5 UDD songs to help you close a chapter
The hyperanalyzing-our-music-taste season may be dying down, but the culture of exchanging song links is forever. In the case of sending recommendations that highlight Filipino music, there will probably be a few acts that would pop up frequently—one of them is UDD.
Formerly called Up Dharma Down, the alt-indie outfit has been a huge name in the scene since its formation in 2004. Their steady rise to fame, capturing the attention of both intimate gig goers to mainstream listeners, has earned them a sacred spot of local acts we’d mention to the burning question, “Which artists should I listen to to get a good snapshot of Filipino music?” (Well, even Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee recently gave her own spin to the crowd favorite “Oo”.)
While many remember how the band thrived during the height of “hugot” culture—thanks to their heart-shattering lyricism and a soundscape with vulnerability written all over it—UDD has more gems that show their discography’s depth.
And now that we’re wrapping up the year, what better way to make peace with all unresolved endings we’ve gone through than to listen to their songs?
From embracing the passage of time to saying goodbye to a lover, here’s a list of UDD tracks for that first (or last) step to closure.
The title might give you “wallowing in misery” vibes, but it actually encourages a vital but difficult process in closing a chapter: confronting what happened (and letting yourself cry about it). The track, which comes from their 2019 self-titled album (and initially a surprise New Year’s trio), packs an eargasmic rhythm, intimate vocals, and a pace that feels like you’re a person processing things more and more clearly, as you slowly walk to the destination where The Talk will finally happen.
Sure, it has both the “what if”-esque questions (“Wondering what went on your mind”) and loaded blaming (“You never gave us a chance to really try”), but the person’s not totally hung up. Instead, they acknowledge that there may be good times, but they’re not enough to warrant an overstay. Aside from romantic relationships, this song can also inspire the acceptance of outgrowing people, places, or phases—you still have love for them, but they have no place in your present anymore.
Right off the bat, this track from the self-titled record waxes nostalgic, as it transports you to fuzzy details like a nursery filled with stripes, plus being able to read for the first time. But playing this song over and over can feel a little existential, as if every line was borne out of an accidental overthinking session. Quite a murky twist for something that sounds like a slow dance.
In order to navigate present challenges better, the person seems to wish for a rewind so the rectification or preparedness can already start there (“Can’t wait to be young again / And learn about pain, what I’m feeling / Maybe then I’ll never have to want to be young again”). Its relatability stems from how we all crave a blank slate every now and then, especially when we regret the decisions that brought us to today’s possibly unhappy disposition. But in the end, the past can’t be tweaked—and we should find comfort in how we all didn’t know better when we were younger.
Fun fact: Armi Millare, the band’s former frontwoman, wrote the song for 2016 Baler-set film “Apocalypse Child” by Mario Cornejo.
One of UDD’s most popular releases, “Indak” belongs to a percussion-heavy territory—the production’s impact pierces through your soul. Add in the heavenly vocals and it’s definitely a goosebumps-inducing listening experience.
This classic—coming from the critically acclaimed “Capacities” album—has been a favorite of song cover creators and singing competition contestants. But its greatest charm lies in the storytelling. The lyrics tour us into the headspace of someone drowning in confusion. Should this risk be taken for the sake of love? Or would taking a step back be a wiser thing to do?
Sure, the element of “closure” isn’t as straightforward in this song versus the other featured tracks on this list. But it can transport you to a scene where you’re in a limbo, pushing you to weigh pros and cons, and ultimately letting you seal your decision. At the end of the day, will the uncertainty be worth it? Only you will know the right answer.
“Moving On (All The Good Things)”
Another one from the self-titled album, this funky disco-esque track is the type you can play when you’re tired sulking in your bedroom, subsisting on irrelevant flashbacks. You can face the world a bit more now, and some spontaneous dancing might be in order.
The song is squarely focused on reminding you that in the middle of loss, we definitely won’t run out of better things to look forward to. It explores overcoming fears, acting now, and being free. The vocals are infectious, the chorus is a total bop, and it’s the type you can press play in the morning as a substitute to a pep talk in the mirror.
“All Year Round”
You know what’s liberating? Admitting your level of exhaustion. Now that we’re down to the final weeks of 2023, everything might be catching up with us—the weird feeling of loss over relationship dead-ends, ambitions or dreams we finally decided to quit, and versions of ourselves we both love and hate. Many of us will probably be editing supercuts of our highlights this year on Instagram and TikTok, but the ones going on in our heads is an entirely different thing.
When immersing yourself in a pensive mood, you can count on “All Year Round” from UDD’s 2008 “Bipolar” album to ride along with your waves. The track builds majestic imagery that lingers in your senses, it almost doubles like a melancholic lullaby (“Looking for a place to sleep in peace / All year round warmth / Is all I’ll ever want / All I’ll ever need”). The last line, as cliche as it may sound, tells us how any ending can be a beginning, even if all we have are ourselves: “Hello, anybody home?”