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Jul 29, 2022
Cheats drops "Kapit" with a sonic surprise


Stream the track!


Jim Bacarro, Cheats’ lead singer, guitarist, keyboard player, and composer of their new single “Kapit,” says that the lyrics of this song were taken from an experience he had in his early twenties. “I think that's why it's so simplistic,” he says, “because [at] that time, life was pretty simple, [so] you [would] desire something and you couldn't get it.”



Jim says that “Kapit,” like much of Cheats’ recent Tagalog material, was originally composed in English, and if he felt like it, it would be rewritten in a different language. He says that this explains the general feel of the song, which evokes some of the songwriting of the Manila Sound movement in the 1970s. This is a track that has a very contemporary feel but stands in a tradition of original Filipino pop music.



Listeners of “Kapit” will discover not just the major sonic surprise of this remarkable track, but the way that Cheats puts it all together throughout. Their sultry vocal work appears against a perceptible backdrop of thumping Eighties-style synths, with the guitars providing additional texture. In fact, Jim has a suggestion for anyone who finds the single on Spotify and taps the play button: "Keep listening to it over and over again so you can understand what's going on."



Produced by Diego Mapa (Tarsius/Pedicab) and Sandwich’s Diego Castillo (known, of course, as the Diegos), “Kapit” is the latest Cheats track to give longtime fans and new listeners a taste of what to expect from their upcoming album. “I'd say this is the best album to date,” Jim says, “This is where I think [the songs] mesh well together, noise, melody, harmonies, and everything that Cheats is about.” The album is set to drop sometime soon, and if this remarkable single hints at what to expect, then this may indeed be Cheats’ biggest achievement in almost a decade of making music together.



“Kapit” is now out on all major music streaming platforms under Island Records Philippines. It’s accompanying lyric video is also now available on YouTube.






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’s catchy, 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 2017 with 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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Stream “Kapit” out now on all music streaming platforms!


Tags: #Cheats  #New Single  #Kapit