Homegrown: Myriad Bloom

Words by Joey Dizon


Combining the best of vintage blues, jazz, and funk influences with a modern ethic of fearlessly throwing in layers of sonic vibes outside the realm of the genres, the all-new outfit Myriad Bloom is on a path to carving out a name for themselves this year. Having recently released their debut single, “Fire,” the band is already showing promise as a serious contender in the local live scene.


Myriad Bloom – Fire live @ The Tiny Bar


Consisting of vocalist Giana Gabrinao, guitarist/songwriter Carl Anthony Guanco, keyboardist Kensan Carandang, bassist Neil Aldrin, and drummer Hector Dingle, the band—whose namesake means “the unfolding of ten thousand things”—obviously takes having fun quite seriously, especially as they continue to build their repertoire and redefine their sound. 


Of course, we decided to have a quick chat with the members and fired away a few questions in the process:


PULP: So tell us anything and everything we need to know about the band—when and how you all got together, and what the goal was back then?

Carl: The band name signifies the unraveling of the great unknown, sort of like the Big Bang: we imagine giving birth to songs that offer a new spin on our being, becoming, and everything in between; it has no particular intention, no definite inclination. The music moves where we feel it should and goes as soon as we think it must. It just is. The band was formed when I reunited with my old bandmates—we started playing the new songs I wrote, and the chemistry was still undeniable. Our manager and good friend, KV, finally scouted Giana last December after a year of searching: we had already heard more than a dozen tryouts and about a dozen more singers were in queue. But something clicked the moment I heard Giana sing, so without consulting the rest of the band, I just hired her. And during our first rehearsal, the others confirmed for themselves that she was the perfect fit; in fact, it was so good that we didn’t bother listening to the rest of the people who wanted to audition.


PULP: Was the band’s sonic direction always geared toward the blues and jazz influence? What artists and musicians were you into?

Gia: Well, we were always heavily influenced by blues, jazz, soul, and a little bit of southern rock and city pop, both individually and collectively: artists like Norah Jones, Earth, Wind, and Fire, and Sade. We all share a deep admiration and respect for the classics.

Neil: I’m still listening to Sade, Tower of Power, and Toto, and locally Sinosikat, P.O.T., Kapatid, and Yosha… I lean towards musicians like James Jamerson, Pino Palladino, Marcus Miller, and I love drummers like Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Porcaro, John Bonham, and our very own Mike Alba.


PULP: Tell us about the songwriting process of the band.

Carl: It’s like a piece of dough that needs a lot of kneading: the rough draft basically contains the melody, the rhythm, and the lyrics; and the song thrives in the constant pushing and pulling between the artists involved—everyone should have a hand in what goes into the oven. It only becomes a song when it presents itself to everyone as something that’s “done.” We like to experiment with the process and take risks sonically—and of course, enjoy the ride: we’re not really obsessed with the other stuff, like what passes off as marketable and/or trendy. We are here to make something timeless, which is why I believe that a good song can’t be automated or replicated by, say, AI.


PULP: What can you tell us about your first single, “Fire.” What inspired it sonically and lyrically?

Carl: Nothing is more basic than the concept of fire—it is non-material, and it does not classify itself in any state of matter. When you see fire, you are literally looking at the process of combustion. It’s a chemical reaction; a progression of change that one can actually visualize. If the universe was already in a hot, dense state before it expanded, then one of the first properties of the universe is heat. Though there are debates about where we came from and how we got here, I think fire was already there in the first place. And very much like love, it has already consumed you even before you can admit it. So I wanted to come up with a song that would serve as a good primer for the band: simple enough but packs a wallop—enough to catch people’s attention and make them want to stay and check out our other songs.


PULP: Now that “Fire” is out, what are the immediate plans of the band? What’s the rest of the year looking like?

Gia: The band is currently in the middle of recording several songs for an album to be released by the end of the year, and we are also looking forward to the gigs lined up in the coming months; we’re performing live at the Blues and Mixed Genre Stages at Fête de la Musique PH’s 30th anniversary. The future of the band looks very promising, given that we’re all on the same page when it comes to musicality, creativity, and passion for performing. With a growing number of monthly listeners and followers, we’re very proud to be walking side by side, shining, and enjoying all the love and light from our friends, family, and supporters.

Keep up with Myriad Bloom on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify.