Munimuni Wants You To Slow Down and Muse About Human Experiences
Jul 3, 2019
At a time when everything seems fast-changing and fleeting, Munimuni implores OPM fans to slow down and immerse themselves in things worth pondering on.
Since entering the music scene a few years back, the band has continued to gain a following — avid listeners who have heeded to this call. And last June 19, Wednesday, a bunch of them flocked to the Marikina Riverbanks Center, huddled around the Wish 107.5 Bus, and basked in wistful music as the quintet ticked off one item from their wish list: To perform on the said musical platform.
Munimuni makes music that lingers; songs that are delicately crafted and have that power to lodge not only on their listeners’ ears, but more importantly, reside in their hearts. Composed of Adj Jiao (guitar, vocals), TJ de Ocampo (guitar), John Owen Castro (flute, vocals), Jolo Ferrer (bassist), and Josh Tumaliuan (drums), the band brands their music as “makata pop” — a rather fitting term for their songs that collectively sound sincere, profound, and poetic.
“Whenever we write our songs, we write about [an] experience, any human experience. Heartbreak, even happy times — we write about that. It’s never about manufacturing a song out of nothing,” Jiao shared, pointing out what makes their music appealing to the listening public.
Sharing the same thought, de Ocampo said that they “always write from experiences [because they] try to be as sincere and relatable as possible.”
For instance, “Sa Hindi Pag-alala” — one of the three tracks they rendered live during their Wish Bus guesting — is a heartbreaking original penned by de Ocampo when he was an exchange student in Japan. One of their most recognizable tunes, it converges one’s wanting to let a loved one go with the yearning to still give their relationship one last chance.
Kakalimutan na kita
Siguraduhin mong hindi talaga pwedeng tayo
Napag-isipan mo na ba
Dahil kakalimutan na kita
– Sa Hindi Pag-alala
In their latest offering “Kalachuchi,” on the other hand, Munimuni offers a metaphoric piece that ruminates about the all-important message of mental health awareness. Albeit being originally dedicated to a specific person within their circle, the song provides consolation to anyone who’s been having a hard time.
Further speaking about the song’s symbolism, the band remarked: “Kalachuchi is a flower that blooms even in the most uncomfortable environment.”
Wala sa ‘king mga kamay
Ang init na bubuhay
Kundi sa kamay ng araw
Sa kanyang mga daliri
Titindi ang mga anino
Ngunit ang iyong mga talulot
Ay sisigla rin
“Tahanan,” another reassuring track from the OPM collective, is a reminder for the band that hope exists amidst difficulties in life. Hoping that the same message is sent across to their listeners, Munimuni wishes for everyone to be reminded that someone is always there for them.
“[This song] is about having someone as your home, someone you can run to and be comfortable with, whatever your feelings are — whether you’re happy or you’re sad,” Jiao emphasized.
Hanggang dito na lamang
Ang iyong mga luha
Tama na, tahan na
Ang iyong mga sugat
Pighati’y wakas na
While their poetic songwriting is incontestably captivating, their craftsmanship is well extended to their deftness in making melodies. However, they are quick to clarify that they don’t want to be restricted with the folk brand attached to them.
“We’re often described as an indie folk band, but we would say that we’re not just a band who only has softness. When it comes to our music, we have a lot of dynamics and our works tend to be a bit louder in a way,” de Ocampo stressed out.
Take for example, “Kalachuchi.” Its seven-minute running time provided a wide sonic space for Munimuni to showcase their melodious creativity and dynamics. From the blithe guitar riffs and the gently propulsing drum beats at the intro, frolicking flute notes arrive to complete the summery feel of the song. While it gets quiet in the section that spotlights the track’s lyrical centerpiece — the lines stated above — it escalates to one grand climax in the end, featuring a stirring coalescence of their instruments.
This kind of musicality and their rawness and honesty in songwriting — coupled with their faithfulness to using the Filipino language in their every track — make their catalog an interesting body of work to indulge in.
Next time you feel perplexed by life’s noises, give their songs a listen. Because at a time when everything seems fast-changing and fleeting, Munimuni turns to offering music that implores their listeners to breathe, slow down, and muse about emotions and experiences that make humans, well, humans.
Watch their Wishclusive performance of “Sa Hindi Pag-alala” below: