Cheats drops a Valentine’s Day treat with “Honey Calm Down”
People who have been in love with Cheats and their amazing music will be sure to enjoy their Valentine’s Day treat, “Honey Calm Down.” The song will be released on the day of hearts, February 14, on major streaming services by Island Records Philippines. Jim Bacarro, the band’s vocalist, guitarist, and keyboardist, composed the song. The song was mostly recorded at home, but the drum parts were recorded in a studio. Sam Marquez (One Click Straight) mixed the track. Jim says that it was the band’s only studio experience in 2020.
“Honey Calm Down” is a new version of a song that has been in Jim’s pocket for some time. He first composed the song in 2017, but at the start of the pandemic in 2020, the song got a new arrangement and lyrics. Jim recalls that it was originally arranged as a guitar driven track from a male perspective. The song’s lyrics now reflect a female point of view, and it is now a smooth dance-pop track that shows a new dimension of Cheats’ sound.
“Honey Calm Down” centers on an intimate relationship and the insecurities those in that relationship have while in it. The song talks about being together in a relationship in a realistic way, being aware of its ups and downs. It’s not all wine and roses, but it’s about learning how to make love work.
Jim is looking forward to listeners appreciating this straightforward and certainly relatable song. He says that “Honey Calm Down” was the highlight of a very tough 2020. He is also looking forward to the song’s music video, which will drop February 16. As for 2022, Cheats looks forward to releasing more singles and, hopefully, more live shows.
Cheats formed in 2013 from the core duo of longtime bandmates Jim Bacarro and Manny Tanglao, initially recruiting a loose collective of musicians to collaborate on their original material. Eventually, a more-or-less stable lineup coalesced around them, including singers Saab Magalona and Candy Gamos, who added a feminine dynamic to their music, and the band played their first shows, generating buzz with every live outing. Soon, audiences were singing along to the band’scatchy, then-unrecorded songs, leaving venues with strained voices, and sweaty from all the dancing. The band released its self-titled debut album in 2015, produced by scene veteran Ely Buendia (Eraserheads, Apartel, Pupil),to much acclaim. This was followed by invitations to play several festivals in 2016, including Singapore’s Laneway Festival in January, where they were the first Filipino act to perform since its inception in 2011, opening for Beach House, CHVRCHES, The 1975, and more. Cheats also shared the stage with the likes of Bon Iver and Death Cab for Cutie at that year’s Wanderland Festival in March, and with Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa at the Paradise International Music Festival in April. Armed with a new set of tunes, Cheats reentered the studio in 2017with producer Raimund Marasigan (Eraserheads, Sandwich, Pedicab)and recorded their second full-length, Before the Babies. The album was released in December, a week after the band performed at that year’s Clockenflap Festival in Hong Kong alongside Massive Attack, Feist, Mitski, and others. Consisting of songs that the band had been playing live for over a year, Before the Babies did not disappoint fans and critics, as the album and its singles made a number of yearend lists and polls from respected websites and publications, radio stations, and listeners. In 2019,the band released a succession of well-received singles on Spotify, including “Milk,” “These Kids are Only Dreaming,” and “Machine Jr, ”collectively known as the Ultramilk EP. Since the pandemic began, they have been busy working on new material and doing online performances for their fans. This year, Cheats have finally returned to the studio with producer Mikey Amistoso (Ciudad, Hannah+Gabi) to track their next releases since 2020’s interim single “Daze” and last February’s video single “Tawid,” their first Filipino-language track. The band hopes to return to local and international stages soon, to impart their energetic live show to indie rock enthusiasts from all over.
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