Following the release of their singles Biglang Taob, LASIK, and Orasan, HEY JUNE! has finally dropped their debut album on all music streaming platforms, titled Curiosity Killed the Cat.
Though the band was only formed during the pandemic in 2021, HEY JUNE! uses their youth to offer a fresh sound in the OPM industry. With the release of their album, the brand proves that they might be young, but they’re in this for the long haul.
“It’s an album that introduces HEY JUNE!, our sound and the music that we create. It talks about life surrounding our youth and emotions that we want to acknowledge and release,” the band describes Curiosity Killed The Cat.
Channeling Frustrations Into Songs
Composed of Jim Mase (vocals, guitars, and synth), Coey Ballesteros (bass and backup vocals), and Aci Fodra (drums), HEY JUNE! represents a new generation of musicians, combining an addictive sound with lyrics that pack a punch. With Curiosity Killed The Cat, the band further establishes their musical identity with their rock and synth-infused tracks.
True to what their generation is known for, HEY JUNE! makes sure to use their album as a platform to say something worthwhile—exploring their anger, confusion, frustrations, and hope for the future.
“When we decided to put out an album, we tried to tie the songs together in a way where they tell a story and relate to each other, which makes them fit into the concept of the album,” explains the band.
Curiosity Killed The Cat opens with the song of the same name and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The lyrics are relatable and relevant in the time we live in now, an age of so much information that it becomes paralyzing. “We’re learning too much, knowing too much, going too far,” expresses the band , capturing this feeling of exhaustion. The song is a good introduction to what most of the album is about: the existential questions weighing down young adults, delivered with beats that make you bob your head.
The existential dread the band sings about takes a more hopeful turn with Orasan, which the band also released as a single in early 2023. “Just live your world,” HEY JUNE! urges in the lyrics, a sort of rallying cry for their listeners to make the most of their limited days.
LASIK proves that despite the nature of their songs, the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously. The track follows a funny narrative revolving around the vision correction treatment in its title. Released as a single before the album’s release, the track is written in a witty manner.
The energy picks up even more halfway through the album with Sino Mali, a song where the band airs out their frustration and long-held anger, supported by riffs and screamed lyrics that perfectly capture the message of the song.
Asan Ang Gana Ko continues with the band’s brand of hard-hitting questions packaged in a catchy sound.
“It’s quite catchy because as a band, we get last song syndrome whenever we play it. We put our own flavors on it and vibed with it. Coey introduces the song with a bass riff, then Aci comes in with the drums and guitar riff by Jim. It has elements of the classic OPM sound,” HEY JUNE! describes the track.
True to the theme of the album, the band was inspired to write Asan Ang Gana Ko due to the exhausting time their generation has found themselves living in. “The song came from the thought of feeling tired, with too much stuff happening that we just want to take a rest, but at the same time, we just have to push through it.”
Back to You, meanwhile, provides a quick break from all the existential questions within the album. While it’s not quite a love song, the track speaks about someone that you keep coming back to.
HEY JUNE! closes off the album with perfectly placed tracks Katulad Mo and Biglang Taob. The band shares their inspiration and their longing to also be able to go with the flow of life in Katulad Mo. Biglang Taob brings the album’s narrative full circle, written with the metaphor of the cycle of life. The band performs the song with resignation and acceptance of the nature of life. For all of their frustrations, HEY JUNE! continues to soldier on.
Creating Curiosity Killed The Cat
“Jim is our chief songwriter. He created the songs in the album, except for LASIK which was written by Kuya Herbert Hernandez of Moonstar88 and 6cyclemind,” they divulge about their creation process. “He creates the demos of the song ideas he has, then we come together as a band to add our own flavors and tweak some parts along with our producers, Ate Eunice of Gracenote, and our manager, Sir Darwin Hernandez.”
As a relatively new band formed during the era of virtual calls, working on an album together only strengthened their bond. “We became a lot closer. We’ve been through some things during the creation of the album, which made our relationship stronger. We even had “happy accidents,” which led to tasteful parts in the recording and our bonding, spending time in the studio till late at night.”
It seems that these late nights paid off with how the band manages to channel their feelings into a fresh sound and solid narrative with Curiosity Killed The Cat.
“The songs that we wrote in the album came from the strong emotions that we feel as individuals and as young passionate kids, and with a mix of creativity, we hope to project the message that we wanted,” the band shares.
Though they evidently worked hard on all of the songs on the album, the band reveals their favorites.
“My favorite is Katulad Mo, because it’s personal to me,” shares Jim. “I started writing it a few years back when I was hoping to be a performing artist, and I finished the song earlier this year. Intentionally, it was for a band (IV of Spades) that I looked up to back then.”
Coey shares, “My favorite song from the album is “Back To You,” because for me, the message of the song is going back to your safe haven and people who care and believe in you when you face struggles in life. It also means for me going back and choosing myself and loving myself.”
The band’s drummer, Aci, explains why his favorite is Asan Ang Gana Ko: “Most of us can relate to this song because sometimes life can be tiring and we tend to just go with the flow where life brings us.”
While each member has a different favorite, HEY JUNE! is united in the kind of impact they want to leave on their fans. If there’s one line from the album that they don’t want their audience to forget, it’s this: “‘Mukhang kailangan harapin ang bagong araw ngayon.’ You’re strong, even when life throws you off-balance sometimes. Don’t let your struggles define you! You’re not alone in this journey; let’s get back up together and enjoy life and the people around us.”
The band also extends their gratitude to their supporters: “Thank you for your support and for believing in our music. We hope that you enjoy this album as much as we do, and that it becomes your companion through everyday life and challenges.”
Listen to Curiosity Killed The Cat, out now on all music streaming platforms. HEY JUNE! will also be celebrating their album launch on November 10, 2023 at 123 Block, Mandala Park, Mandaluyong City.