Narda formed in the Philippines in 2002 with the simple goal of being able to write songs and share them with anyone who cared to listen. Having cultivated a humble fan base and a reputation as one of the best unsigned bands around, Narda has released four EPs and their first full-length album Formika (which drew raves from Pinoy rock music insiders) all under the bands flagship indie label Ponkan Music. They released their follow-up album 'Discotillion' in 2006.
It all started with the pioneering core of drummer Ryan Villena, frontwoman Katwo Librando, bassist Wincy Ong (previously on guitars) and guitarists JV Javier and Ed Ibarra. Ryan, Katwo, JV and Wincy were previously in the band Lilian together with Yan Yuzon of Pupil.
By October 2002, Narda had recorded their first EP "A Postcard From" composed of four tracks. Then on December 13, 2002 – to dispel all bad luck on a Friday the 13th – the band released its second EP aptly titled "Suwerte" also containing four songs. By this time, Narda had definitely defined its sound as a band, the buzz was definitely out and the band was gaining a steady fanbase.
Over Christmas vacation of 2002, Narda recorded their stripped-down acoustic EP called "Burador", experimenting with sparse arrangements, mean backwards guitars and string arrangements. It was released in early 2003 containing four songs.
By 2003, Narda was gigging heavily and their songs Crime-fighting Mama and Suwerte were earning steady airplay over the local rock stations. Narda started recording their fourth EP "Salaguinto't Salagubang" in the summer of 2003. The EP , which carried five songs including the single Jaywalker and Meron Ba?, was launched at the now defunct Millenia on September 2003. By this time, original guitarist Ibarra had left the band due to work concerns and former Lilian guitarist Nico Africa had rejoined his former bandmates in Narda. Even if Ibarra had played most of his guitar parts in the "Salaguinto.." EP, it was Africa who played during the EP launch.
Narda had intense songwriting sessions late 2003 to early 2004 for their first full-length album. Recording the album "Formika" took exactly one year (from February 2004 to February 2005), and was released (under Ponkan Music) on March 5, 2005 at Gasoline Alley. The album contained twelve tracks Formika wound up on critics' best-of-2005 lists.
After several gigs promoting their album, gigging took its toll on guitarists JV and Nico. The two decided to leave amicably the band due to work concerns right about the time Narda was to celebrate its 3rd birthday.
Narda then recruited Jep Cruz for keyboard duties with Wincy sliding to guitar duties again, leaving the bassist position vacant. The third incarnation had a new sound, going back to their late 70s to 80s new wave roots and forged a new sound that is both intriguing and compelling.
In late 2005, Wincy left Narda to pursue his craft and was replaced by Tani Santos . Through gigging and songwriting, Narda's sound metamorphosed into a more lo-fi, garage-oriented and straight-to-your-face ear candy wrapped with all-Filipino lyrics. In 2006, Yaps Estagle joined Narda for additional synth duties.
Jettisoning their sweet retro-pop sound from their previous material, Narda released 'Discotillion' on September 22, 2006. They went full throttle in a new direction, resulting with immediate, punk-influenced and pop-savvy in-your-face songs, armed with buzzy synths, primal guitars, furious drums and Katwo’s distinctive, seductive, and electrifying singing. This record features the singles Molotov and Ang Mitsa.
Narda announced their disbandment in 2007. The band cited that "lineup changes and other setbacks, and maybe, with yet another lineup change, it was time to lay Narda to rest." Their last gig was on April 12, a gig they cheekily entitled NARDAmaggedon.
Visit the band online at http://nardabanda.multiply.com.
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