Balikbayan (Ngayo'y Nandito Na!)

Written around New Year's Eve 2007 at a time when the band's vocalist and songwriter, Mark de Leon, was battling severe depression from an unfortunate car accident that happened in October that year. This song started a string of original compositions he wrote from 2008 to 2010, nine of which eventually ended up in the debut full-length album.

The band made their first music video in August 2010, and a five-song EP was eventually released in April 2011 with this song as its first single.


In You

This was the first song recorded by the band when it only had four members - founders Mark de Leon and Allan Lagat, Michael Ramos on guitars, and his brother Mark Joseph Ramos on drums. As recording started in November 2009 under the guidance of Phil Mark of Radio Insect Records, this song originally had a simple organic beat to it. Eventually when the band found a permanent drummer in Daniel Ascano, it was agreed to keep the original drum track and add percussions, which turned out to be a wise decision as it brought more groove into the song, and it ended up as the second track in both EP and LP albums.


Dreamt of an Angel

A product of Mark's early collaborations with friends outside the band, this song came about from a poem written by Charles Guzman, which Mark then worked on and complemented with catchy acoustic guitar strumming and electric guitar riffs more or less influenced by the song "Sunday Driving" from his Filipino idol band Rivermaya. Jason Alba, who joined the band later in 2011, capped off the song with playful backing piano melodies.

Laro

This is the very first song written by Mark around September 2007, which captured his early gig experiences with a former cover band who, at the time, played a lot and often stayed late in Toronto's various Filipino music bars.

By far, this song is Mark's most obvious salute to another one of his Filipino idol bands and major musical influence, Sugarfree.

T.S.W.

Arguably the most lyrically profound song in the album. For lack of finding a suitable song title, Mark alludes "Time Space Warp" to a famous phrase in the Japanese hit TV show "Space Sheriff Shaider" that became popular in the Philippines in the 1980s. Over time, the band members became accustomed to using "T.S.W." to refer to the song easily using an acronym.

This is the 2nd single from the band that made it to Number 1 on CyberPinoyRadio's Top 20 Hitlist on February 2014. The official music video for the debut album's carrier single was released on July 12, 2014 at a launch event held at Prestige Bar in uptown Toronto.


Ere

This song became the band's breakthrough single off the debut album, as it was chosen unanimously by the judges of Toronto's Filipinos Making Waves Festival, and won for UPPERCASE the recognition of “Top Band” in the July 2013 event held at Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.


Bato

Allan Lagat is the other songwriter and co-founder of the band. Back in 2007 he already had a good number of tunes written, but admits this particular song is a result of three separate tunes that he couldn't finish. With regards to the song title, Allan is a huge Eraserheads fan and he picked the same title as a song in the group's second album "Circus".

The song finds its story behind Allan's infatuation with a friend but one that he couldn't disclose to her at the time. He introduced the song to the band with a mix demo track below. Mark later on tweaked the song to fit his vocal range, and the result differs a lot in arrangement compared to this original version by Allan:


Goodbye

Another collaborative effort with friends from outside the band, the song originated from a poem written by Rudolph Baylon. Mark tweaked the lyrics to describe the separation of two people, and sets up the listener to the imminent end of the album.

Aside from the songwriting collaboration, the band's circle of musician friends contributed to the vocal arrangement of the song's choral outro. Rehearsal and recording were done in just one afternoon at Radio Insect Records studios, as seen in this promotional video leading up to the album launch event:


Dalawa

Written around April 2008 and originally intented as an orchoustic ballad, this song eventually evolved into a bluesy acid jazz concoction as heard in the studio draft below. Thanks to Jason's soulful keyboard melodies, and the featured guitar performance by the band's musician friend King Cantos, the resulting track in the album closes the curtain so to speak on the band's debut studio effort.


Time Space Warp

Mark invited Paul Castro of The Identity Crisis (another Toronto indie artist signed under Radio Insect Records) to collaborate with him and introduce a piano & keyboard arrangement to an earlier sombre acoustic version of this song. Below is the resulting draft version recorded on April 10, 2010:



Later on June 25, 2010, Daniel added some drum and percussion parts, and this final arrangement was what ended up as Track 10 in the album.

Zero

After releasing the band's earlier EP in 2011, Mark thought of backmasking "Time Space Warp" just out of plain curiosity. While mastering the debut album, he offered the idea to record producer Phil Mark, and with the help of Jono Grant of Victory Drive Recording, created a seamless transition between tracks 10 and 11, climaxing with a booming sound at the tail-end. With the help of the "repeat all" playlist setting on one's media player, it gives the impression that the listener is taken back to the beginning of the album like being warped in space and time. Indeed a perfect icing on the cake for the album's overall conceptual theme.


The debut album was released on May 17, 2013 at Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Toronto, and is currently available on iTunes and on Limited Edition CDs.

View In iTunes