Ransom Collective releases magnificent 'Traces' on vinyl

Rick Olivares

Posted at Mar 18 2018 08:03 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2018 09:07 PM

Ransom Collective releases magnificent 'Traces' on vinyl 1

MANILA -- Ten months after The Ransom Collective released its album, "Traces," on compact disc, the six-piece indie folk band unveiled a vinyl version on Saturday at Satchmi, UP Town Center. 

It can be a risky move considering the fickle buying habits of music fans nowadays, but the band’s beautiful and heartwarming songs are like keepsakes. Thus, the intimate bond formed between band and listener.

“It is perfect I think,” noted the band’s lead singer and guitarist Kian Ransom of the small crowd that packed the record store. 

“It was an intimate setting and we wanted all the people who came here to feel the same. What is absolutely amazing is a lot of people pre-ordered the album while many walked in to buy the record. Even before that, we were surprised that even our compact discs are selling considering our audience is young. Our songs are on Spotify and YouTube and you wouldn’t think they’d be looking for a compact disc. But it is such a gratifying feeling that they want the physical copy. Not just to have a physical thing but to also feel connected to us.”

Added violinist Muriel Gonzales: “We had vinyl in mind when we were recording 'Traces' but the plan fell through. Then Offshore Music approached us to help produce the vinyl and we feel as if the album has its second wind. And it’s such a nice feeling to have it out in this format.”

Like Offshore Music’s previous releases – Apartel’s "Inner Play" and the Ely Buendia and the Itchyworms single “Pariwara/Lutang” -- The Ransom Collective’s "Traces is pressed in Japan, a bold attempt to give the revived music scene a stamp of quality. Great care is taken to release quality recordings that can only continue to stoke the fires of original Pilipino music.

"Traces" is that sort of album that when you play, you savor every note and every word that has a cinematic feel to them, tugs at your heartstrings and appeals to your wanderlust. I would even venture that this is the sort of music the late great Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac would take with him on the road – to crib the title of his literary masterpiece – if he were alive today.

I would. 

And on that note, “Open Road” is simply perfect as the opening song for this album. When you see the video for “Settle,” the second track on the album, you go on merrily on your way with eight more songs that take you out on the wild blue yonder where there’s plenty of room for introspection about this grand adventure called life. 

“It wasn’t too long ago when we had only two songs,” said keyboardist Lily Gonzales. “Joining Wanderband put us in the spotlight. We promoted one original composition and one cover song that Wanderband wanted us to play. And now, years later, we have an album. That’s real cool.”

True enough, from the time the band began in 2013 up to the release of "Traces" last year, that was a perfect gestation period as the songs – 10 finely crafted pop gems, if you will – were refined and polished. The result is a darn good album that deserves a place in any fan of good music. And the vinyl format is richly deserved for such a beautiful record and for a band that makes such beautiful music.