Ely Buendia and The Itchyworms releases ‘Lutang’

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Lightning strikes twice for Ely Buendia and the Itchyworms! On the heels of Pariwara , their first-ever collaboration, comes Lutang . The song debuted on April 22, 2017 at the first ever celebration of Record Store Day in the Philippines. As with Pariwara , Ely Buendia (Apartel, Pupil) shares songwriting duties with Jugs Jugueta, Jazz Nicolas and Chino Singson of the Itchyworms.

Unbeknownst to the Itchyworms, Buendia had been working on a completely new song as a follow-up to Pariwara . Itchyworms lead vocalist Jugs Jugueta received the demo of Lutang from Ely the night before a band rehearsal session. “[ Lutang sounded] much happier than Pariwara ,” Jugs says, recalling the first time he heard the demo. He goes on to describe the experience of writing the song’s second verse, “Happy is the natural state of the itchyworms, that’s why it was cool for us to write the sad part of the protagonist’s story [that goes] Mula noong iniwan mo, ako’y litong-lito. It was like an exchange of roles [with the lyrics of the joyful first verse]. The Itchyworms have always written sad lyrics over happy melodies, and Lutang fits right in that category.”

Itchyworms drummer Jazz Nicolas adds, “When I first heard the demo of Lutang , I fell in love with the song right away. Even if I hadn’t read or understood the lyrics yet, I already felt that this would be a good song [on which] to collaborate. Its melody is very haunting. I was also surprised that it was a newly written song, not a baul (clothes chest) song. It also had a lot of room for vocal harmonies, which we love. The lyrics were playful, and we enjoyed adding our own lyrics to them. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a collaboration song with Ely.”

The Itchyworms made short work of expanding Buendia’s demo, guitarist Chino Singson narrates. “It all came together very quickly. While waiting for an itchyworms rehearsal session to begin, Jugs and Jazz began working on the song. There was just a verse and chorus, and in almost no time they had come up with a second verse and a bridge, with which I helped. Once we were confident with the result, we recorded the rough arrangement on Jugs’ phone with just vocals and acoustic guitars and sent it back to Ely.”

Buendia approved the demo so they booked Big Baby studios forthwith, in order to rehearse and record the song. When asked about working with the Itchyworms on a second song and the final result, he replied, “My reaction was the usual, which is ‘this band really knows their sh**!’” Ely continues, “I like the sound of Big Baby studio. Peavey [Nicolas, sound engineer] did a great job of mixing [the song]. There’s nothing I would change in the final mix. Any time we lay a song down, everything is where it should be, no part [is] underplayed or overplayed. It’s a great feeling of peace and contentment.”

Lutang, the newest collaboration between Ely Buendia and the Itchyworms, is featured as the double-A side to Pariwara on 7-inch white vinyl. The limited run of 500 records is available to pre-order from Offshore Music Philippines.

Lutang is now on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and is now playing on popular FM radio stations.


*Official Press Release from Offshore Music and The Itchyworms