Filipino indie veterans Orange & Lemons have released their first new album in 15 years, the traditional Filipino music-inspired concept album ‘La Bulaqueña’.
The album, which is Orange & Lemons’ first all-Tagalog album and was first expected to drop last year, arrived April 8 on major streaming platforms via Lilystar Records, the label headed by frontman Clem Castro.
The album sees the band depart from their British indie-inspired roots to dabble in the traditional Filipino musical form of Kundiman, which is characterised by smooth, flowing melodies with dramatic intervals.
Listen to Orange & Lemons’ first album in 15 years, ‘La Bulaquena’, below.
Castro told Esquire Philippines that the album was a “crucial turning point” for the band, explaining that Orange & Lemons feel more confident in the studio and when producing their own music. “We own the masters, we own the edition. We call the shots,” he said. “It’s our party and we’ll cry if we want to.”
Castro also revealed that the band have “several” new albums planned, including some in mind for more international audiences, citing Eraserheads’ ‘Aloha Milkyway’ as a particular point of reference.
Orange & Lemons will also be holding an album launch concert for ‘La Bulaqueña’ at the Teatrino Theatre in San Juan, Metro Manila on April 29. The concert will see the band playing ‘La Bulaqueña’ in its entirety alongside other Tagalog tracks.
They will also be joined by Aliw award-winning classical singer Lara Maigue, the Castro Family Rondalla, and “suprise session musicians” at the 90-minute concert.
Orange & Lemon’s last record ‘Moonlane Gardens’ was released in 2007 before their disbandment later that year. They went on to reunite in 2017 without original vocalist Mcoy Fundales.
In 2020, they released their single ‘You Bring Out My Best’ and celebrated the 15th anniversary of their second album ‘Strike Whilst the Iron Is Hot’ with a virtual concert. Previously, they released a re-recorded version of their debut album ‘Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes & Dirty Ice Cream’ for its 15th anniversary in 2018.