“We Exist,” a project four years in the making, will be released at a music and art event at saGuijo on February 9.
WORDS BY KENDRICK GO
After years of waiting, the people calling for music collective Createurs to release an album can finally… wait just a little bit longer.
As reported by Manileño last year, it was supposed to be launched in January 2019, a speculated date revealed by its founder and lead singer Rain Garalde. In later reports, meanwhile, the exact day of the launch was said to be on the 26th of that month. There was, however, a complication.
“Ever since the creation of the album,” he said, “saGuijo is really on our top 1 spot for our launch.” But the place is something of a hotspot, one of the most enduring venues dedicated for live music in Metro Manila. And on the 26th of January, it was booked for an Eraserheads no less. This is why Createurs was forced to move the launch to the 9th of February. It was later than expected but the group was nonetheless satisfied.
“We’re really happy that we were able to secure the venue [for that day,]” he said. “The atmosphere, location, the ambiance, the slight eerieness; it really complements our album.” And this has a lot to do with its theme.
Entitled “We Exist,” Createurs’ debut album is a compilation of 12 songs mostly dealing with the monstrous sides of the human psyche. Inspired by mad scientists, Western literature and the things that go bump in the night, it is a somewhat one-hour collection of musical creature features written by Garalde and realized by a wide pool of contributing musicians. It isn’t a product of the horror genre, however. Dealing with the subjects like mortality, romance, and moral dilemmas among others, “We Exist” is an album that’s all too human. And it is one that people have been waiting for.
“People have been asking about it,” he said during his interview with Manileño last year. And the anticipation has apparently increased following a listening party the group held in 2018. “The people who attended… responded positively in regards to the album,” he shared adding that it has left him rather uneasy.
“[I’m] Extremely excited and at the same time anxious,” he shared. “Anxious [because] of how people would react to the overall sound of the album. But then again, excited because finally, after four years of hard work and struggles, here it is, ready to unveil itself to the world.”
Organized in partnership with Project 4 Productions, the launch of “We Exist” promises to have the common elements one would find in album release parties. With gates opening at 7 pm, music will be played courtesy of Aoui, Thirds, Reckless Thursday, Full Pledge Revenge, and Not Informed while copies of the album will also be sold at 350php. To make the event more memorable, however, the group also tapped visual artists to hold a complementary exhibit of works nearby.
“The invited artists are Francis Jacob, Hannah Fernando, Pluzyllustration, and Star Box,” Garalde said. “We made it this way so that whether you’re inside or outside the saGuijo house, you have something to do. Music on the inside, art fair on the outside.”
This is a kind of collaboration Createurs isn’t new to. Since the group started in 2014, after all, it has developed into something of a close-knit community that involves not just musicians but visual artists as well. It wasn’t conceived to be a band per se. It was supposed to be a solo art project pursued by Garalde through collaborations with various artist; think Antony and the Johnson’s with Garalde playing the role of ANOHNI. Eventually, it grew to have a fixed live band now composed of the lead vocalist and four other people: drummer Cyro Albino, guitarist Adrien Paylago, bassist Lance Michael Gabat, and keyboardist Macy Melgar. Despite this development, however, the group maintained a collaborative nature, one that saw artists contributing on a per-track basis. It also collaborated with visual artists and, because of that, “We Exist” became both an aural and visual experience. Each track in the album came with a whimsical artwork courtesy of the following: Hope San Pedro (for Pancake Remix,) Hyamei (for Tides and Lifelines,) Meagan Macarat (for Teragram Carnivale,) Enzo Vamente (for Facemask,) Henessy Villasenor (for Trigger Warning,) Pia Gajasan, Myra Lim and Kasumi Miyahara (for the Curious Life of Mr. Hyde 2,) Shannie Zotomayor and Carrot (for Pianocktail,) Jessica Sarmiento (for Chat Box Alaska,) Starbox (for Awful Things the Moon Saw,) Jamuel Bernaldez (for St. Cecille,) Nathan Arches (for Bloodstream) and Myzyl Choi (for Stellar Memories.)
“It’s really an album that involved many people,” he said during his interview with Manileno for an earlier feature. And they plan to do more of that in the future.
After the album’s launch, Garalde said that the group will take a month-long break and try to get back to work right after. Talks about a follow up to “We Exist” have already begun he said and they plan to surpass the work they did with the current album.
“We want to focus on a minimal number of songs and really curate it,” he said. “We also want to review our old songs, take notes from comments and compliments we received, and learn how to improve our songs more.”
He can only guess as to how long it might actually take to produce something out of such efforts. After all, it did take the group four years to make its debut album. Createurs, however, can take comfort in one fact: that it has followers who have proven that they are actually willing to wait. And come the 9th, their wait will be over.