Hale's "Kundiman"

HALE has turned in another solid effort with its fourth studio album which have expanded their boundaries with the new cd KUNDIMAN. The albumÆs lead single BAHAY KUBO will again prove that our band is letting themselves to be experimental and getting their efforts to be more creative as musicians.

KUNDIMAN is leading to a brand new Hale that weÆve never seen before. ôThe concept is Filipiniana,ö Roll Martinez (guitars) explains. ôItÆs called KUNDIMAN for the essences of the songs written and we thought it fits the album perfectly. ItÆs about the cultural observation of our mother country. WeÆre expressing the state of mind of our society in a humane context and not political.ö But befitting their brand of rock ballads, and so described by the band as ômelo-dramaö ever since they started with EMI Philippines in 2005 with the chart-topping ôBroken Sonnetö and ôThe Day You Said Goodnightö which undeniably made Hale a big star in our midstùHaleÆs new album still stood up with stadium-scale melodies and sing-a-long choruses with the kick off single Bahay Kubo. As HaleÆs music evolves after five years, BAHAY KUBO describes a context of being in a safe place with someone you love. As the bandÆs frontman and the singleÆs songwriter Champ Lui-Pio shares ôBasically itÆs a fictional story about two individuals lost in the middle of nowhere and searching for each other. Towards the end they find a Bahay Kubo, find each other and seek shelter in it.ö BAHAY KUBOÆs video also veers away from the usual Hale type of video and done something the band had never done before. The video is directed by Nani Naguit and with a cameo role done by Ms Heart Evangelista. Champ adds, ôWe wanted the video to express great emotions between the boy and girl, thatÆs why we felt we needed to get a professional actress to properly execute it. The concept was a collaboration between the band and directors. Filming was a challenge since it was a mix of performance and acting.

Their soulful, haunting, intelligent songs have set them apart from the others and which prove that they can be uplifting without being so pop-ish, other Tagalog titles are KALESA, ASOÆT PUSA, ULAP, MAGKAIBANG MUNDO, BULALAKAW, YAKAP and HARINAWA. Roll added ôWith this album it was Champ to took the lead in terms of songwriting. The songs on the album talk about everyday life being Filipino and love.ö

Hale had developed and evolved their song writing with each of their albums - from self-titled album, released in 2005, to Twilight one year later, then Above Over And Beyond in 2008 and now this. ôThe new album possesses a different attack-- song wise and arrangement. Getting two people to co-produce greatly helped the sound improve. It took us four months all in all to write and record. We recorded in our studio, and got two of our friends to co produce it with us. Angee Rozul and Monty Macalino of Mayonnaise. Monty helped in the guitar section and Angee on the drums and overall arrangement. We surrounded the recording process with a fun atmosphere and relax environmentö Champ also shared. And for Roll, ôGrowth is very important to probably almost all of the musicians and we are proud to say that we mapped out every new ideas, sounds and words to this new album.ö

Hale started in 2005 with Champ Lui-Pio on vocals, Sheldon Gellada on bass and Roll Martinez on guitars. HaleÆs new drummer Pao Santiago joined the band in December 2008 and Kundiman marked as his debut with Hale.

Underneath the melancholy of Hale tunes is defiance. The new album was specially designed to to reflect the soul of the album with images to connect with the Filipino culture. Champ added ôWe wanted to come out with an album that weÆve never done beofre. Release an all Tagalog album, that was the concept. As an artist , one way or another you want to pay tribute to your country, your culture, your language. This is the basic foundation of Kundiman. ô

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