16 August 2012

Outerhope - no end in sight ep (Number Line, 2012)

Outerhope is an established Filipino indie band from Manila. Composed of siblings Mike (guitar/harp/vocals) and Micaela Benedicto (synth/piano/vocals) they released so far two albums, one released in 2005 and the other one in 2009.

They just released a new EP available for free on the netlabel Number Line records.

If Moscow Olympics opened the road in 2007, 2012 is the year during which Manila becomes a true name in the international indie pop map, with Eyedress, Bee Eyes and Outerhope, and probably a few others I still have to discover.

If the two albums of Outerhope were picturing the band as mostly a gently indie folk band, they absolutely reached the next level here. There are four songs on this EP, if two of them are regular, pleasant and honest songs, the sparse acoustic "Pale as the day" and sweet & saccharine "No End in Sight", the two others are just simply bright, awesome and extraordinary.

"Hear the days" and "Lost Year" are perfect dreampop songs, so graceful, warm, bright and melancholic that they bring me close to tears.

"Hear the days" start with beats, synth and an electric guitar, a perfect synthpop song mixing the kind of vocal harmonies you would expect on a song by Ida or A Weather with the sweetest quiet and solar melodies and instrumentation you would find on records by Field Mice / Trembling Blue Stars and Brighter / Harper Lee.

"Lost Year" is slower, with a delicate reverb, nostalgic feelings and an impressive grace, dealing with perfection. The synth melody is simple and aerial and I could not imagine something more heartfelt, just like if Low was a Sarah records band.

I feel speechless next to the beauty of these two songs, absolutely among the best ever recorded in this style of music.


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