“Hindi na tayo katulad ng dati.”

“Burnout” by Sugarfree | I haven’t written on this blog enough about Sugarfree. Surprisingly – they’re my first favorite local band. I keep on making mental notes about making commemorative posts surrounding the release of their first two albums, but then I forget about it. Now we’re closing down, I guess I’m trying to make up for it. I discovered Sugarfree, like most of us, on the radio, but by then they had begun creeping out into the mainstream – I think I first heard “Telepono” on RX. Dramachine, their second release, remains one of those really good, all-killer-no-filler local albums of the past couple of decades. But I still have a soft spot for the songs of their debut, Sa Wakas, of how it introduced us to the bittersweet nature of Ebe, Jal and Mitch. “Burnout” was the second single, if I recall correctly, and it felt just a bit more painful. And then it makes sense. It’s time to go, even if you don’t want to. [NB]

“…hinding-hindi makasabay sa hangin ng aking buhay.”

“Hari Ng Sablay” by Sugarfree | We’ve been doing this feature for three years now, and only now are we getting around to Sugarfree. I have waited for so long to be able to add them to the list. (Just in time, turns out, for yesterday their entire discography went live on Spotify.) I have also agonized for so long about what song to put in. Sure, “Hari Ng Sablay” is the obvious choice, a track whose conceit alone brought it to the zeitgeist. But I have been into the band from the moment I first heard “Telepono” in a car in Alabang. I sang my heart out to “Mariposa”, cried my heart (figuratively) out to “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak”… I have seen them a few times – they were all school gigs; Ebe Dancel would always slot “DLSU” in the lyrics for “Dear Kuya” – and while I wasn’t there at their farewell gig, my heart broke nonetheless. I’ve always known this deserves a theme week. But Sugarfree – yes, a band whose musical ambitions belied their frills-free exterior; whose crunchy musicality, keen sentimentality and occasional winks to the listener endeared them to millions. I can’t not include them. [NB]

“From now on, your troubles will be out of sight.”

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Ebe Dancel | I know. It’s too late to post a Christmas song, but Adrian (him again!) sent this recommendation in during the blog’s break and I only got to post this now. If you don’t feel like going to work yet (and you have to, it’s already the 7th) well, here’s one for you. Also, it’s Ebe Dancel. What could go wrong? (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)