Outerhope
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Outerhope

Manila, Philippines | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Manila, Philippines | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Duo Pop Dream Pop

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Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — It’s been almost five years since we last heard anything from dream pop duo Outerhope — five years since the release of their EP, “No End in Sight,” which at that time the band described as a “departure from [their] earlier sound.” But one would argue that the EP still contains the sparkle and charm Outerhope is known for. People in gigs swayed to their lullabies and harmonies, and danced to the drum track in “Twenty Years from Now,” which showed how they could make a catchy hit and still stay true to their tenderness, and even to the more subdued and mellowed percussions in “No End in Sight,” which became proof of their synth prowess.

Now they’ve gone further, possibly into space, with their newest single, “Holiday.” The song puts synths at the forefront, with an arpeggiating intro swirling over gentle strings sustained constantly throughout six minutes. The “persistent arpeggio and cosmic pulse” is a nod to the future fiction of the late writer Luis Katigbak, the other half of Outerhope’s other half, vocalist Micaela Benedicto. Benedicto sings with fragility but conviction of her loss, with the synth pulses conveying fragments of remembering, and the haunting undertones turning the song into a chronicle of grief. The hidden grandiosity of the strings lie over the low ends, as constant as a monolith, like a safety net, like the wisdom and maturity of love that triumphs over death.

Six months in the making, the composition of “Holiday” is also an exercise in memory, unreliable but dependable during moments of deep sorrow, where we find a silver lining in search for meaning.

The clouds clear during the second part of the song, where percussions let loose and all the other elements merge with each other, the strings rising in pitch and fervor. One can hear, in Benedicto’s voice, her memory gaining momentum, and all at once, pain becoming acceptance.

To be released as part of their upcoming album, “Vacation,” “Holiday” is a culmination of the aforementioned songs and the albums they represent, as a call and welcome embrace to the distant future. It’s a whisper to the void, and a love letter to space, the vast unknown. - CNN Philippines Life


"Holiday", the title track of Outerhope's new two-song single glitters like Christmas ornaments on a winter night. But the shimmering sounds have a weighty core, as the themes are loss and grief, occasioned by the death of the partner of the band's vocalist. It is engaging for every second of its six minute run, and a fitting tribute to its subject. The second song is the atmospheric, cinematic "Boarding Area". Holiday is the first single from Outerhope's upcoming LP, Vacation. The songs on Holiday has a special weightless quality that prompts repeated listens, and growing satisfaction. - When You Motor Away


During Outerhope’s US debut at this year’s NYC Pop Fest, the audience was treated to the airy brother/sister vocals and intricate duets for guitar and synthesizer of Micaela and Michael Benedicto. The Manila duo’s tale-spinning lyrics were just as sweetly winding as the melodies, with a spirit both youthful and nostalgic. Though there were surprising complexities in their gently swaying tunes, each one fell on the ear like a soft breeze. Specifically, they fell on the ear like the kind of soft breeze that smells nice, like the outdoors.

The Benedicto siblings form one of those plugged-in bands that nevertheless evoke the outdoors with everything they do. There’s an organic quality to their shoegazey washes of sound, but, unlike the post-rock bands that paint starlit vistas with their guitar epics, Outerhope recreates the sunny, warm outdoors of all those summers you can’t quite remember.

On recordings like their recently released No End in Sight EP, the delicate layers and sound shadings create a particularly peaceful mood. Letting the twinkling synth and soft blushes of guitar fuzz ebb and flow is a pastime akin to watching drifting clouds or a beautiful sunset over the ocean. It’s soothing, but you couldn’t ever call it dull.

Certainly, no one who saw them at Pop Fest was bored. The audience was stilled, hushed, maybe even a little entranced, but not bored. No one yawns in the presence of a natural wonder. - MTV Iggy


Outerhope is an indie-pop duo from Manila, Philippines. Comprised of siblings Micaela and Michael Benedicto, Outerhope mesh together waves of slow, smooth vocals with reverb rich synths and guitars, resulting in a stormily sophisticated soundscape that could only come from years of musical exploration. On their latest release, No End in Sight, their vocal harmonies layer on top of each other elegantly, while the guitars keep the pace moving. If you enjoy Outerhope’s elegant grasp of dream-pop, download their full EP No End in Sight on their Bandcamp for free, or check them out on SoundCloud. - Obscure Sound


Discography

Vacation LP - Shelflife Records (scheduled 2017-2018)
Holiday (Single)  - Shelflife Records 2017
No End in Sight - Number Line Records 2012
A Day for the Absent - Number Line Records 2009
Strangely Paired - Number Line Records 2005

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Bio

Outerhope is composed of siblings Micaela and Michael Benedicto. The duo’s sound was initially characterized by tale-spinning lyrics sung in airy boy-girl harmonies, laid over hushed guitars and chiming piano melodies, as showcased in their 2005 full-length debut Strangely Paired and the 2009 record, A Day for the Absent.

Their work often suggests obscured memory - indefinite timelines, people suspended between reality and fiction, encounters that may or may not have occurred, and fragments of real places intersecting with those merely imagined.

The No End in Sight EP (2012) marked a departure from Outerhope’s earlier sound. Featuring intricate arrangements awash in shimmering synthesizers, guitar layers, electronic drumbeats, and dream-pop vocals, the songs on the 4-track EP are in turns tinged with melancholy and expectancy, and reintroduce the siblings’ recurring themes of remembrance and loss.

The upcoming Vacation LP (2017) delves into a new exploration of in-between places, love and death, memory and time.

Band Members