Saturday, July 20, 2024

Over October returns with a brand-new EP helmed during a time when everyone is navigating the pandemic with an uncertain future

Over October returns with a brand-new EP helmed during a time when everyone is navigating the pandemic with an uncertain future

How do you feel about this story?


Filipino alternative rock quartet Over October has spent a good chunk of their early days making a definitive bid for legitimacy with their brand of melodic and transcendent music. They started building their cred by playing for small gigs in bars such as Route 196 and Saguijo, before eventually headlining bigger venues and releasing two critically acclaimed records within the last 7 years: the delightful EP Free and the sonically arresting full-length album Press Play, both released under MCA Music Inc. in 2019.

Fast forward to 2021, Over October returns with a brand-new EP helmed during a time when everyone is navigating the pandemic with an uncertain future. Their latest EP, Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow is their answer to the ongoing crisis: a collection of songs that reflect their feelings, frustrations, and hopes during a tumultuous period in their respective lives.

“At the same time, we wrote the songs during the well-known, often-cliche, but still heavy-hitting quarter life crisis happening in our personal lives,” Josh Buizon (lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist) shares in a statement. “It speaks about the journey of loss, self-reflection, emotional and mental struggles, perseverance, and wanton joy despite things turning to shit. Some of these are in the context of love songs, but ultimately the message that we want to get across is that even though the world we live in is in chaos and the future seems so bleak, there is hope.”

The bulk of songwriting in the album was done by Josh Buizon and Joshua Lua (lead guitarist), but all the members have a hand in writing lyrics one way or another. Over October also took part in arranging the tracks off Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow, with guidance from their producer Jazz Nicolas and sound engineer Peavey Nicolas. This also marks the group’s most collaborative and experimental work to date, harnessing new sounds and arrangement styles to elevate the material into what it is now: a more eclectic sonic brew that’s more open to possibilities, without letting go of the accessibility that defines most of their releases in the past.

“In these songs, we were able to try arrangements and instruments that we haven’t used before,” Lua admits. “It’s honestly amazing how the songs transformed from the first day of the recording to how they are now.”

To start the recording process for the EP, the members of Over October holed up on a house in La Union for five days to write and arrange their material and spent another two weeks in Manila-based Big Baby Studios with Jazz Nicolas and Peavy Nicolas for recording. Because of the current state of the pandemic, they stayed together for two weeks under a bubble, and the experience somehow gave the band a deeper perspective on the music-making side, and tested their friendship along the way.

“Chemistry-wise, since we’ve been working with the Nicolas brothers for the past few releases, it was also easier to come up with ideas during the recording itself,” Buizon says. “They’re very chill and cool people, actually. Outside of recording, we’d watch Netflix documentaries about spicy food. They have a lot of different chili sauces in their studio and we’d get to try them all.”

Other than the fact that it has some Tagalog songs—a first in Over October’s repertoire, their brand-new EP, Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow is a lot more introspective as compared to their other releases. The songwriting is more sophisticated and subdued, with lovely moments where you can picture the emotions as if it were speaking to you in the dark. And most importantly, the new EP is musically cohesive, flowing neatly without sounding too curated or rehearsed. “That’s probably the best part— when you get in the studio and don’t know what to expect,” Janessa Geronimo (drummer) points out. “We surprised ourselves a lot during this project. The most conscious effort we put in was probably writing in Filipino and trying to come up with new and refreshing sounds that still retain our music style.”

Joric Canlas (bassist) also shares that the album reflects how they’ve grown as individuals. “The EP’s a new feel because of being able to collaborate more with Sir Jazz and Sir Peavey and even amongst ourselves. You can cry, laugh, or even dance to these songs but the whole EP is meant to be a release and an encouragement to everyone who’s currently in a hard place.”

Over October’s new EP, Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow is out now on streaming platforms worldwide through Island Records Philippines and MCA Music Inc.