Clementine Castro’s first outing under his solo monicker, Dragonfly Collector, is quite interesting. Anyone who’s heard the first single off it, “There Is No Remaining In Place”, would notice that there’s a surprisingly different drive powering that track through – and that applies to this album, which went through a longer than usual gestation period, culminating in a crowdfunding campaign. The World Is Your Oyster, of course, has Clem’s trademark kundiman-inspired indie pop, but the mix of influences is diverse, from French traditions (in the title track) to a bit of 70s soul (on “Timothy, My Own Timothy”). And then there’s his storytelling, a talent that just gets better and better with each record he turns out, from previous and current bands alike. If anything, don’t let this fly under your radar. [NB] | 4/5
“There Is No Remaining In Place” by Dragonfly Collector | Sometimes you feel this guy just won’t rest, even if he’s mostly flown under the radar since his really big days all those years ago. Clementine Castro has gone from Orange and Lemons to the Camerawalls, and now, he’s releasing a solo record, tying in with his ten years in the business, under the moniker Dragonfly Collector. (So folksy.) His first single is a Jeff Buckley-esque weeper, something I did not expect from the indie pop luminary. I mean, in his previous bands he always had (and correct me if I’m wrong) kundiman-influenced pop, definitely with a touch of obscure 80s new wave-y pop. But now he’s steaming, he’s raging, and it all feels just right. You can now buy this track online, or get it for free if you join his mailing list, or donate to the Red Cross. The World is Your Oyster, his debut solo record, will hit stores in March. [NB]
In the past few years we’ve seen more relatively out-of-mainstream acts perform in Manila. Gone, it seems, are the times when the only foreign artists who would stop here are 60s and 70s bands targeting baby boomers, or the obviously big pop acts. Now we’ve had visits from Grimes, the xx and Tegan and Sara. We’ve had the Wanderland Festival last April, an attempt at bringing summer festival culture to the Philippines (albeit with half of the line-up being Aussie acts with, likely, a very small following). And, of course, there were the bigger acts, like Joss Stone at Malasimbo (which has been going on for a while and has been, so far, mostly under the radar) and, last month, the Killers.