La Bulaqueña features all-new 10 tracks sung entirely in Filipino and is the first new album since 2007’s Moonlane Gardens. It is also the first album with keyboardist Jared Nerona who complements quite nicely the power pop of vocalist and guitarist Clem Castro, bassist JM del Mundo, and drummer, Ace del Mundo.
Going back to their Bulacan roots, Orange & Lemons challenged themselves to pay tribute to the Tagalog language through a poetic, and historically and culturally relevant collection of songs.
The title track alone, “La Bulaqueña,” is about the painting of National Artist Juan Luna of the same title. The album cover on the other hand, is an impression of Luna’s painting by Ige Trinidad.
Also included in the album is a cover of “Bituing Marikit” from National Artist for Music Nicanor Abelardo and Awit ni Maria Clara, a poem by National hero, Jose Rizal which appears in his novel, “Noli Me Tangere.”
The whole album of La Bulaqueña is an approach to modern kundiman incorporating Rondalla arrangements with Orange & Lemons’ signature indie pop rock sound in nationalistic form.
“Personally, I consider this a tribute to my late father who died last year of Covid-19,” bared Castro. “He was a Rondalla instructor for many many years and I owe a lot of my learnings of traditional Filipino music to him.”
Said Ace del Mundo: “Ang ‘La Bulaqueña’ ay isang album na nagpapakita ng isang parte ng musikang Filipino. Kung saan karamihan ay tungkol sa iba’t-ibang klase ng pag-ibig. Pag-ibig sa isang sinisinta, pagmamahal sa anak, sa bawal na pag-ibig at pamamaalam. Pinakita sa album na ito ang isang tradisyon nating mga Filipino na isang paraan ng pagpapakita ng pagmamahal. At ito ay ang kundiman. Making this album is a new experience for us because it’s our first all Tagalog album. Not only for the band but for me as well. My first time contributing as one of the songwriter for this release. Making an all Tagalog album is not that easy. Specially a concept album about kundiman. This shows how we love making music. Regardless of genre or style.”
As for his brother, JM, “Ang ’La Bulaqueña’ album ay para kang ibinalik sa lumang panahon na kahit nasa makabagong henerasyon na tayo kailangan marinig sa ngayon. Ginagwa namin album na ito wala ako idea kung ano ba kakalabasan ng bawat kanta dahil kahit ako d ako nakikinig nang mga kundiman songs pang matanda lang ang sabi ko, haha. Pero nung matapos ang sarap sa pandinig kaya sa ngayon natuto ko na sya pakinggan marami kang mapupulot na katagang hindi na ginagamit sa panahon ngayon.”
Newcomer Nerona was also thrilled to be a part of this beautiful album, “This album has brought me new experiences – new ways of making music, new skills I learned while making the album and overall, a more profound exposure to kundiman. And I think this adds value to what we are doing. We’re not just releasing an album, we are contributing to society by paying tribute to the national language and Filipino culture.”
“Being pure Tagalog, we are proud of our language,” summed up Castro. “Sa Bulacan nag-start yung Balagtasan at ilang mga poetic and literary writers in our rich history also hail from the same province. We wanted to pay tribute to the language and our culture. It’s been 14 years since we last released an album so tanders na kame. We didn’t want to repeat ourselves sa past releases and definitely not ride the with the current music trend. We also wanted to veer away from our Anglophonic influences. Although may hint pa din, mas emphasized yung liriko.”
’La Bulaqueña’ will be unveiled this coming Friday, April 8, on all digital music platforms, and will be supported by a mini-concert by Orange & Lemons at Teatrino in Greenhills, San Juan this coming April 29. (GET TICKETS)