Thanks in part to the popularity of White Shoes and the Couple Company, Abdul and the Coffee Theory, as well as Mocca, Indonesian bands have often been regarded as the region’s indie-pop trendsetters and standard bearers. However, in recent years, The Gentle Isolation and Dream Carousel from the Philippines have challenged the status quo with a string of breezily melodic tunes, and another outfit at the forefront of the Filipino indie-pop renaissance The Camerawalls are in town this month to showcase their brand of easy-listening ’60s softrock.
Formed in Manila in 2007, the four-piece first burst onto the scene with 2008’s ‘Pocket Guide to the Otherworld’ record that featured the jangly guitar-centric single ‘Clinically Dead for Sixteen Hours’ before following up with the ‘Bread and Circuses’ EP two years later. The Camerawalls, who opened for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart during the New York City band’s Manila gig earlier this year, comprises singer-songwriter Clementine Castro, guitarist George Carillo, bassist Law Santiago and Bach Rudica on drums. Frontman Clementine, who established famed independent record label Lilystar Records in 2008, lends his smooth and soft vocals to twee gems like ‘My Life’s Arithmetic Means’, which is backed by the quartet’s signature poetic lyricism and lush layers of instrumentation that include the use of native traditional Rondalla folk music. Wong Boon Ken