By Celene Sakurako
We’re being real here when we say, the road has been rocky for indie garage rock outfit At The Moment. Since establishing in 2014 as a four-piece band, they’ve gone through member changes, image changes, and even sonic changes. Fronted by Vince Agcaoili, the now five-piece band that includes guitarist Paolo Gonzales, keyboardist Aje Alfonso, bassist Gene Servigon, and drummer Jao Bernardo has had their fair share of internal turmoil.
In just a few months after releasing their MV to first single “Home,” around the same time last year, their then drummer took a leave from their band to keep up with school, and they had to put the recording of their debut EP on hold. Although they continued to play gigs with Jao and Gene as sessionists, they had to take a break from writing new material all together.
Now, having officially welcomed the once two sessionists to the band, they’re finally back on track. Following their release of second MV to song “City to Burn” last August, the quintet is launching their much-awaited debut EP To: What Once Was and What Has Always Been tomorrow, Nov. 11, at Makati gig-house Saguijo. Playing alongside bands Ourselves the Elves, Atomic Sushi, Yūrei, and Closing Party, from 9pm onwards, entrance is P250 (with one free drink) or P500 with the EP.
As the band says, the Nick Lazaro-produced six-tracked EP is “the sound of resolution.” It’s a collection of newly recorded old and new songs that over time has sonically aged and evolved. In their words, “Some are old songs which we are now playing differently, while the others are new because we never actually bothered releasing them, but it’s a good thing we kept all of these tracks. The EP is a bricolage of quite a number of our experiences as a band. Metaphorically, it’s the music of our old and new selves, in resolution.”
In line with all the struggles they had to overcome, today they’ve put together a playlist of nine tracks that all go under the theme: “Growing pains.” To them “a big chunk of the past year, has been about change.” Aside from changes brought on by the new line-up, two of their members graduated college within the past year, and they’ve gone in and out of the studio twice already, in attempts of recording the debut EP. Well, you know what they say, third time’s a charm.
Phoenix – “Lost and Found”
“It’s a beautiful song. I’ve always associated the song with coming-of-age films. I imagine scenes wherein this song would be playing. Confusion, and coming into terms with letting go of something you think you’ve always wanted and went after; It’s a specific kind of calm sadness.” -Aje
Placebo – “Special Needs”
“Brian Molko’s writing is so simple and at the same time remarkably complex. I love the approach he took to describe the impermanence of young love, physical and or emotional handicap, and the hopefulness that one may be a lingering thought when their ex-lover has moved on and is happy.” -Jao
Cecil Gant – “I Wonder”
“I first came across this song in a makeshift trailer for a well known Bildungsroman novel that I like. I’m sure I played it about 10 times afterwards. Its simplicity masks the pain it unknowingly carries. This is actually my favorite song.” -Vince
Creedance Clearwater Revival – “Fortunate Son”
“Empowering song.” -Gene
Twin Peaks – “Getting Better”
“It’s about getting better…I love this song. It has a certain endearing tone. My favorite part is: ‘I know you feel life is crushin’ you / Well get to scratchin’ where it itches, keep your goals in view / Reserve your judgments too, that shit will bury you.’” -Aje
Against Me! – “I was a Teenage Anarchist”
“More empowering than anything. 20 years from now I don’t want to look back at my life and say ‘I was a teenage anarchist. Anyone who says that was/is full of shit.'” – Gene
††† (Crosses) – “The Epilogue”
“‘We’ve circled around our doom.’ This line perfectly encapsulates the stage of a failing relationship where people cling on and try to rationalize and find the little good remaining in it; unaware that they’re only hurting themselves and delaying the inevitable. I heard this song exactly at that stage.” -Jao
John Lennon – “Mother”
“I sing with Lennon all the time when he says: ‘I couldn’t walk / And I tried to run.'” -Vince
Irene – “Rodrigo Amarante”
“I enjoy immersing myself in the lines of this song because it’s both joyous and dreadful at the same time. It’s such an enticing paradox.” -Vince