Orange & Lemons’ New Smalltown-Disco Romp is an Irresistible Listen

Orange & Lemons put on their ‘80s Pinoy-pop dancing shoes in this irresistible new picker-upper, a track that eschews the hardline-indie grammar in which they’ve always toiled, in favor of simpler, more idyllic charms.

With each new page in their still-unfurling rebirth saga, one thing becomes increasingly clear: Orange & Lemons have no intention of resting on old laurels. Though they did rerecord Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes & Dirty Ice Cream, it was essentially an identity-reframing exercise: a brass-tacks crystallization of their musical thesis. (Or at the very least, what people think their musical thesis is.)

But when the new tunes started coming in pre-pandemic—the brilliant barrio-bound baroque of “Pag-Ibig sa Tabing-Dagat,” followed by the pretty, plaintive folk of “Ikaw ang Aking Tahanan”—the rebirth narrative ceased being a mere angle and started putting on more heft and purpose.

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Today, the boys are dropping the third advance track from their upcoming all-Filipino record (reportedly dubbed La Bulaqueña): a highly infectious tune called “Yakapin Natin ang Gabi.” And as a guy who’s essentially devoid and utterly incapable of any dancefloor antics, believe me when I say this:

Your cold, lifeless limbs won’t be able to sit this one out.

“[It is a] song of hope to battle loneliness and regret—some of man’s greatest enemies,” the group says in a statement, later adding that it’s also a plea to “accept things we cannot change, put our past behind us, and live in the moment.

Clem Castro’s cherubic pipework is aces, as always, but it’s the sticky grooves of his bandmates—most notably the Brothers del Mundo on rhythm-section detail—that takes the cake, giving the Smiths-like frolic a VST & Co. and Super Furry Animals kind of disco romp. To top it all, Jared Nerona’s transformative synth work afros it up further.

From L-R: Ace Del Mundo, Clem Castro, JM Del Mundo and Jared Nerona. Barong top by Frederick Berches.

It’s dance done the indie-pop way, a much-labored arrangement that, even the boys themselves admit, would be difficult to replicate live. This genre pivot—after the Byronic brooding of the two previous releases—certainly makes La Bulaqueña more intriguing than it already is. “Expect a play of Tagalog poetry, modern kundiman themes, and an exciting cover. Some tracks are culturally and historically relevant,” O&L tease some more.

Hailing mostly from Bulacan, Baliuag, and Plaridel in Bulacan Province, Castro and company certainly are no strangers to the virtues of tranquil Central Luzon life, culture, and spirit. And if the creative about-face of this new single is any indication, it’s safe to say we haven’t seen (and heard) the last from O&L just yet.

Rearrange your furniture and sway to “Yakapin Natin ang Gabi” at home (and with a loved one, if conditions apply) today.

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