The Geeks return with new single “The First Time”

After two years of not dropping any new material, indie pop quartet The Geeks are finally making a comeback with the release of their new single “The First Time”—out today via Lilystars Records.

Strumming its way comfortably into slacker and honeyed guitar pop territory, The Geek’s latest song rejects the notion of predictability by going vintage in aesthetic and function, while connecting on an emotional level with newfound grace. 

“Our new single in two years is an homage to local Filipino kundiman music – a tribute to a time when we still wrote letters and the internet was non-existent,” vocalist and guitarist Jam Lorenzo shares the inspiration behind their new song. “Partly inspired by the portrayal of young romance in Filipino period films, ‘The First Time’ discusses in vague detail the enduring cliché of being stood up on the eve of a planned elopement.”

With its subtly heartbreaking observations on a kind of love that’s a product of a different time and milieu, “The First Time” shines through more than ever with a sharper, more deeply layered turn in The Geeks’ songwriting style: its sense of defeat is more palpable, and the verses wreck when you’re least prepared. 

The Geeks’ “The First Time” is now available on all streaming and digital platforms worldwide.

Bryan Estepa deals with life’s curveballs on new song “Admit Now, Pay Later”

Filipino-Australian singer-songwriter Bryan Estepa navigates the process of understanding and coming to terms with life’s curveballs on his brand new single, “Admit Now, Pay Later”—released on September 18, Friday under Lilystars Records / Rock Indiana.

Stripping everything down to essentials while exploring a more sonically adventurous approach to musicality, Estepa deflates any kind of conceit for a song that touches on hindsight and self-reflection. He strives to keep his narrative distinctly more intimate and closer to home without sounding contrived at all. 

“Lyrically this song touches on how quickly life can change both for the good and the bad,” the folk rock artist explains. “But just as importantly is how we react to it. There’s never gonna be a perfect response to life’s curve balls but we just deal with it the best we can.”

Having been inspired by phrases and passages that he encountered or read on a daily basis, Bryan Estepa remembers being instantly drawn seeing the sign “Admit Now, Pay Later.” He particularly likes the incongruity in its meaning: the idea of diving into the deep end, of being courageous and dealing with what may come from it later on. He shares, “It was also one of the few songs that was born during the heaviest period of the COVID lockdowns here in Sydney and I had a really unexpected creative burst. When that happens, I try to ride the wave as long as I can.”

Driven by intricately playful instrumentation and wistful alt-country melodies, “Admit Now, Pay Later” feels more like an extension of Bryan Estepa’s remarkable consistency as a songwriter and musician. With guidance from multiple ARIA and APRA-award winning producer, Josh Pyke, Estepa’s new track blends tenderness with immaculate precision, revealing its charm even the first time you listen to it.  He reveals, “The final version is a lot more layered than my original idea but that’s the beauty of music and the way it can evolve in beautiful and unexpected ways.” 

“Admit Now, Pay Later” is out now on all digital and streaming platforms worldwide via Lilystars Records. 

Project Orange chronicles the growing pains of romance on “Play Pretend”

In less than three years, Project Orange has slowly but surely gained traction outside of Bacolod City’s relatively small but thriving music community. Thanks to their maiden singles “Ctrl + Esc” and “Sputnik Sweetheart,” the promising quartet earned their chunk of streaming listenership on cities such as Taipei, Manila, and Hong Kong—a proof that their brand of music sees no boundaries, and resonates on a universal level. 

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Diana “Moose” Mapa, guitarist Ann Marie Pillado, bassist Martin Garces, and drummer Miguel Gabriel San Miguel, Project Orange returns with a distinctly laid-back affair that chronicles the growing pains of young love and the unsteady circumstances that define it.

Their new single “Play Pretend” captivates listeners with their sophisticated blend of bedroom pop and indie rock. The four-piece outfit employs a lush and dream-like palette in terms of musical approach, fully embracing a deceptively simple arrangement that wouldn’t feel out of place side by side with the breezy pop sensibilities of Clairo and Boy Pablo. 

“Too many people get caught up with the immense amount of music elements these days and I try to avoid that,” lead vocalist Diana Mapa shares in a statement. “The additional portions like the distorted guitar and synths were suggested by the producers in the studio and it added a stunning perspective to the song.”

Steeped in melancholic pulse, “Play Pretend” provides glimpses of a promising music act informed by the sound of its time, but never allowing trends to envelope the finality and packaging. It’s all heart, less feels: the more you immerse to the song’s intimate revelations, the closer it hits home.  

Lyrically, “Play Pretend” demands to be felt. With its wandering verses, a bridge that makes you feel like you’re at a wit’s end, and a chorus that hits you with a sanguine yet somber tune, the song represents built up feelings that will never see the light of the day. Mapa shares, “It’s like you’re running out of time, but at the same time you aren’t. And that distorts what you think of love, whether it be imaginary or reality.”

“Play Pretend” is the third official single of indie pop collective Project Orange under Lilystar Records. Stream their new track here.

Image and details provided by Lilystar Records in a recent press release.