'Broken Sonnet' Cements Hale Sound

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Byline: JOJO P. PANALIGAN

Industry observers have been predicting that it was only a matter of time before the melodramatic musical influences of British alternative bands like Keane, Coldplay and Radiohead would extend locally. Hale, EMI Philippines new recording quartet that recently released its eponymous debut album, is that prophecy come to pass.

Comprised by Champs Lui-Po, Roll Martinez, Omni Saroca and Sheldon Gellada, the band has throttled up the charts with "Broken Sonnet," a paean to love lost done in 3/4 time signature that was picked up by radio accidentally.

"Broken was first included in the compilation album Full Volume," relates Champs. It wasnt really pushed as a single because there were other tracks by bigger acts. We were protegees among pioneers, so to speak. The idea was just to break into the sceneget some name-recall goingin lieu of the full-length CD."

But as circumstances show, Hale seems to have a penchant for being noticed without really trying. Even when "Broken" has yet to lose steam, other radio stations have begun airing another song, "The Day You Said Goodnight." The mid-tempo ballad cements the Hale sound of introspective lyrics and vocal highlights that prefer falsetto over scream; an easygoing and bare-all approach to music that hooked EMI ultimately.

"We have already been snubbed by two record companies when we got the call from EMI," Roll confesses. "The interest actually came as a surprise because it happened so fastless than 24 hours after they heard our demo! Before we could even get over the thrill of initial contact, EMI already had representatives in one of our gigs to check out if were as good live as on record."

Signed up last November (a mere five months after the band was formed), the band set to work writing six more songs posthaste that would be consistent with the ones in existence years ago. Amazingly, a quick spin through the CD exposes no demarcation between old and new.

"The secret is honesty," shares Champs. "Because we treat songs as personal chronicles, we merely continue where we left off whenever we write new materials. …