Music Monday Presents Filipino Friday, October 28, 2022 – ALAMAT’s “Pasulong”

Whether it’s lyrics in different Filipino languages or drawing upon culturally unique traditions, stories and experiences; ALAMAT is able to infuse every one of their songs with something distinctly Filipino. It’s really what immediately drew me in to them when I first did my sorta-deep-dive into P-pop at the beginning of the year.

Hearing and seeing ALAMAT effortlessly blend together distinct Filipino qualities into modern pop music was such a great experience for me. Being Cagayano-Kalinga-American, hearing Ilocano in pop music that I’d normally hear being performed in English or Korean was amazing. And all of this is probably the reason why ALAMAT has become my P-pop bias!

I was definitely looking forward to ALAMAT’s first mini album Pasulong. And though I never had a doubt, ALAMAT absolutely delivers. An excellent collection of six tracks that showcases the group’s talent, versatility and growth.

The six tracks of Pasulong include the excellent “Say U Love Me” and “ILY ILY,” both released in the last few months to prepare for the album, along with four brand-new tracks.

The album opens with a song that will definitely find itself a spot on my favorite songs of 2022 list at the end of the year. “Aswang” probably best exemplifies what I described earlier. A modern pop-dance track whose melody and music will have no problem getting you to groove along with it. But ALAMAT infuses what might be a familiar sound with that Filipino flavor. Taking something like the idea of an “aswang” from folklore to create a distinctly Filipino approach to a common theme about love (such as a dangerous, but irresistible infatuation) in modern pop gives the song that extra bit of charismatic charm.

The music video brings that all together into a visual treat. With some cinematic flair, ALAMAT’s performance is just as irresistible as the titular aswang’s enchanting allure. Anyone who might be new to ALAMAT or P-pop in general will certainly be impressed, I’m sure.

If “Say U Love Me,” released a few months ago, was our sad boy anthem with the group dancing away their heartbreak in a mellow, though sensual and smooth track, “Marahani” takes that same vibe, but in a much more positive and romantic direction. The harana-worthy track will make anyone swoon with the group’s vocals gliding across the romantic, flirtatious lyrics and R&B melody.

The group takes it a step further with “Gayuma.” Though it also has that similar smooth and sexy vibe, ALAMAT once again gives it that unique quality that I mentioned earlier. A gayuma can be translated into English as a “love potion.” Yet, for some reason, I still feel like a gayuma is such a Filipino “thing.” I associate it as something very Filipino. So blending that with an otherwise familiar theme I might hear in other non-Filipino pop songs just gives it that indescribable “extra” that makes me love it so much more.

The album closes out with “Hala,” a confident anthem that expresses both ALAMAT’s resolve to move forward, stronger (as the album’s title Pasulong suggests) while also serving as a motivating song for anyone who faces roadblocks and hurdles in any form. The meaningful lyrics are matched with a unique beat, together bringing to life the defiant and confident song. To close out ALAMAT’s first mini-album, it’s almost like them saying “This is just the beginning.” And they’ve had a very exciting beginning indeed. As if I wasn’t excited already, I’m definitely looking forward to what ALAMAT has in store for the future.

I have had a lot of fun being able to finally appreciate the fast-emerging P-pop scene this year. I just wonder why I didn’t do so sooner! 😅 But now that I have, it’s been awesome to see so many talented young Filipino artists ready to take on the world and show that Filipinos can definitely more than stand on the same stage as the biggest, most popular artists out there today. ALAMAT is certainly one of those artists. And Pasulong is just the latest proof of that. Simply a must-listen, must-experience album!

Check out ALAMAT’s Pasulong on Amazon Music:

16 thoughts on “Music Monday Presents Filipino Friday, October 28, 2022 – ALAMAT’s “Pasulong”

  1. People going crazy about Maharani and putting down Aswang which is the title track. Like, um… okay? What’s up with that? I think you’re like one of the few reviewers who appreciates Aswang as a title track whereas everyone else thinks it’s just a gimmick, novelty song. WTF x2

    1. Yeah, I guess I can see that. Of course everyone has their favorites. But I personally think Aswang is the most mainstream song of the album that I think can bring in more potential fans to the group. Though all the songs are great.

  2. I had high hopes for the album, but it seems like they are just trying to go mainstream and throwing aside their original concept of highlighting Filipino culture and languages. Too bad. They were very promising.

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