love still a thing?”
This can easily be a line in a love song. But, this is a question raised by one of the country’s original rock bands, The Dawn, in their new song “Earth.”
Known for its anthem songs like “Salamat” and “Iisang Bangka,” “Earth” asks the existential question especially in the midst of all the political, social, and even personal uncertainties.
The Dawn frontman Jett Pangan explains, “We, as human beings, when we’re faced with troubles that seem insurmountable, we tend to look the other way. Maybe not to say we’re in denial, it’s more of the fear of the unknown. It’s been a struggle to be a human being. There’s always the question, can we go on like this? Is this the way we’re supposed to deal with things? Is there a better way?”
He pointed out that it’s not condescending but, in fact he asks himself the same question. The pandemic also raised that big question. “We’re all hoping that after all these we become better people,” he said.
Trust The Dawn to come up with a song that is timely and relevant. The society has seen a rise in mental health concerns among the youth. In fact, in a study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI), it highlighted that between 2013 and 2021, there are twice the number of young Filipinos who felt loneliness, sadness, and being disliked.
One of the band’s guitarists Rommel “Sancho” Sanchez, emphasized that “Is love still a thing,” can also be read as “is empathy still a thing?” Sanchez said that with the mode of communications now, it’s easy to be snarky. Their hope is that through this song and with this one powerful line, people will pause, reflect, and hope that they can be a little kinder.
Apart from the significance of its lyrics, there are a lot of reasons that make “Earth” distinct.
It was recorded during the pandemic and every member of the group had to record individually. The Dawn drummer JB Leonor shared he made a story with the drum parts alone. There’s a reason for every note of the drum.
“Earth” is the last song that their bassist Mon Legaspi recorded before he passed away. And it was an ode to him that they committed to finish the track.
Sanchez was the last one to record the guitar parts. “I lost the recordings when my hard drive failed. We had to ask permission from Mon’s sister and asked a friend to help extract his parts. It was really difficult for me to record my parts,” he said.
The song itself went through a lot and now that it’s here, it is definitely a treat not only to the loyal fans of The Dawn but to everyone who appreciates great music.
The reception to “Earth” inspires the band to keep on going. Credit goes to Francis “Kiko” Reyes, one of the guitarists, who said that during the pandemic, the band continued to connect creatively. Pangan enthused that with all his rally calls and with the reception to the new song, all fingers point to a new collection of songs, or an EP.
Recognizing also how dynamic the music industry is these days, The Dawn wants to make sure they are a part of it. He added that the labels and genres now are blurred and people are more accepting when they listen to music. They do not specify if a song is too rock or too hiphop.
Through the years, The Dawn has been blessed with a platform to be heard and this time, it’s their new song “Earth.” There’s no line to cross now that music has melded in all genres. And The Dawn has a lot to offer and being a true rockstar that they are, they are just going where music takes them. No pigeonholing, just true love for music.