Iego Tan, the man behind the folk project Shirebound and Busking, is a self-confessed displaced hobbit. And with music as his means, he is navigating his way back home.
In his sojourning to Shire and the Middle-Earth, OPM aficionados are in luck to be blessed with his songs that are expressive and dramatically stripped down to their core. These tunes — which confess love, heartbreak, and all the complexities in between — ring, resonate, and provide a warm reprieve for the lost and the broken.
On May 6, the singer-songwriter brought that exact brand of music as he hopped aboard the Wish Bus for his debut gig on the radio program, “The Roadshow.” He effortlessly graced the mobile performance stage with only his guitar and distinctive voice breathing life to his originals, “Waltz of Four Left Feet” and “Pahintulot.”
In “Pahintulot,” a gentle serenade that became part of the “I’m Drunk, I Love You” soundtrack, the troubadour bares his earnest yearning to have his heart be accepted by the apple of his eyes. With direct reference to the popular “Balagtasan,” this piece is nothing short of poetic.
Meanwhile, in the Tagalog-written “Waltz of Four Left Feet,” he allows himself get trapped in the illusion that loving someone from afar is enough and can give the contentment he desires. The song, one of his earliest releases on his Soundcloud page, also appeared in another indie film called “Kuya Wes.”
Apart from both becoming movie theme songs, the said tracks are also part of his debut full-length album, “For Princesses, By Thieves O Mga Awit Ng Hiraya Para Sa Guni-Guning Sinta,” released back in March of this year.
The album title (and the accompanying cover art) is as poetic as it is scholastic.
During his radio interview, Tan shared that the title “is sort of a reference to academic papers with such long titles, and with subtitles even. It’s sort of a thesis of the last 10 years of songwriting, [where] heartbreak has played a major role.”
The effort is a ten-track offering fronted by the single “Aninipot,” wherein he teamed up with Kalimba musician Bea Lorenzo to sing deep, metaphoric verses about losing a loved one. Another collaborative piece is “Bulan,” this time with Stages artist, singer-songwriter Coeli.
Other singles include his personal favorite “Tunnels,” the previously-released “A Million Little Things,” and new songs “Miss Mosh,” “Relapse,” “LPL,” and “Hexagonal.”
Though Tan has indeed gone far — from busking in the streets of his alma mater UP Diliman, serenading his then-growing following via his Soundcloud uploads, to captivating even more listeners with his songs’ appearances on various smash indie films — he is quick to say that he doesn’t consider his musical venture a career; rather, a passion project.
“And maybe, that could be my advice for other aspiring artists — don’t look at it as a career,” he remarked, saying that it should be seen as a creative outlet for personal experiences and intimate reflections about others’.
As for the next chapter of his journey, fans of this self-proclaimed, wandering, and music-making hobbit have yet to wait. What they can look forward to as of the moment is the official launch of his album on the streaming platform, Spotify.
Check out his Facebook page for updates and details.