Ilonggo band Ember starts a fire in debut album

By Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay

Saturday, March 11, 2017

EMBER knows a thing or two about starting a fire.

The 5-man band has gone a long way since its founding sometime in 2010. The kings and queen of indie alternative rock in Iloilo, Ember is fronted by Cylle Bulalakaw, with Bob Montalban on lead guitars, Cloud Procalla on drums  – and after a recent shakeup – Keith Insular on base, and Jairus Nuñeza on rhythm guitar.

Having amassed a large Ilonggo following, now their fans and supporters are eagerly awaiting Ember’s first album – six years in the making – entitled Ignite.

Nadugayan kami maka-come up with an album title,” jokes Cylle. “But we knew we wanted it to be inspired by fire and flames. Then ging-suggest ni Bob ang Ignite and everything just fell into place.”

“This is our first – it’s the first spark – so ideal gid ang title nga Ignite,” adds Bob.

Fans can expect the album to include songs that span their entire career so far, shares Cloud, with fan-beloved Beautiful Memory, slow-burn anthem Brokenly, my personal fave What Matters, and even a few bonus tracks in the mix.

Sang una ga-record-record lang man kami, wala ga-aim for an album, but our friends and supporters encouraged us, and ginasukot na kami sing album,” relates Cylle.

Set to be released on March 24 during their official album launch at the B Lifestyle Complex, Ember expects to draw an even larger crowd than their music video release in July last year, though the band admits the new endeavour brings with it a new set of challenges.

Daw Fun Run lang bala,” shares Cloud. “Kung sing MV launch 10K subong 24k na. It’s more difficult, pero it’s going to be worth it because mabatian na finally ang amun full set.”

The band teases that fans should brace for something unexpected and a few surprises during the album release, as they’ll be introducing their own take on the setup.

Cylle and Cloud share that during their MV launch last year, they were expecting just around 80 people for the event, but the number quickly ballooned to 180, largely due to spreading interest on social media – local Ilonggo bands not usually releasing music videos and building a large fanbase.

“It all comes down to: if you want to be noticed go against the current,” adds Bob, who relates that it’s their original song writing that makes their sound so unique in the Iloilo music scene.

Ember shares that the musical tastes of its band members vary largely, but they’ve found a way to meld their ideas together for their cohesive reverb that’s equal parts Worship music, Paramore, and OPM-at-its-peak.

“It’s unique because lain-lain amun influences,” shares Bob. “Muna gane gapanami kay galain-lain taste namun, lain-lain trip and genre, we find way to put them together.”

“In Raymund Marasigan’s words: ‘Just go out and form a band,'” adds Cloud. And form a band they did.

Ember knows a thing or two about starting a fire. Now one of the most popular bands in Iloilo, hopefully they’ll be conquering airwaves and audiences beyond the city soon.

Ember continues to spread like a growing fire – first a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing intensity and power as more feed its blaze./PN