The Itchyworms have released a cheery EP ‘Christmas Starts When The Bers Begin’ in time for the holiday season.
The project, which contains the two tracks ‘Have A Merry Christmas’ and ‘Maligayang Pasko’, dropped on streaming services Friday (November 27).
The pop-rock band made the EP to honour the time-tested tradition of writing Yuletide-themed originals meant to bring people closer to home – and to uplift their spirits during the pandemic.
Listen to the tracks below.
Load vocalist and drummer Jazz Nicolas said in a statement that Christmas songs were important in a time like this: “We need to be reminded of the joy and hope and the spirit of giving.”
- READ MORE: The Itchyworms on new album ‘Waiting For The End To Start’: “It’s not meant to be inspiring or encouraging”
Lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jugs Jugueta said ‘Have A Merry Christmas’ was inspired by a meme featuring veteran singer Jose Mari Chan, who is well known for his holiday songs.
“When the Jose Mari Chan meme first came out, it was funny. But then, people just do it every year and it becomes not as funny anymore.” Jugueta said.
Jugueta added he once posted a challenge to his friends on Facebook to write their own Christmas songs instead of posting memes of Chan.
ah yes the three Philippine seasons
and Jose Mari Chan https://t.co/fVvTImoBfW
— simply a dusknoir (@liquorcanini) August 31, 2019
While ‘Have A Merry Christmas’ incorporates harmonies influenced by the Beatles, ‘Maligayang Pasko’ veers towards the “Manila Sound” and city pop of the ’70s and early ’80s. “(It) is partly based on a Latin or bossa nova beat, mixed with funky guitars,” Nicholas said.
Earlier this year, the Itchyworms released their fifth studio album ‘Waiting For The End To Start’, which they worked on remotely while in quarantine.
“The album’s not meant to be inspiring or encouraging,” Nicolas told NME in an interview. “But it’s important for us to let the audience know that, whatever they’re going through, we’re going through it, too.”