Before we get into an actual article penned by vocalist/guitarist of heavy, abrasive, completely unpredictable band Beast Jesus [Philippines], here’s the record we’re talking about here in the words of the people who’ve released it ‘Shoegaze Philippines‘:
“The story of shoegaze in the Philippines is closely intertwined with that of indie-pop. When the legendary Buzz Night shows opened its doors, shoegazers from the remnants of the No Zone and The Awakening scenes were the first to be accommodated. Among the most prominent and influential in this circle was the indie-pop band Soft Pillow Kisses. Formed in 1999, the band remains a constant presence in the indie scene despite having no formal releases (except for a few compilation appearances), and most information on them lost in the pre-Facebook internet and old zines.
Shoegaze Pilipinas is dedicated to sharing shoegaze and umbrella music as a way to document the aural history of indie scenes in the Philippines and how shoegaze interacted with the many parts of its fractured whole. In this spirit, we are excited to announce the release of Waiting For Your Words – a compilation of early Soft Pillow Kisses recordings. This release will also come with a DIY printing kit for folks who want to keep a physical copy of the album.”
Now that you have a little bit of a background about the band, check out what F. Maria shared about their excitement that this record is finally seeing the light of day:
“I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me there’d be a formal Soft Pillow Kisses release– especially at such a shit time like this. For the longest time, they were a closely held secret nestled in Manila’s indie pop/shoegazer underground, and having their earlier recordings remastered by fucking Jerome Velasco just means I could FINALLY shill the fuck out of this band to a wider audience.
When I was like, 14/15, I snagged myself a copy of MTV Ink and it had this section on indie-pop which opened so many doors for me– particularly the knowledge that the genre existed, and, if this isn’t the Mandela effect at work, that bands like Candyaudioline and Soft Pillow Kisses were its local standard-bearers. Both incredible bands from Siegfried Torres Montero.
Meeting Apple Orchard and former SPK member, Dale Marquez through the Popscene Manila compilations was a life-changing experience and introduced me to a lot of the local scene’s luminaries– often with personal anecdotes from back in the day. This would prove incredibly influential. I’d wind up carrying the music with me into my adulthood.
So much of my life was set to SPK’s music, and by extension, the community they built around it– from my first failed romantic encounters with mythical indie girls who played bass, to getting mixtapes from Sunday Picnic Love Affair’s Manny Gallo (esp Manny for throwing the early SPK stuff on a cd for me) and The Wentletraps’ Ria Silva. As a dumb hipster from the Davao City hardcore scene in the 2000s, this meant a lot to me as it gave me a window into a community I wouldn’t have otherwise seen myself.
Being in my teens and exploring every other music-based subculture, there was an intensity to the way this stuff eventually inspired me to make music of my own. When I first picked up the guitar, it wasn’t so I could write Discordance Axis grindcore bullshit– it was because I wanted to write guitar pop as Soft Pillow Kisses did.
It’s strangely poetic for them to drop this on Valentine’s Day. In college, I’d spend hours listening to I Don’t Know What to Say and wishing I’d meet someone I could actually say those lyrics to. “I love the way you make me laugh– you’re not like anyone.” Like, wouldn’t it be cool if someone actually liked me enough to say that too?
In my twenties, I was slightly less cringeworthy. Not by much, but at this point, I’d have been in several major relationships and going from a general It Will Never Last (Forever) vibe to a newfound sense of grounding ala Stay Here for a While. I mean, let’s just say the band’s oeuvre is all up in my brain folds. Practically every song has a core memory associated with it.
Now, I’m in my thirties and looking back at the way this band’s woven their music so deeply into my experience of youth and romantic love. I honestly hope y’all give this band a shot, and that it becomes as much a part of your life as it did mine.”