Filipino folk-pop group Ben&Ben are aiming to release their sophomore album in August.
The intended release window for the nine-piece’s highly anticipated follow-up to 2019’s ‘Limasawa Street’ was revealed in a new interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer. No specific release date has been confirmed.
So far, Ben&Ben have released the singles ‘Upuan’ and ‘Magpahinga’ from the album, telling the Inquirer that they picked the singles based on what they thought their fans wanted to hear, as well as the messages they were sending through the singles.
“‘Upuan’ is an introduction of sorts to the exploration of sounds we did for our upcoming album. We tried a lot of things, experimented with different sounds and themes,” vocalist and guitarist Miguel Guico noted.
On the other hand, the introspective ‘Magpahinga’ – which received a poignant music video treatment – is about mental health, with the message that taking a step back from trials and tribulations do not necessarily amount to giving up, according to Miguel’s brother and bandmate Paolo.
“These past months, anxiety has been there, looming. Taking care of our mental health is important, because we [need to] adjust to a lot of new things in terms of work and personal life and connecting with people,” Paolo said.
Both Paolo and Miguel’s sister tested positive for COVID-19 recently, making the single a personal one. “It was a very difficult time that really tested our strength. We went through all sorts of emotions. And that experience inspired the song,” Paolo said.
“When you’re in that kind of space, it feels like problems are never-ending. But remember that even if you’re amid a deluge of struggles, you can still rest and catch your breath, so that you can continue fighting.”
Ben&Ben also talked to the Inquirer about the prospect of collaborating with H.E.R., who said she and the band should collaborate during a video chat in May. Teaming up with the Grammy-winning Filipino-American artist would be a “dream”, they said.
“We were simply over the moon about it. Seeing someone so successful being so open and proud about his or her roots really inspires all of us. And for H.E.R. to express interest in working with us, inspires us even more, to work harder and keep creating music,” Ben&Ben said in a statement.
“We admire her for how she stays true to herself and her message, and, of course, for the sheer excellence and skills she puts into all of her songs.”
“We would definitely want to work on a song that’s closer to having an R&B and soul vibe,” Ben&Ben added. “It’s a genre that all of us in the group really love. And we feel we can pull that off with the help of H.E.R.’s immaculately cool vocals.”