The Philippines is about to experience a 60’s film soundtrack revival: Lomboy is coming to town. The European dream pop band named for the Philippine fruit tree (an idea of Viennese-born singer Tanja Frinta’s half-Filipino cousin) is Frinta’s own dream project and an opportunity for her to write her own music her way. Her way being heavily influenced by music from the 60’s: “I especially like film soundtracks like the Jungle Book or Les Baxter, also James Bond soundtracks, Henri Mancini, Nino Nardini, Xavier Cugat, Ennio Morricone etc. I suppose my new songs share a bit of this atmosphere mixed with my personal lyrics.”
Lomboy is Frinta’s break-away project from her other band, Lonely Drifter Karen. While the music of both are very similar, Frinta gets the last word. Clément Marion, Frinta’s guitarist on Lomboy, and who will be touring with her, introduced her to some Asian pop music from the 60s including – most noticeably, The Stylers from Singapore, and Shadow Music from Thailand. “What they have in common,” says Frinta, “are those lush guitar lines, dreamy organs, and exotic beats.
“I also like French singer songwriters from the 60’s like Françoise Hardy or Marie Laforet. Contemporary bands that might have been influential are Beach House and Blonde Redhead ( but they do sound pretty retro too, so I guess I do have a liking for old-fashioned stuff in general!). Even though I attempt not making a copy of something, for me it’s like taking an old fabric and making a new dress out of it.”
As a literal example of recycling and reusing old for new, Frinta uses drum samples in her new Lomboy songs taken from old records, “Maybe out of lack of playing with a drummer,” she explains. “by doing that I got really fond of the sound and it became part of Lomboy. I wouldn’t achieve this drum sound playing with a real drummer or digital drums.”
In the past, Frinta played in an all-girl band called Holly May, and has collaborated with American singer-songwriter Emily Jane White and French pop-star Olivia Ruiz. Clément Marion also has his own solo project Joie Joie Joie and performs with Belgium bands Castus, and Le Colisée. Frinta greatly admires French band AIR whose albums she thinks are extremely well produced: “Lots of times there are only a few instruments, but the way they sound and are put in the mix, is really perfect.”
Dream collaboration? “ Ennio Morricone has some great orchestral arrangements, I wouldn’t mind to be his student.”
In the past, Frinta and her bands have toured many countries in Europe including France, Belgium, Holland, UK, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Eastern Europe and more. Lomboy is now touring in Asia with hopes of visiting the Philippines soon.
Still not sure what to make of Lomboy? Frinta advises: “If you’re into European music inspired by Asian music that has been inspired by American music from the 60’s, Lomboy might be for you!”