Noa Mal

Lo-fi indie rock from the Philippines

Noa Mal
This week we're listening to music from island nations from around the world. Each day, we'll challenge our expectations of what we think music from a place sounds like, and listen to great music while we do. See where we've been so far.

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to Noa Mal, an indie rock singer and musician from Lucena in the Philippines with a grungy lo-fi sound. She is a young and prolific songwriter with no filter on what she sings about and open to contradictions whenever and however they come. Mal's sound is grounded in the nineties, but her ideas are evergreen and she has the guts to put in on (the) record.

"Don't Be Nostalgic" by Noa Mal
2021 | Lo-fi indie rock from the Philippines

Go deeper with this excerpt from and a link to a feature by Khyne Palumar on NME:

[Noa] Mal operates from a place of vulnerability, fending off perfectionism by constantly creating. “When it comes to music, I want something that’s real. I believe in rawness and authenticity,” she asserts. “Nothing wrong with being polished, but I prefer to be honest. I just got a thing for unpolished music.”

That means releasing a song when she’s satisfied with a mix, even if her cat’s meowing remains in the recording (as on the intro of ‘Don’t Be Nostalgic’). She has no problem tossing a song that’s taking too long to write (“If I can’t finish, it’s not meant to be so I throw it out”), and she’ll put out a track even if she “finds the lyrics quite bad or cheesy”.