Here Today, Coeli’s new EP, runs at only four tracks. Is it too short? The songs run at five minutes on average. Twenty-one minutes in total. Too long? This is a time-bending record. You don’t really realize how short (or long) it is, a testament to both Coeli’s songwriting and her vocals – confident, welcoming, alluring, even. We’re familiar with that, more or less. But her songs take on a life of their own when they land in your ears. “Magkaibigan o Magka-ibigan”, of course, benefits from its rondalla-esque approach, turning an old question into something with higher, more graceful stakes. But “Puno” best captures the spirit of Here Today: a song given the chance to breathe, to stretch out, meaning it can go on for as long as needed – and you don’t feel overburdened by the length or the subject. (The vocal interplay with Clara Benin is the cherry on top.) For a short EP Here Today weirdly sags in the second half, but then it’s likely me lingering on at the end of track two. But the beauty of the EP is in how it allows you to linger, how it makes its point without forcing your hand or rushing you. I must listen to it again. [NB] | 4/5
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on the blog, because I’ve mentioned it enough times to friends: Shalla and I are flying to Kuala Lumpur this November, our first trip together that’s just the two of us. (Also convenient: she finally gets to meet her friend Zaty after almost a decade of chatting. It’s absurd how I, the mere boyfriend, got to meet her first. Twice.) Last time I brought her a copy of The Neon Hour, which she reports was a suitable soundtrack for a long, impromptu night drive across Selangor’s highways. This time I plan to quintuple down and get her five CDs. That search has brought me to… well, to Satchmi, which has begun selling some CDs of local indie artists. And that’s where we begin the seventh (the seventh!) edition of the Local Outsider.