The Manila Times – February 23, 2010
by Paul John Cana
There have been doubts expressed about the viability of sticking to a certain genre of music, especially in today’s inescapable pop landscape. Sooner or later, groups will either have to bend, adapt or assimilate and experiment with whatever’s in style in order to appeal to the often-fickle tastes of the music-consuming public.
It’s therefore refreshing to hear about artists who stubbornly refuse to compromise. It’s about finding their unique voice amidst a landscape filled with poseurs and “second-rate, trying hard copycats.” It’s about artists sticking to their guns despite the odds, not letting shifting musical preferences dictate their own musical directions.
The Camerawalls is one such group. Guided by the tenacious and slightly off-kilter Clementine, the group has been a steady force in the local pop music scene (And by pop, I don’t mean the kind regurgitated by variety show divas). Since their formation, the band has remained true to their indie pop roots. Their debut album “Pocket Guide to the Otherworld” may not be some people’s idea of a slam-bang, tear-your-hair-out classic, but it has become a landmark release that showed people what happens when contemporary indie pop meets good old Filipino sensibilities.
Yesterday, Clementine and company—drummer Ian Sarabia, bassist Law Santiago and new member Pao Peralta—released a brand new single in cyberspace called The Sight of Love. Clementine gets some help in the vocals department from Sarah Gaugler, who sings with Peralta in the trendy, electro-pop outfit Turbo Goth. The single picks up where the band left off in the album; it’s a lush, dreamy ditty that skillfully melds Clementine’s whimsical singing with Gaugler’s equally quirky vocals. I was reminded of the Wannadies and to a certain extent, Club 8. And yet, there’s no mistaking this is The Camerawalls. The most high-profile of the normally under-the-radar assembly of local indie pop stalwarts, the band has succeeded in crafting a song that not only loudly proclaims who they are as a band, but also in providing a glimpse of where they’re headed as artists. If this is the first single of a future album, I can’t wait to hear the rest of it.