Photo Credits to Autotelic Facebook Page
By Zymon Arvindale R. Dykee
Once a listener drowns himself into lively tunes loudly emitted by stereos, an internal feeling will surge for him to tap his fingers in synchrony with the beat, or maneuver his body to match the record’s tempo. Filipino band Autotelic, however, adds a twist to this definition with its new album “Papunta Pabalik”.
The first physical record released in 2016 by the group, “Papunta Pabalik” consists of ten songs that echo the persona’s emotions in instances such as the discovery of affection and instability of relationships.
The long play begins with “Gising”, a piece which lives up to its title as it gives off the vigor that lasts throughout the whole duration of the album with its vivacious play of drums and high keys of electric guitars and vocals. These characteristics, in return, form the song into his screaming voice to awaken her to the reality that he has been wishing for a moment in which the two of them are together and bound by love.
“Languyin” follows next, a dreamy composition which emanates the impression of an underwater setting with its soft, echoing beats in the background that resemble droplets creating ripples on a liquid surface. It amplifies the fearless and unyielding determination of the persona to paddle his way to reach the one he adores—distance and predicaments notwithstanding.
When listeners reach the third and fourth tracks, a clash between the tones and messages can be noticed. “Unstable” starts off with a gloomy atmosphere, but the song eventually retains the album’s fast pace as it progresses. It resounds the persistence of the persona to fix his tainted relationship with his beloved. Although adopting a frolicsome rhythm, “Laro” considers the relationship of the two as children’s game—electrifying and dejecting listeners at the same time.
The succeeding songs revert to the optimistic mood of the persona. “Misteryoso” further accentuates his newfound love for the woman by vividly retelling how the feelings have blossomed and how she has strongly affected him. It is through “Mapa” that he belts out how she completes and propels him to the right direction. Pulsating beats accompany both tracks, bringing forth a discotheque ambiance. Keyboard-induced piece “Close Your Eyes” delineates unsteadiness once again; however, the persona this time encourages her to continue by presenting possibilities their relationship may undergo.
Towards the end of the record, the last tracks share the same dysphoric theme and upbeat tunes. “Balik” highlights the persona’s frustration to be released from the enchaining emotions after being driven to memory lane. Serving as a sorrowful conclusion to the story, “Dahilan” shows him begging for one acceptable reason to hold on before letting go. Finally, “Hanap” ties up the masterpiece by reverberating his admittance of longing after separation, and his pursuit to win her back.
The album’s title not only stresses the recurrence of a back-and-forth transition of songs based on emotions; it also foregrounds the cycle of love—from the unfolding of feelings to the tests of times, which lead to the parting of ways and the hope to rekindle it once more.
“Papunta Pabalik” sends its listeners to an odyssey where a smorgasbord of emotions resides, gratifying their need of an atmosphere of ethereal vocals that engulfs their entirety. Autotelic, with its new album, successfully proves the possibility of resonating affection and heartbreaks with electro pop music—integrating playful melodies and plangent lyrics in each of its pieces without flaw.