Orange and Lemons released three albums in the 2000s (Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream (2003), Strike whilst the Iron Is Hot (2005), Moonlane Gardens (2007)) which married 1960s pop psych to 1980s jangle pop. Though hailing from Bulacan, their sound had more in common with bands from the England’s north like Care, The Beautiful South, Lightning Seeds, Pale Fountains, The Smiths, and The Beatles than they apparently did with most of their Filipino peers. After their indie debut, Orange and Lemons signed with Universal but disbanded after their second major label release.
Castro next formed The Camerawalls with Law Santiago (bass guitar) and Bach Rudica (drums). Some of the Anglo affectations which sometimes rendered Orange and Lemons a bit precious were wisely were turned down a notch and in their place was an apparently more organic but still adventurous sound — especially the influence of rondalla ensembles reflected in the rich warmth of the banduria and octavina. At the same time, the newly-embraced low-key approach had much in common with bands like Scotland’s Belle & Sebastian and Australia’s Lucksmiths. The Camerawalls released Pocket Guide to the Otherworld (2008) and the EP, Bread and Circuses (2010) and Castro founded his own record label, Lilystars Records.
The first single from the album, “There is No Remaining in Place,” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the Camerawalls’ album but is a good indication of the new album’s emotionally-heightened ambiance. Other contributing musicians include Christine Mazur (cello), Jojo Gatmaitan (drums), Kakoy Legaspi (electric guitars), Wowee Posadas (piano, keyboards), and Vengee Gatmaitan (bass). Oranges & Lemons Day may’ve already passed (the third Thursday of March) but fans of Clementine’s should enjoy The Dragonfly Collector.
Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, writer, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities. He is not interested in writing advertorials, clickbait, listicles, or other 21st century variations of spam. Brightwell’s written work has appeared in Amoeblog, diaCRITICS, and KCET Departures. His work has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Form Follows Function, Los Angeles County Store, Skid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, Eastsider LA, Boing Boing, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA? and at Emerson College. Art prints of his maps are available from 1650 Gallery and on other products from Cal31. He is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.