Quiet acceptance. Prickly pangs of regret. A scant arrangement that withholds beautifully. Pipe work like a dream. Bacolod tunesmith Bea Dolloso’s new single is definitely worth a spin. Or ten.
We may all wear it differently, but surrender is our shared skin, acceptance our common breath. Heartbreak, if you think about it, is like embarrassing underwear. Whoever you are—auteur, pixie, empath, insufferable drunk—you have one stashed somewhere.
In truth, you’re probably decked in one right now, your outward composure belying the profound pain you’re nursing.
That hurt is the stuff modern pop is built on; all the best tunes are, to varying degrees, personal recalibrations of a universal hurt. However, we all know it’s the scars that mark us differently.
“I was going through a heartbreak, and I felt alone,” Bea Dolloso says of her own personal scar as told through her new single, “All the Things.” There is quiet acceptance in the tune, along with prickly pangs of regret, but what the surface bares (or barely reveals), the scant arrangement withholds quite beautifully.
“I felt like I was giving too much effort to people who don’t do the same,” the young Bacolod-bred tunesmith elaborates on the song’s emotional backbone.
Though teetering dangerously close to the precipice of morose mush, “All the Things” never quite gets there, opting instead to paint a moody portrait in sound, with serial verses that crawl, in place of cheesy choruses that soar.
Needless to say, Dolloso’s sweet pipes remain front-and-center, her singing a sedating declarative in an egocentric exclamative world.
The no-hysterics, plodding approach is curious but potent, because really, real life isn’t like a big Coldplay arena sing-along. What propels the song—or, more to the point, what prevents it from careening mindlessly into hyperbole—is the minimalist instrumentation and airy arrangement courtesy of Dolloso’s producer-collaborator Xel Gonzales, whose “experimenting,” the singer-songwriter shares, brought the tune places.
“We were trying to figure out how to make the song feel calm but lively at the same time,” she adds, and perhaps “lively” isn’t the word, but lifelike: existing outside art or song, or maybe parallel to it, a different timbre on a different ride.
Sometimes that timbre isn’t so explosive, that ride not so wild. And that’s OK.