Bulong ng Madaling Araw (Whispers from the Early Morning) is Gabriel’s first EP under Republic Records Philippines. This six-song record evokes that time of the day when the singer-songwriter often writes his music, between 2 to 3 in the morning. He says that “this is the time when we feel our vulnerability, the time when we think about the what is’s, what if’s, what could be’s, and what could’ve been’s.” He adds that these songs are meant to offer comfort during that restless time of night.
The idea for Bulong emerged after he wrote the record’s first single, “Sakin Ka Lang Tumingin,” when he realized that it would be a good idea to run with the concept of midnight thoughts, something which (by sheer coincidence) another singer-songwriter with UMG, Taylor Swift, explores in her new album Midnights. Gabriel’s own take on this subject is a meditation on various aspects of love, rendered in ways that even he could have not predicted when he first wrote the songs. For this record, he collaborated with his mentor Jonathan Manalo and his sisters on the songwriting. He also worked with Theo Martel on the song arrangements and produced the record.
Bulong did not take long to finish, as it incorporates Gabriel’s two prior releases. He credits Martel for helping him put the tracks together. However, the challenge was that he needed to find the time to work on the vocal tracks, of which there were several—all of which contributes to the record’s richness and sound. This challenge was crucial especially since his work as a sound engineer at a recording studio gave him limited time to work on them. The result is something that helps listeners engage with the gamut of emotions that run through one’s mind on sleepless nights, expressed in a variety of pop music forms.
Gabriel plans to promote Bulong in the coming weeks while working on new releases. With this record, he says, those who stay up late know that they aren’t alone in what they’re going through.