Social issues, not just mushy romantic yearnings and hang-ups, make up the core of the bold new songs unleashed in Ben&Ben’s highly anticipated second album, “Pebble House Vol 1: Kuwaderno.”
I felt both moved, bothered, and bewildered by most of the entries, musically and thematically, as they touched base with common sentiments pervading in today’s society.
As Ben&Ben’s vocalist Miguel Benjamin Guico said during a recent conference, their sophomore album draws ‘’from the feeling of drowning and burnout to the responsibility of having power in your hands.’’
Percussionist Andrew de Pano said they’re proud of the weight, the deeper repercussions of these themes.
I say they’re the new theme songs of our collective experience as Filipinos. Ito yung mga pinagdadaanan natin.
Expanding their sound through experimentation, collaboration, and thematically bolder songwriting, the 13-track album marks an important chapter in Ben&Ben’s history.
It captures the songs, stories, and learnings that accompanied them throughout the 9-member collective’s journey of self-reflection, all rendered in Filipino.
Six of the songs are collaborations with other artists.
These include “Swimming Pool,” featuring Chito Miranda of Parokya Ni Edgar, “Pasalubong” (with Moira Dela Torre), “Lunod” (Zild and Juan Karlos), “Sabel” (KZ Tandingan), “Kapangyarihan” (SB19), and “Sugat” (Munimuni).
“Pebble House,” by Sony Music Philippines, is named after the house where the band members currently live together. It was the wisest thing to do at the height of the quarantine restrictions when they couldn’t meet up.
The members used their time together under one roof writing, writing, creating new music. This new album is the end result of that getting-to-know-you-better commune.
The band’s debut album, “Limasawa Street,” was released in 2019. The band has since scored a number of hits and even starred in a movie.
Ben&Ben was formerly known as The Benjamins, formed in 2015. Known for its folk-pop, pop-rock lineage, the band is known for their popular hits like "Ride Home,’’ "Leaves," "Maybe the Night," ‘’Doors,’’ ‘’Pagtingin,’’ and "Kathang Isip."
Ben& Ben is one of the most popular acts today, ranked as the No. 1 most-streamed Filipino artist on Spotify in 2020. They have also nabbed a number of awards, among them Awit, Myx and Wish awards.