#MusicPH - Ben&Ben offers unique perspective on forgiveness with new international single “The Ones We Once Loved”

With sincere songs that connect with listeners on a deep level and more than a billion streams, Ben&Ben continue to produce generation-defining statements. They now have 3.5 million Spotify subscribers. The nine-piece collective, who are regarded as one of the most commercially successful acts in the Southeast Asian region, recently took home the Best Asian Band honor at the 2022 BandLab NME Awards. They also received numerous accolades for their innovative work on the sophomore album Pebble House, Vol. 1: Kuwaderno.

The success of 2020's "Doors" and "Leaves," a collaboration with Korean singer-songwriter Young K of Day 6, led the Filipino hitmakers to return with another worldwide release. They have an excellent discography and an approaching North American tour. Their most recent song, "The Ones We Once Loved," was put out by Sony Music, and it's a softly shocking confessional that even in its seeming weightlessness sounds emotionally profound. The song, which was written by Paolo Benjamin of Ben&Ben, ascends to a private and intimate space while providing a fresh viewpoint on love, forgiving others, and ending relationships.

“It's a song that owns up to one's faults, makes proper apologies, but also expresses hurt, as breakups are often two-way things,” says the band in an official statement. “It’s also one of the hardest songs we’ve written, because it requires the writer to forgive himself for his past and own up to his faults and mistakes. The painstaking process towards that state, the cycles of anxiety and catharsis that the writer went through, and the eventual expression of all of that in the form of this song, as an encapsulation of such a heavy journey, is what makes this song stand out among our other songs.”

The song, which was produced by Johnoy Danao and Jean Paul Verona, employs a deceptively simple melodic approach while being cautious to maintain the sincerity that characterized their most recent hits. The folk-pop group claimed that they intended to preserve a certain level of depth, weight, and storytelling within the instrumentation while keeping the arrangement as simple and transparent as possible.

“Supporting the vocals is the staple piano sound, as one would hear when being sung the humblest and sincerest of songs, slowly followed by more and more melodic instruments as the singer opens up and exposes vulnerability,” the band explains the sonic motif behind the release. “At the end of the day, we wanted to make an arrangement that would provide no barrier to taking in each meaning of every word of a song that has so much to say.”

Backed by rich but sparsely layered instrumentation, the song, particularly its chorus, captures “what so many of us are often too afraid or unprepared to say after a difficult breakup.” Hoping that listeners would take responsibility in making amends with one’s self, and the person on the other end of the grieving process, the band shares, “We are hoping that this song somehow helps people bridge that gap and feel the importance of really letting go through a multi-faceted forgiveness: one of the other, and of the self.”

The official single for Ben&Ben's 2022 North American/Canadian tour and send-off show in the Philippines is "The Ones We Once Loved." Additionally, it is their first time working with the well-known photographer Geloy Concepcion, whose recent publications and exhibitions around the world include Vogue Magazine and other prestigious publications.

“We’ve always wanted to do a collaboration with Geloy Concepcion as most of the band members look up to him, that when we realized he would be the perfect artist to work with for The Ones We Once Loved, we instantly took a chance and set a meeting up with him,” Ben&Ben shares. “In Geloy’s current project ‘Things You Wanted To Say But Never Did’ we saw how resonant and resemblant his messaging was to The Ones We Once Loved and that he may be the best artist to communicate the song’s message. Geloy’s eye and his way of introducing a space to let out feelings and emotions was one we wanted to emulate in this campaign—a space where people sit safely and quietly with their feelings.”

Earlier this week, Ben&Ben encouraged their fans to use the hashtags #BenandBen #BenandBenTOWOL #TOWOL and #TheOnesWeOnceLoved as part of its Twitter activation campaign promoting the international release of “The Ones We Once Loved.” The hashtags revealed official Ben&Ben Twitter emojis, and unlocked a special preview of the song last August 24, 2022. 

Ben&Ben’s “The Ones We Once Loved” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Entertainment.

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