Short Impressions: Bamboo Manalac’s No Water, No Moon

A couple of seasons late, and I discovered Bamboo Mañalac’s first solo album No Water, No Moon. I’m quite happy I did.


On the Album:

  • Quirky arrangements. Interesting instruments, second voices, and other noise sometimes pop out of the tracks. It felt like listening to art all throughout somehow.
  • Relaxed melodies. Sometimes there’s a buildup, or a break, and it’s still rock, probably. But it’s a really chill album.
  • ??Lyrics?? Aside from some clear and catchy lines (mostly from the choruses), I really don’t know what Bamboo is talking about.

I wouldn’t even have thought of making a reaction post if the album was boring. In some ways, No Water, No Moon felt monotonous with its tone and vocals, but it was ultimately refreshing to listen to (amidst American pop-rock and my nonexistent appreciation of Philippine music) for the very reasons above. And below.

One Sentence Reactions:

Carousel – It’s got a nice intro and I AM HOOOME, but aside from that I’m not sure why this is a selling track.

Questions – I can see myself swaying to this song at night and by the window. Philosophically.

In Shadow – Really interesting strings plus the low, intense vocals makes for a compelling (but currently undeciphered) narrative. Also a swaying song.

Please – I’m so sad???

Morning Rose – This is the kind of song I’d probably hear in a novelty cafe shop when I’m running away from romantic entanglements. For the irony.

Back On My Feet – I was not expecting this track and everything in it. This is the set-up to my inspirational marathon running movie.

spin – Okay.

In This Life – I imagine Bamboo singing in front of a small slightly tipsy crowd, but with class.

down the line – Intro got me into my dramatic headspace. The rest of the song was like an intimate shouting whisper. DOWN THE LINE! blah blah blah blah DOWN THE LINE! 

All Hail The Fool – Me: What’s happening? …I’m still not sure.

The Only Way – Very classic. Boring.

Just Go – I GOT ALL I CAN CARRY… This track has some uses in the future, but I just can’t imagine it yet.

Ikot ng Mundo – Vaguely inspirational and instructional. I finally listened to the lyrics closely because I feel like the only Tagalog track deserved my full attention. And then suddenly there’s English…?


I’m no musical expert, and I didn’t really play through the album for a critical analysis. But the point is: this is a good album. It’s been my background music for the last two hours. Possibly.

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