If you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders and your head space is a circus of anxiety and grief, frustration and disappointment and, yes, that stubborn will to continue on—you just found yourself in the situation the folk rock/pop rock group Ben&Ben is describing in their latest release.
Called “Magpahinga” it’s practically talking about all of us whose dreams have been stunted by a pandemic, whose jobs and loved ones have been taken away, whose futures are uncertain. Cry it out, the song says, take a break—there’s nothing wrong with it.
The anthemic piano ballad from the nine-person collective is very much Ben&Ben: introspective, sensitive, just the kind of thing you’ll hear from a friend—enveloped in that uplifting, magical melody Ben&Ben songs are known for.
“It’s a song that reminds us to check up on ourselves and address our own inner struggles,” says lead vocalist and guitarist Paolo Benjamin. “But also, it is a song that aims to accompany the listener, and remind them that in those moments of hardship, they are not alone.”
“Magpahinga” is written by the band’s Miguel and Paolo Benjamin, and produced by JP Verona. It was recorded in the house the band collectively calls home, which we previously wrote about here. Keyboardist Patricia Lasaten used the baby grand in the three-story residence to give the tune a very intimate feel in the beginning and a grandiosely cinematic flourish where it needs it. “The piano helped give the song a nostalgic texture, magnified further by Pat’s emotional performance,” says percussionist Andrew de Pano.
“Magpahinga” is, indeed, a very emotional song. Can maybe even bring you to hagulgol levels depending on the time of day. But it is also very comforting and hopeful. It speaks about our relentless will to live in the face of hardships, (“Ayoko naman magpatalo, pero parang ubos na ubos na ubos na ako”), assures us all of this will end (“Matatapos ang problema, malapit na.”), and that we have each other’s backs. “Dito ka lang sa’kin,” sings Paolo in the chorus, practically inviting us to lean our heads on this song’s shoulder and take a break from the world. Thank you Ben&Ben.
Ben&Ben’s "Magpahinga" is out now on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music.