Hot on the heels of its debut single, “Nakakotse,” Last Song Bea is on a roll as the band continues to make more noise with the bigger success of its second single, “Tara!”
Compared to the chill, laid-back groove of “Nakakotse,” “Tara!” beckons with its more festive feel. With its upbeat tempo and catchy call-to-action refrain, it’s the perfect barkada anthem, or even quite possibly—with election season just around the corner—the perfect template for a political jingle.
But wait. Underneath its cheery, melodic hook, a closer listen to its lyrics unravels yet another story of unrequited love.
“The foundation of the song came from a tune composed by our keyboardist, Nimrod Lacquian, for one of his subjects in music school. It’s about one of his former crushes, the girl he fell in love with and the proverbial one that got away. Cliche but true,” narrates Last Song Bea’s lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Richard Parcia.
Since the single’s release mid-October, “Tara!” had chalked up 60k++ views on YouTube so far, surpassing “Nakakotse’s” modest success by several notches.
For an indie band that relies solely on social media for its marketing push, Last Song Bea has been gaining impressive traction. “The response to ‘Tara!’ in Spotify was four times higher than ‘Nakakotse.’ In fact, ‘Tara!’ was in the editorial playlist of Spotify (Friday Fresh Picks) for two weeks, which is a rarity,” Richard discloses.
In hindsight, how does the band feel about the unexpected success of “Nakakotse?”
“Blessed, really. For an unsigned band to get noticed is such a privilege. We knew what we were up against. We know it’s tough even for artists who have the backing of corporate money.”
The priceless pats on the back and other forms of validation continue to trickle in, keeping the band charting themselves steadily on course towards bigger challenges.
Richard exclaims, “For myself, the reception from family and close friends are primary. Secondary are the writers and bloggers who got curious about us. It’s not every day that one gets noticed.”
Has the songwriting process been easier for “Tara!,” after hurdling all the birth pains of “Nakakotse?”
“In terms of the overall process, it was practically the same, as we previously agreed to follow the template of the previous song. The difference though is in the overall experience. This was a lot of fun to do. In fact, we sort of threw in almost all of the ideas that made sense to the song,” Richard cheerfully recounts.
Case in point is “Tara’s” beckoning “fiesta” feel, which turned out to be an afterthought.
Richard explains, “It was a guitar-driven song, at first. The idea of crafting it like some summer fiesta song just came up while we were in the studio already. Even the horn parts were like that.”
A classic case of the band’s penchant for spontaneity is their reworked “Christmas” version of “Tara!,” aptly titled, “Pasko.”
While wrapping up their recording for “Tara!,” Richard and the boys, in their creative (or drunken?) stupor gamely changed some of the refrain’s lyrics to capture the spirit of the season. After listening to the playback, they realized that the tune had the makings of a potential holiday anthem, hence, the follow-up release soon after.
In an industry where the band spirit is constantly ruffled by egos or personal conflicts, Richard may have found his perfect songwriting cohorts. Despite being accomplished session musicians in their own right, Last Song Bea’s roster, which includes Xyrus Judan (bass), Donie Dico (lead guitar), Mark Bambico (drums), Nimrod Lacquian (keyboards/guitar), and Erwin Dimaculangan (guitar/vocals), clearly epitomizes musical synergy at its finest.
Taking advantage of the momentum gained over recent months, the band is currently working on rough sketches for future releases.
“In the pipeline are two English songs. One is a love song entitled ‘Inside,’ and a jazz/blues track called, ‘Baby It’s Nice Today, which features a legendary local guitar hero,” Richard discloses.
In hindsight, Richard believes that the band still continues to defy convention, and prefers to wrestle out of musical labels or stereotypes—perhaps an offshoot of his own personal experience finding the right balance juggling his professional career and his first love: music.
With the road to stardom well within their grasp, Richard remains humbled by the group’s exploits so far. “There’s nothing mystical about it. If any, it’s probably the thought that hard work gets things done, and doing it together makes it magical. Nothing profound or surprising.”