The song that led this five-piece band out of obscurity.
WORDS BY KENDRICK GO
Last year, when songwriter Lewis Tiongco searched for the past, he journeyed through a “Cold Misty Road” and found, instead, the future.
It happened August of 2017. In the midst of a broken heart and the hiatus of his band Mt. Lewis, Tiongco wrote “Cold Misty Road” while taking inspiration from a mood board of elements that can cause one to take a bittersweet look at the past: from restrictive bed weather to countless cigarettes.
“It’s about the feeling of longing for your old lover to come back,” Tiongco shared. And it was also supposed to be a personal project of his. This didn’t end up being the case, however. Following the completion of the song, Tiongco called up his bandmates: bassist Ezekiel Mallari, drummer Gael Santos, keyboardist Heinrich Bernabe, and rhythm guitarist Josef Anton Alfonso. They jammed, explored the track, found the kind of music they want to produce and realized immediately after that they want their group to continue.
“It was supposed to be a personal draft song,” he said. “[I] didn’t expect it to be the band’s debut song,” But that, apparently, was the surprise waiting for him at the end of the journey he took by writing it.
In “Cold Misty Road,” the band taps a wide range of influences: from blues to jazz, to reggae just to name a few. And the end result comes across as a sensual retelling of one’s journey home. Its title, its lyrics (talking about the longing for “curves” and one’s “naked skin under moonlight,”) as well as its slow but pronounced drumming can mimic the ambiance of a tired, bumpy car ride kept going by loving anticipation. It may have been written with a broken heart but the end product can feel like a hopeful road trip to reconciliation—one that was a struggle to fully realize, so he said.
“All of it was DIY,” he said. They recorded the track in Mallari’s bedroom, used non-authorized sound equipment and apparently, Mallari spent “countless nights of mastering and mixing the song.” “It took a lot of revisions and changes in arrangements before the final take,” he said. But, he insisted that all the work involved with it was rewarding.
“[It] all of it paid off after we heard the official record,” he said. And now others can hear it too. Just recently, the song got released on Spotify and the band is currently taking steps to promote it. And after that, the work continues.
“This Christmas break we’re planning to record all of our songs to be released sometime in February,” Tiongco shared. Where that will lead to only time will tell. The future, after all, can be a “Cold Misty Road” on its own right. But as this song suggests, it may be a journey worth taking.