Emotive punk band Tidal have relased their debut album ‘sunday’s best’ today. The album has been three years in the making for the quartet of Clarence de Veas, Keith Coballes, AJ Abelardo, and Tan Flojo, with the first few songs written almost immediately after the release of their 2019 EP “life after”.
“When we finished ‘life after’ in 2019, and the reception was kind of good, we decided we would write some more,” says bassist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Clarence de Veas. Writing a full-length album was a stretch and the band initially intended to just see where the songwriting would take them. “praise” was the first track written and was shortly followed by “better”, which eventually set the tone for the entire album’s lyrical theme and musical direction and gave the band a strong confidence that a full-length album was in the works.
The end product is a 10-track album that includes one track, “calendar”, from the EP and nine brand new tracks, including the carrier single “calcium” and “better”, for which the band had previously released a music video. The album is “dancier and livelier”, as de Veas puts it, compared to their previous outing, but was intended to be just as, if not more, introspective lyrically, tackling difficult subjects such as mental health, filial relations, death, religion, and politics.
Deviating slightly from the approach to “life after” which was entirely self-produced in a home studio setup, Keith (who takes charge of the band’s production) enlisted the help of Hannah Jabla of This Is Where I Make Music studio to co-engineer the album in a professional studio as a means to achieving a much bigger sound. The band started to record the tracks in February 2020, just as the pandemic hit.
The production process as a whole was not an easy one. In the very first session, drummer Tan Flojo came straight from a graveyard shift at work and hammered it through tracking “praise”, taking naps and quick breaks in between takes. He survived and learned a valuable lesson about the importance of sleep.
The fourth track on the album, “i am awake”, was, according to the band, one of the most interesting to write and produce. “When we released the [“life after”] EP, we didn’t think that we’d be hit with copyright restrictions [due to soundbites from the TV series, Better Caul Saul, and, interestingly enough, NBA broadcasts] so we weren’t able to release ‘pryce’ and ‘calendar’ on Spotify,” de Veas explains. The band decided to “poke the bear” nonetheless with “i am awake” by recreating a storyline from another popular TV show as lyrics to the song, instead of using actual soundbites.
As for the carrier single “calcium”, it is, in its essence, a love song. “It’s one of the most difficult things to write about but also the most natural that came to me because it’s personal,” said de Veas. He recalls a moment with his partner as they were both coming off of a breakdown as the real life story behind the song. “The title itself is an inside joke of some sort about when I told her she gives me strength and she jokingly answered ‘I am calcium?’ to which we laughed so hard like we weren’t dealing with a serious matter just minutes ago.” He admits taking slightly more than mere inspiration from pop punk anthems by Four Year Strong, Taking Back Sunday, and All Time Low.
The cover art for the album is a story in itself. The initial study came from the owner of Fred’s in Cubao Expo, who gave the band a stock photo he had that he thought connected with the idea of “loss”, as the band requested. The original photo was that of a child running up a staircase, which the band felt beautifully encapsulated the theme of “sunday’s best”. To add a bit of color and liveliness to the artwork, band member AJ Abelardo rendered the photo to canvas which ultimately ended up in the final collage artwork created by Angeli of [head]space.
The band will be hosting an album release show on November 5th at Mow’s Quezon City, with the lineup including labelmates Irrevocable as well as Bird Den, Nonentities, Turncoats, and Brickcity. Before that, the band is keeping busy playing shows at 123Block in Mandaluyong as well as in Baguio City. A Visayas tour and even a trip to Singapore are also in the stars though the band is keeping it open at the moment.
A CD release of “sunday’s best” by Melt Records is currently in the works. In the meantime, the band will have a few CD-R copies of the album, as well as other merch, available at the November 5th release show.