“Lambing,” like the word’s linguistic origin, defies a neat and simple translation. Sonically, the third official single from Manila-based, self-fashioned ‘alternative boyband’ KINDRED is part-‘70s Manila Sound, part-city pop, and part-2000s bubblegum pop.
Its light orchestration, four-part harmonies, smooth R&B textures, rap break, and twinkly synth work are immediately transportive. That it is also self-aware (the eight-piece group busts out hokey ‘90s boyband choreography whenever they perform it live) doesn’t curb its charm—but heightens it.
Almost nothing happens by accident in the age of streaming, and while “Lambing” is by no means a result of utter spontaneity, it somehow escapes the sterile feel of algorithm-formulated songwriting. The way it is designed is with the very idea of revival, tapping into eras where, however derivative each of our memories can get, certain sounds—and therefore feelings—ground us into one specific time and place.
While it is not entirely surprising (but still warmly pleasant) that KINDRED’s individual members’ strong production backgrounds resulted in a well-composed song, the heart of “Lambing,” which loosely translates to a show of affection and tenderness towards another, floats with ease: its grand gestures still wrought with accessibility and achingly relatable pangs of longing, romantic professions, and modern-day spin on harana (Filipino serenade), thanks to the group’s evident songwriting chops and firm assist from singer/rapper/producer kiyo.
“Lambing” may be inspired by a quarry of styles from different decades but its sentiment—one of untranslatable warmth, sometimes tempestuous and conflicting, at times simple and with reassuring clarity—is eternal.
Stream “Lambing” below: