emotion tearing through each note, the group is flexing a new balance that celebrates the unique vocals of all the remaining members.
Being down two members (and three since their debut in 2021) should have weakened the vocal power of the now six-member group. 'Sa Panaginip Na Lang' finds the balance of vocals among the members, bringing an overall smooth sound that we love. In particular, we've never heard Mo and Tomas shine so brightly in an ALAMAT song, especially since it's a ballad. With the depth of emotion tearing through each note, the group is flexing a new balance that celebrates the unique vocals of all the remaining members. R-Ji rightly keeps his space as a lead vocal, but the placing now allows for sub-vocals Jao and Taneo, along with rapper Alas, a chance to show us the true extent of their talents.
It's All In The Words
It's enough to make you want to drown your sorrows in a tub of chocolate while listening to the song on repeat.
ALAMAT seems to be exploring another facet of their musicality with 'Sa Panaginip Na Lang.' Their usual songs focus on cultural and social issues, but this ballad is from a personal perspective. The choice to stay in a dream world where the object of their affections lives isn't a typical subject for them. Their experiment into the world of hugot (songs of unrequited love), a mainstay of Original Pilipino Music or OPM, is a massive success.
How can you not be moved by lyrics like: "tanggap mo ako kahit di ako perpekto" (you accept me even though I'm not perfect)? It's enough to make you want to drown your sorrows in a tub of chocolate while listening to the song on repeat.
The credits to the music video reveal a familiar name to us: Japs Mendoza of P-Pop band The Juans is unexpected as a collaborator for mixing and mastering. The rest of the team has been part of ALAMAT's previous songs, but Mendoza is the new addition. Known for his heartfelt lyrics and music, this branching out makes us hope they have another project together soon.
Relatable Looks Good on Them
With their relatable aesthetic and deeply emotional delivery, the music video is one we'd like to watch on repeat.
The music and lyrics aren't the only things that have changed for ALAMAT with the release of 'Sa Panaginip Na Lang.' Coming from a history of sensational music videos like 'Kasmala' (Strong) and 'kbye,' everything about this new release breaks that mold. Appearing in two costumes, the boys of ALAMAT have never looked more comfortable in their own skin. It makes sense since the members styled themselves in their casual outfits. Seeing a part of the boys expressed in their wardrobe and hair makes them more relatable than we ever imagine and thrusts their emotion into the foreground. Even their second outfits, casual business suits styled by Jhay Layson, bring a softness to the video that makes it seem comfortable.
The landscape of the music video only serves to highlight the calming visuals. The music video is filmed in two locations: one indoor and one on the tarmac of an airport. Something about the airport seems to highlight the sense of longing in the song, as though the one they love is far removed from them. Perhaps it's that it's set in the daytime, in real life, when the person they love isn't there? The moodily lit interior location heavily features them in their suits, highlighting intense colors that bring life and heightened emotion to each dream-like moment. With their relatable aesthetic and deeply emotional delivery, the music video is one we'd like to watch on repeat. Let's be honest; we have been watching it on repeat since its release.
The New Sound of a New Era
ALAMAT offers endless promise with this new song. The songs of their past may never be the same, but their new sound is something to grasp and hold tight to as they move forward.
ALAMAT offers endless promise with this new song. Their past songs may never be the same, but their new sound is something to grasp and hold tight to as they move forward. We don't know what ALAMAT has in store, but we are manifesting more music like 'Sa Panaginip Na Lang.' Rough year aside, ALAMAT is stronger than ever and ready to define a new era in its music, style, and image.