July may be summertime in some parts of the western hemisphere, but here in ours, it’s the season of rain.
Now picture this: It’s a downpour outside—but not the kind that would put anyone in harm’s way, of course—and you’re at home, safe, and covered with a blanket, with a cup of tea or your favorite joe in hand. What better music to accompany yourself than the ambient acoustic kind that would make you feel even more at home and cozy? Or maybe you’re on the road, going on about making a living; although there’s still a bit of rain as you look outside the bus windows, the foot-thumping folk rock jam that you have on your playlist has your back.
Whichever it is, and wherever you are, Ian Penn’s Water from the Creek is one you’ll keep in your pilgrim.
The 10-track LP launched last July 1 offers us a look from Penn’s pensive perspective of life on the road, his hometown of Arayat, and of Intramuros, among other things.
THE TRACK-BY-TRACK GUIDE
- Only One
“I want to remember you just like this. You’re the only one. You will live in my heart. As much as I am filled deep in your tears, you’re the only one.”
The album starts off with Only One. And it’s like waking up early in the morning just before the sun rises; just before the rest of the world prepares to deal with life. More importantly, waking up beside someone you cherish, and memorizing every detail of that person’s being as they lay asleep.
- Water from the Creek
“Running back home where we used to dream. The sea rises, I’m on the edge of my seat. Nothing much to say, I am longing to be with you.”
The titular track of the album is about Penn’s hometown of Arayat, Pampanga, as their house sits beside a creek. Water from the Creek could well be about a childhood friend you meet after such a long time of being away from home. You meet them again and the both of you are a changed person, so you make the effort to know and start over again.
“There’s a boat that’s hanging on my window. There’s an orchard lying by the sea. In the morning, I’ll begin to see you. Find me where the buses never sleep.”
This song would’ve been the brainchild of a Beatles and Dylan collaboration if that ever happened. If anything, Ian Penn made and turned that into a reality with this track.
“If I seize the time given on my days, would I seem to find peace?”
When, in the wee hours just before dawn, you feel as if you’ve been running around in circles all this time, and you’re just exhausted, Bluebirds is your serenade.
Asked about what Water from the Creek could be, Penn wholly described it as being day and night—with the first four songs you could just listen all through the day, and with the rest you could listen to during the night. Road serves as the interlude.
- Midnight Talk
“Our train of thoughts coincide like you are dreaming with me. And your midnight talk is all I have at the end of the day.”
If you ever back up at the end of your day before you sleep, and you recap what you’ve done, seen, and said all in a span of a day, Midnight Talk is for you.
- Naked at Three
“Troubles will find their way on your door. Your heart will remember you’ve been here before. Carry the stones or crucify me. No one remembers you’re naked at three.”
Past midnight hours are real vulnerable hours with no one around to judge what you say or think about. For some, it’s the most peaceful time of day because they get to be alone without worry of anyone or anything bugging you to do something and—as what this song is about—naked.
- It’s Going to Rain
“It’s going to rain all weekend, so let us stay indoors and let it rain. I’ll never get tired of the road home, it’s where I belong.”
Penn debuted this song nearly a year ago (along with his band) in the Teatrino Promenade in Greenhills for the album’s fundraising gig, telling us that the song was inspired by the rains of Intramuros whenever Intramuros Rising happens on the weekend. We were braving the uncharted during that time last year as well. Now, it’s Saturday, and it’s raining outside as of this writing. There’s coffee on the table, and the chill wind makes for perfect company. The best thing anyone can do about rain is to let it rain. Stay safe.
- Two Weeks
“Don’t carry all the weight. Lean on my shoulder and hear me, ‘cause I see a river mist rolling by. Old boats are leaving a new morning light.”
For when you feel like leaving everything behind to yesterday, it’s okay do so. A new day rises for you to start over and do things that matter.
- Visiting a Zeppelin
“Dying to see it slowly come my way. Only few people sitting there to stay. You look for me to take me home. Foolish lines, let’s fall in love.”
Listening to it at first may seem like the track is pirate recorded, but there’s an interesting fact about Visiting a Zeppelin: it’s recorded live and on-the-spot at the Makati Museum using an old upright piano that’s possibly decades old. Penn said he would’ve recorded with a much better piano, but the feeling wouldn’t just be the same.
“The band really made it tasty. The band knew who I was, and it was them who made the songs come to life.”
Right from the get-go when Ian Penn debuted his band in Teatrino last year, we knew he would be a different monster. His dynamic with the band is just so organic in this record that it’s a step further—a wild abandon—from his Wild Abandon EP. “The band really made it tasty. The band knew who I was, and it was them who made the songs come to life,” he says. In addition, Penn expressed how, with the record being finished, he feels like he’s made an audio postcard of his travels, as it’s also thanks to the people he’s met and everything in between. We have no way of knowing, but one thing is certain, we’re waiting for what Ian Penn offers next with great anticipation.
3 = Emotion (3/3)
3 = Storytelling/Lyrics (3/4)
3 = Music (3/3)