Filipino alt-rockers The Itchyworms have been celebrating their 25th anniversary with a slew of releases including brand new music, and their latest addition to the celebration features two new songs for their Christmas album, ‘Christmas Starts When The Bers Begin’.
- READ MORE: The Itchyworms on new album ‘Waiting For The End To Start’: “It’s not meant to be inspiring or encouraging”
The two new tracks, titled ‘Halo-Halo’ and ‘Meri Xmas 2 U’, can be streamed on all digital music platforms, and serve as the second instalment in the progressively updated album which began in 2020 with the tracks ‘Have A Merry Christmas’ and ‘Maligayang Pasko’.
The tracks celebrate the idea of ‘Pinoy Christmas’ in completely different ways, with the upbeat ‘Halo-Halo’, written by drummer and vocalist Jazz Nicolas, representing the spirit of the season across Filipinos of various beliefs.
In a press statement, Nicholas described how the track looks at the effect of the Christmas spirit on Filipinos, saying, “There are people who believe in God, there are people who just shop, and there are people who consider it as a perfect time for receiving gifts.”
“It all happens during Christmas, and it’s a magical feeling for everyone.”
Lead vocalist Jugs Jugueta spoke about the ‘Meri Xmas 2 U’, calling it an “ode to the kids who knock on doors to sing Christmas songs”. Describing how these children would often use makeshift instruments to play music, he called in his friends and family to take up those same makeshift instruments to add an authentic feel to the track.
“They [the children] rarely have real instruments with them, but sometimes when they’re lucky, they bring acoustic guitars or makeshift tools. They use cans with stretched plastic on top for the ‘drums’ and flattened tansan as tambourines,” Jugueta said.
“While they don’t sing in perfect tune, the happy Christmas vibe that they bring is what gets you and tugs your heartstrings.”
The band also shared more about ‘Christmas Starts When The Bers Begin’, describing it as “an ever-growing Christmas album”, with more Christmas songs planned for release every year.
“Once we have enough Christmas songs, we hope to release it as a physical album on vinyl,” said Jugs Jugueta.
The Itchyworms’ 25th anniversary celebration has seen them release a docu-series titled ‘25 Years of The Itchyworms’, as well as a stop-motion short film for the single ‘The Life I Know’. The band also released a six-part podcast on Spotify titled Worms Upon A Time: An Itchyworms Podcast in August alongside a new single, ‘Eto Na (Ang Maliligayang Araw)’.
The Itchyworms most recent won the award for Best Musical Arrangement for ‘Waiting For The End To Start’ at the 34th Awit Awards in late November.