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Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Itchyworms gifts two new songs for this year's pandemic-driven Christmas

11/30/2020 01:25:13 AM

The Itchyworms introduced its two new songs in time for the upcoming Christmas season. 

The decades-spanning pop-rock band keeps the holiday cheer going with the release of Have A Merry Christmas and Maligayang Pasko despite the challenging times brought by the pandemic. 
“We need to be reminded of the joy and hope and the spirit of giving,” said drummer and lead vocalist Jazz Nicolas. “It’s the time of year when the world falls in love, so it’s important to listen to Christmas songs all year round.” 
Kelvin Yu, the band’s bassist, seconded Nicolas’ sentiments by pointing how Christmas songs serving as the anchors in our lives that we can always expect to be there for us no matter what the situation is.

“There will always be Christmas songs: during good times, it further uplifts us; and during not so good times, it can provide us with that warm hug that everyone needs come December,” said Yu.
Fellow lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jugs Jugueta said he penned “Have A Merry Christmas”; drawing inspiration by a meme featuring the inarguably one of the most popular holiday tunesmiths ever.
“When the Jose Mari Chan meme first came out, it was funny,” said Jugueta. “But then, people just do it every year and it becomes not as funny anymore. Anyway, one time I posted a challenge to my Facebook friends: instead of posting about Jose Mari Chan, why don’t you write your own Christmas song? ‘Have A Merry Christmas’ is an attempt to do so.”
Intricately arranged with Beatlesque pop harmonies, swoony string arrangements, and catchy, sing-along moments, “Have A Merry Christmas” fills the air with a comforting message of joy and positivity. In describing the musical process behind the Christmas bop, Chino Singson, The Itchyworms’ guitarist, envisions a lush template in mind: “The melodies are definitely Britpop, and our classic shuffle a la Akin Ka Na Lang and Chocophotoland completes the aesthetic vibe.”

According to Nicolas, this track is a “smorgasbord of Christmas tropes or cliches all rolled into one song. When you mix them all together, you get a song that pretty much says, Merry Christmas!”

The second half of their Yuletide release, Maligayang Pasko, is the Ictchyworms' way of taking you back to the ‘70s and early ‘80s era: a laid-back, groovy tune that winks toward Manila Sound and city pop. 

It’s a nostalgic Hallmark anthem whose groove, to quote its songwriter and producer Jazz Nicolas, “is partly based on a Latin or bossa nova beat, mixed with funky guitars.” 

The multi-instrumentalist member of The Itchyworms also adds a little bit of camp experimentation in the mix in an attempt to highlight the band’s sense of musical adventurousness. 
“I was very excited to use a combination of a vocoder, which is sort of a voice synthesizer and a text-to-speech type program to sing the chorus harmonies with us,” recalled Nicolas. “I programmed three tracks of text-to-speech saying ‘mah lee guy young pass koh’ and tuned each them to sing in harmony.”
This organized chaos resulted in a Christmas song dipped in Tropicália and jazzy elements, and serves as an exploration into the unfamiliar sonic territory.

Out now on streaming platforms worldwide via Sony Music, these two new songs exude the timelessness of holiday songs, and its significance in bringing festive cheer to everyone, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. 
“I feel that Christmas should still be celebrated this year, especially with the important people in your lives. This year has been tough on everyone, and has made us all appreciate our loved ones, and we can keep them close and celebrate life with them every day, and not only on Christmas,” concluded Yu.
Author: slickmaster | © 2020 The SlickMaster's Files

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