For a brief period last year — 19 days to be exact — I put up a small section on the home page of this blog called “A Song A Day.” It’s where I posted daily notes about random songs, and I updated it every day just for kicks. I set some rules, too. The blurb must mention the title of the song and the name of the artist, and it must not exceed 100 words. Trip ko lang, haha.
It didn’t take long, though, before I decided to switch my blog’s design to its current theme. This grid-like layout isn’t really made for a customized landing page, and so I wasn’t able to push through with my mini project.
Anyway, I was able to recover the short notes that I wrote during that 19-day window, and I am sharing them with you on this post. I might consider resurrecting the paandar, but maybe later when the pandemic is over and I am back to a fixed 8-5 work schedule.
Aug 31 Lyla Foy’s “Impossible” reminds me of long drives late at night when I muse over my life and I tell myself—over, and over, and over again—that the only way to grow is to move forward. Can’t look back, can’t look back.
Sep 1 “Cigarette” by offonoff speaks of love as a heady glimpse of heaven. Its lo-fi beat drones on against the lovelorn vocals of Miso, and it features a verse from the brilliant rapper Tablo who writes, Like God, she gives life to my world with a “Can I get a light?”
Sep 2 When I was a teenager, I took Death Cab for Cutie’s “Grapevine Fires” as a nihilist anthem. Now that I’m older, I listen to it and I hear a call to action. California has had over 5,000 wildfires in 2020 alone. Australia’s most recent bushfire season lasted eight months, and many other South American forests, not just the Amazon, have been razed by flames. It’s only a matter of time / before we all burn.
Sep 3 There are days when the first thing that comes to mind when I wake up is not a thought but a tune, like a specific riff or a melody from some song. There was a week in June when my daily morning tune was the chorus of Cheats’ “Talk.” If only I could watch the band play live, I would sing aloud to every line in this song.
Sep 4 “Poetic Justice” is one of my favorite Kendrick Lamar songs. The Janet Jackson sample fits perfectly and I like these lines: I mean, I write poems in these songs dedicated to you when / you’re in the mood for empathy, there’s blood on my pen.
Sep 5 The Walters’ “Fancy Shoes” is a song for the lovestruck. There’s whiskey inside my veins / I’m feeling heavy and I can’t explain how I feel for you / You got me dizzy and feeling blue. Yep.
Sep 6 When I was a freshman in high school, the graduating seniors sang Sugarfree’s “Fade Away” to us during our final “bonding night.” It was their way of saying goodbye and telling us to make the most of our high school years. Days will turn into weeks, as the song says, and before we realize it, it will be our turn to leave.
Sep 7 Naiisip ko ‘yung isang kaibigan ko sa kantang “the 1” ni Taylor Swift. Kamusta na kaya siya? Ano kayang ginagawa niya ngayon? Mababása niya kaya ito? At kung binabasa mo nga ito — we were something, don’t you think so?
Sep 8 I was a very busy student last year. I spent many nights studying in the library until about 2 in the morning, and during sanity breaks I played the entire Kept In Mind album. “We’ll Be Fine” was one of my favourite tracks, though I genuinely loved all the songs.
Sep 9 When I was a kid I badly wanted to become a grown-up. Now that I am one — sigh. “Ain’t it Fun?” asks Paramore. Pakyu, says me.
Sep 10 Antje Duvekot’s “Long Way” was in my mind the day I left the Philippines. I was in my early 20s then and I had no idea what I wanted to do, much less what I was going to become. Almost 10 years later and I am still stuck in the same spiritual rut — what do I do now? Where do I go next? This time I can no longer just pack my bags and leave. Tita Antje was right: it’s a long, long, long way indeed.
Sep 11 “Uncertainly” by Ourselves the Elves is one of my go-to songs whenever I’m pining for a boy. I wasn’t sure you understood / that I feel a certain way / but I don’t want things to change. Aww. 💔
Sep 12 Do you ever listen to songs that have absolutely nothing to do with your life — you have no idea what it feels like to be in the singer’s shoes, you have in no way smoked what the singer has smoked — and yet you appreciate the music anyway? That’s exactly what I feel about Kiana Valenciano’s “Does She Know.”
Sep 13 I first listened to Color It Red’s “I Need You Here” when I was in high school, which was over 10 years later after the song was released. I don’t remember exactly how I heard of it — probably through a teacher or a higher-year — but ten more years later and I still dig it.
Sep 14 Every time I listen to Bleachers’ “Rollercoaster,” I always feel like singing along to the line that says, we were shot gun lovers / I’m a shot gun running away. Actually everything from the first verse all the way to the chorus is a catchy delight. And that build up? Bop! 👌
Sep 15 Sometime in 2018, I dreamt about Panama Wedding’s “Infinite High” being the World Cup Finals’ official theme song. It didn’t happen in real life — the song wasn’t even close to a typical World Cup anthem about raising flags or sharing some collective pride bullshit — but, uhh, at least Panama the country made it to the finals.
Sep 16 May isang summer na paulit-ulit ko lang pinakinggan itong “Randomantic” ni James Reid. Gustong-gusto ko ang linyang lahat ay dahil wala lang, at kilig na kilig ako sa hirit na, o kaya ililibre kita ng sine / kahit ‘di ko trip ay sige. Lakas! Sana nagtatagal din sa totoong buhay ang ganitong honeymoon phase ng isang relasyon. Sana lahat din may panlibre ng sine.
Sep 17 Para sa akin, isa sa pinakamagandang wordplay na naisulat sa kanta ay matatagpuan sa “Materyal” ni Shanti Dope. Sabi ng mapagsamantalang / damdaming pansamantala — ang ganda, hindi ba? Pinagtatagpo nito ang konsepto ng pagsasamantala (abuse) at pansamantala (temporary). Pansamantala ang mapagsamantala. Sa kontektsto ng kanta: pag-ibig. Sa konteksto ng lipunan: pag-asa.
Sep 18 Iba ang dating sa akin ng ng kantang “Lose It” ng SWMRS. Sabi kasi sa chorus: Tell me why d’you have to have / such a damn good taste in music / Yeah if all my favourite songs make me think of you, I’m gonna lose it. Ang tindi!