When December Avenue made their Wish Bus debut in November 2016, the indie rock outfit was only promoting their then-upcoming two-night show at Teatrino in Greenhills, San Juan. Their first-ever solo concert, which took place in December that year and was — in a way — an attempt to “test their fan-base,” delivered overwhelmingly positive results and became immensely successful.
In a span of two years, the band known for emotionally-charged songs about hurting and moving on has only continued to swiftly crest, earn more following, and be at the forefront of the resurgence of the OPM industry.
They have released a streak of hit tunes– including “Sa Ngalan Ng Pag-ibig,” “Kahit Di Mo Alam,” and “Bulong” — that have racked up combined millions of streams on YouTube and Spotify. And recently, they have added another smash track on their catalog; this time, a stellar collaborative song with singer-songwriter Moira Dela Torre called “Kung Di Rin Lang Ikaw.”
Speaking for Hearts that Hurt
December Avenue’s music works because it captures the sentiments of the brokenhearted in a straightforward manner. Their honest lyricism and slowcore melodies bare the complexity of emotions that reside at the heart of people who have loved and have been hurt in the process.
When they returned to the Wish Bus for their sophomore Roadshow gig last October, frontman and chief songwriter Zel Bautista admitted that their body of work is not sparse with hugot-inducing heartbreak themes. And if someone is looking for songs that can cheer them up, he and the rest of the band agreed in jest: That someone should listen to other musicians.
Zel Bautista is the vocalist and main songwriter of the indie rock quintet December Avenue.
“All of us, we have that one moment in our lives when we feel down. We all have that one experience wherein we’re burdened by the weight of emotions we carry, and I think our music speaks for that kind of experience,” Bautista said during the radio interview.
“We wanted to give people who cry a background music that they can relate to — so they’d know they’re not alone.”
Sharing a Glint of Hope
Despite the strong presence of melancholy in the releases of December Avenue, the band is actually on a mission to share a glint of hope to their listeners — a testament symbolically represented by their band name.
In their previous interview with Wish, Bautista revealed that their name signifies the unfolding of a new chapter. “Most of our songs talk about moving on, and December is the last month of the year, so it’s like the avenue for [welcoming a] new year,” he explained.
And continuing their quest of crafting songs about “life and loss,” the December Avenue frontman is looking forward to offer new songs that are on the rosy side.
“If I were to write more songs, I’d want to be more inspirational. I’ve already tackled about heartbreak, so I’d probably be focusing on being hopeful.”
December Avenue is Zel Bautista (vocals, guitars), Jem Manuel (guitars), Don Gregorio (bass), Jet Danao (drums), and Gelo Cruz (keyboards). Watch them perform their hit songs aboard the Wish Bus below:
Catch the premiere of their collaborative performance of “Kung Di Rin Lang Ikaw” with Moira Dela Torre on our YouTube channel tonight, November 13, at 9 p.m. PHT.