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Taken by Cars are an Alternative Rock Band best known for their two albums, Endings of a New Kind and Dualist. The band's genre is also described as Synth Rock, Indie Rock, and Shoegaze.
The band consists of singer Sarah Marco, guitarists Bryce Zialcita and Derek Chua, bassist Isa Garcia, and drummer Bryan Kong. Thanks to their dedicated fanbase and crossover success, Taken by Cars are argaubly the best known band in Party Bear Records' artist roster.
Taken by Cars is recognized the the first Filipino band to perform at the prestigious South by South West or SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
Taken By Cars Album and Songlist
A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition) Demo (2007)
1. A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition)
Endings of a New Kind (2008)
2. Un Oh
3. The Blackout
5. A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition)
6. All For A Tuesday
7. Logistical Nightmare
9. December 2 Chapter VII
10. The Afterhours
12. Neon Brights
1. This Is Our City
4. Quarter To Three
5. Matter of Fact
8. Thrones: Indifference
9. Thrones: Equals
11. Sea Bass
Most accounts trace Taken by Cars' origins to 2007, when their demo "A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition)" was released. But Taken by Cars' members were already performing together years prior. The crucial stage of their evolution was Sarah Marco's addition to the lineup as a singer.
Prior to that, the rest of the original lineup, guitarists Zialcita and Chua, and drummer Kong, were friends in high school and college. With Marco in the fold, however, the band transitioned from playing covers to writing and composing original music.
Taken by Cars' first songs were created from mid-2006 to 2007.
Once the band decided on their name, which they describe as a phrase that connotes movement and a certain mystery, Taken by Cars started writing their own songs. In one interview, the band members claimed Taken by Cars is a term for listening to music while driving.
Taken by Cars' fanbase grew as a result of posting finished songs on MySpace. Their concert schedule in their early days was erratic and the band supposedly went on hiatus at some point between 2006 and 2007. Their online audience did grow over time and soon Taken by Cars were receiving airplay, especially the single "A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition)."
By 2008, the band's popularity in the Manila gig circuit led to further airplay in leading radio stations that catered to Filipino rock fans. That same year, the band's debut album Endings of A New Kind was released by Warner Music Philippines.
Despite the backing of a major label, Taken by Cars remained an Indie Rock band. This was because the album was recorded in Party Bear Records' studio while distribution and marketing were handled by Warner.
Endings of A New Kind was heavily promoted locally and had five release parties. Taken by Cars also performed regularly despite the busy schedules of the different members.
More than a debut album in a jewel case, Endings of A New Kind marked the beginning of Taken by Cars long dalliance with Techno and Dance music. Several tracks on the album were remixed and one single in particular - "Uh Oh" - was re-released as "Uh Oh It's Electro" after being reworked by DJ Funk Avy, a.k.a. Arvin Lapuz, a local producer and MC.
Owing to the success of their debut album, Taken by Cars began touring regionally between 2009, when they performed in Singapore's Baybeats Music Festval, and 2010. The period also saw the departure of bassist Benny Yap and his replacement by Isa Garcia, the current bassist.
Taken by Cars soon began recording their new material with Party Bear Records again and a year later a follow-up to their debut was ready. Released in early 2011, Dualist was well-received by critics and fans alike, who considered it a worthy sophomore effort from the band.
In early 2011, Taken by Cars were profiled by the Asian edition of Time magazine, which described them as leading purveyors in an emerging Asian Rock scene filled with originality and verve.
In 2012, Taken by Cars travelled to Austin, Texas, to perform at SXSW, the globally-renowned culture festival. Their concert at SXSW became part of a brief West Coast tour before they returned to the Philippines.
The story behind their surprise concert at SXSW begins with singer Marco forwarding their sophomore album to the organizers. To her surprise it received a positive reception and Taken by Cars was invited to perform for one night.
On May 18, 2013, Taken by Cars performed at the Wanderland Music and Arts Festival in Makati's Globe Circle Event Grounds.
Over the years, Taken by Cars have amassed an impressive videography with various directors.
In October, 2013, Taken by Cars performed Crows in the third season of Tower Sessions by Tower of Doom.
Although preoccupied with their day jobs, the members of Taken by Cars find time to maintain a regular touring schedule that includes concerts in Manila and various provincial capitals, like Davao and Cebu.
Taken by Cars began working on their new album during the first quarter of 2015. The band is currently signed with Party Bear Records. In March, 2015, Taken by Cars performed in Taipei, Taiwan.
Taken by Cars' music is defined by subdued ambient melodies and lyrics that reflect on certain emotional states.
The band's greatest appeal is a talent for writing catchy music despite the layers of subtle experimentation woven into their songs.
Fans and journalists have used a creative, sometimes amusing, vocabulary to describe Taken by Car's sound. Vocalist Sarah Marco, for example, has been described as having a fairly androgynous but genuinely compelling singing style.
Taken by Cars draw from a huge pool of foreign and local influences. The band personally cite 90s Alternative Rock along with Radiohead, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Angels and Airwaves, Killers, and Arctic Monkeys as favorites.
Taken by Cars also borrow heavily from the Dance, House, and Techno genres.
Derek Siopao Chua
Drums, Synths, Sampler
Awards and Recognition
Junksounds Regional Music Awards 2008
Winner Album of the Year, Endings of a New Kind
Music Videos and Other Media
Official Music Videos
Endings of a New Kind
Uh Oh It's Electro
December 2 Chapter VII
This is Our City
All photos sourced from: