Narcolepsy started off like most—as a typical college cover band, but eventually they started giving unique twists to songs not everyone would even think of reviving. After a Glam Rock Christmas Party gig last December at a hotel, they relaunched themselves as an original indie band with original music. They laughed recalling their experience—a lively start to tell the story of their band.
The impression of the band name is weird, but mind you, we’ve all somehow experienced this sudden feeling when we fall into a deep sleep while we’re talking on the phone or reviewing our lecture notes. At first, they thought it was an unusual word to name a band—a perfect fit for them, so they named it that way anyway. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the concept also moved them to be somewhat mental health advocates through their songs. “Malungkot ‘yong songs pero ang message, don’t give up [and] fight…kaya mo yan—depression, anxiety or kung ano pa—you can do better,” Christian Gali, a computer science student and founder of the band pointed out.
Forming a band is never easy, but Narcolepsy found their chemistry onstage, a bond that surprised even themselves. “Nakita ko ‘yong chemistry and ‘yong clinginess ng isa’t isa na hindi ko pa nahahanap sa ibang tao [lalo na] ‘yong commitment talaga sa craft na ginagawa namin,” Gali mentioned. They’re not just a tropa during band rehearsals, but also a family outside the music room—and that’s where the harmony started.
Although the band has experienced being onstage, even having the chance to showcase their talent on-air at Love Radio last August, they admitted that they still get nervous when performing in front of a crowd. Clarisse Umali, a community development student and the vocalist and keyboardist of the band shares, “Iba kasi ‘yung feeling na tumutugtog ka tapos may kaba. Lagi ko ngang sinasabi na kapag kinakabahan ka, ayaw mo magkamali.” For the band themselves, they know the challenge of having to overcome the jitters is better than performing with no thrill at all.
Aside from the shivers with each performance, the song writing process also comes with the package. Gali, who is also the composer of the band, shares that ideas usually come out of the blue like a firefly. And you need to catch and hold on to it while it glimmers before it flies away.
Narcolepsy constantly tries to capture the concept of hardships and struggles, turning sadness to hope, and loneliness to art—simply put, that it’s okay to not be okay. “Kasi may mga songs na ‘pag napakinggan mo malungkot lang, pero may songs na ‘pag nabasa mo ‘yong lyrics or napakinggan mo, ‘di lang siya malungkot, bibigyan ka talaga ng pag-asa,” Umali pointed out.
One of their original compositions is called Nawawala, coming from the story of the composer’s grandfather who passed away. Two other songs, Alaala and Ann, also deserve a spot on your #senti playlist.
The band is also mostly inspired by the mellow music of John Mayer with a touch of the melodramatic vibes of Up Dharma Down and upbeat thrill of Autotelic. It’s one musical circle with a poetic approach, blending slow alternative with indie pop music.
With Loris Trinidad on drums, Simon Hernandez on bass guitar, and vocalists Christian and Clarisse on guitar and keyboard respectively—Narcolepsy aspires to be widely heard—especially by the long asleep and lonesome hearts in need of an awakening.
Listen to them on SoundCloud: Narcolepsy Music
This article was originally published in La Salleño Volume 25.