We know is not Friday, but it's the end of the month and the beginning of Easter Holiday, so why don't we celebrate the days off with great music? Here's a new round of our TOP TEN playlist full of new discoveries, most awaited acts like our beloved Torresand bands like The Go! Team of the Granite Shore that just nailed it (what a terrific couple of songs). Have fun, the tunes deserve it and remember, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog page. Join us!
Last week of March, we bet most of you are counting down the days to begin Easter holidays. We deserve a break after a such intense winter, don't you think? So, to enjoy the free time, relax and get away from everything stressful we have compiled a new round of our TOP TEN playlistfor you. Aside from our "regular" latest discoveries the playlist also includes a new song from our beloved friend Cristina Quesada (what a lovely, irresistible cover) and some "usual suspects" of the Blog, our dear labels Fishrider Records, El Genio Equivocadoor Elefant Recordswith their new, stunning proposals. A lot to enjoy, you see. Have fun and remember, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog page. So, join us!
The next song in our anthologyis anothersliceof glorious dreampop, but it also serves as a celebration. Seeing them live in less than a month. What a great, unexpected but long awaited surprise!
Song: Superfreaky Memories
Unfortunately, I was never able to catch Luna live. I introduced myself into Dean Wareham's music through his latter incarnations, after getting hypnotised by 'L'Avventura'. Immediately looked for more. The now reactivated combo's greatest hits was like mana from heaven: 'Moon Palace', 'Chinatown', 'Lost in Space', 'Lovedust'... and 'Superfreaky Memories'. Oh what a song! Cathartic, carefully embellished with layers guitars, subtle orchestration, with Wareham's trademark nasal voice telling us glimpses of personal stories (he's a real storyteller) and then... the power surge of the chorus and the incredibly beautiful melody trespassing the blur after the 3.10 minute mark.
But if you allow me, I'm going personal this time (nothing related with drugs, luckily). Luna has always had a cinematic quality. Their tunes have some sort of coolness, a groove, an inner narrative, and incredible power to be associated with snapshots of life. Times, places, faces...memories. My 'Superfreaky' ones are related with two different times. Kind of a sad memory now, it was my most recurrent soundtrack after returning from Seville, a place I used to visit quite frequently during two years some time ago. But at the same time, a very happy one, it's also one of the songs I associate with Idaho and my dear friend & music genius Jeremy Jensen driving us to McCall. I really like the idea of that duality, of how a song shares a lifetime, including bad & good times, with you. Memories you know... Now will have another chapter this April, after (hopefully) hearing the tune live...
Music can be magical, don't you think? If you have a rough day, you can just create a playlist and even forget that you are in this world... The new round of our TOP TEN playlist is a superb proof of that. Starting with Ghost Transmission (we are completely in shock, what a discovery) and following with three "safe bets": Close Lobsters, Joanna Gruesome and Young Romance. A trio of wonders that will transport you to another world, granted! And remember, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog page. So, join us!
What about a slice of heavenly dreampop (ok, slightly noisy) for our next chapter of our anthology? Can't help it, I'm into guitars lately. Let's go to Leeds!
Song: Sight of You
Artist: Pale Saints
Sure, it sounds like a sister of Jesus and Mary Chain's 'Just Like Honey', the immortal, legendary 'Just Like Honey', but there's nothing you can do about. And I know the lyrics of the tune are not the happiest ones. But 'Sight of You' is one of the finest examples of a song that is pure bliss, euphoria, an undeniable recharge of energy, an adrenaline shot. It's the opening 25 songs, the day awakening, the sun arising. It's the power of guitars: a bursting bass beating throughout the song while Graeme Naysmith draws the unforgettable relentless lines, both melting into the fuzzy sound of the stratosphere. It's Ian Masters' fragile, weak vocals, surprisingly able to make his way trough the sonic landscape, It's the pause and, just afterwards, the stomping attack around the 3.20 minutes mark. It's the flawed noise, the galloping horse running over the hills. Almost 6 minutes of adventure. Oh, what a trip music can be!
Facing tough days lately, but weekends and music are still able to provide an antidote to fight against them. Here's another new round of our TOP TEN playlist to prove it, diverse, rich and exciting, with many several new finds with a couple of surefires (one thanks to our dear friends at Fishrider Records, always something worth to dig out down under). And remember, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog page. So, join us!
Another round of stunning national discoveries! A trio of wonders who are in love with synths and keyboards but also with a very open-minded concept of pop. Enojy!
Murciano Total. Hailing from Molina de Segura, Murcia (of course) this peculiar band began in 2012, almost as a joke, under the nickname Lena y Sema, but behind the project are José Lozano, former member of Automatics and Universal Circus and his partner Elena Molina. First demos, appeared on lyric-video format surfaced that same year, igniting the buzz and grabbing the attention of our dear friends at El Genio Equivocado, who quickly signed them. With diverse collaborators from bands like El Estudiante Larry, Perro, The Yellow Melodies, Alex de Klaus&Kinski and even Jota from Los Planetas, the duo compiled their work on the limited cassette 'Demos 2012-2013' in December 2013. After a two-hours sold out 7" on early 2014, now we can enjoy their first album, 'Quereres y Dejenes' out since February. Vintage synthesised pop, devoted to OMD or Gary Numan, but with a genuine knack for melodies and twisted lyrics, also recalling the hunt for the perfect pop tune that make Murciano Total closer to national legends like Family. Cult band on the making.
Espiritusanto. Hailing from Madrid and formed around 2010, the origins of this quintet, now sextet, have to be traced from the ashes of the band Portonovo, as two of their founding members were part of that melancholic, moody pop group. Their first reference (all the forthcoming releases are self-released and name your price download at their bandcamp) arrived in January 2012 with the digital EP 'Nadar a Crol', which includes a version of 'I Give You Two Seconds to Entertain Me' from the great Northern Portrait, followed that April by 'No Volvamos Aquí Nunca, No Será tan Divertido' EP. Two more EPs had been released to date. In May 2013, 'Femenino/Masculino' and, in February 2014, 'El Fondo del Aire es Rojo'. Their intricate, lush and ambitious view of pop place Espiritusanto on a unique position within the national scene. Male/female vocals, noise pop with a kraut envelope, sweet dreampop with hints of a darkness... A whole pop experience you shouldn't miss.
Antiguo Régimen. Coming from Valencia, this quartet formed at the end of 2011, although their sharp post-punk sound got defined around September 2012. On February 2013 they released their debut 7" single 'La Formación de la Sombra'on Burka For Everybody /Discodrome/ Flexidiscos, followed in April 2014 by their first LP, 'Política de tierra quemada'. Like a flawless record found on a long-time forgotten vault of the post-punk 80s here's the chill, icy and desperate sound. Echoes of The Sound, The Chameleons, The Wake or, going back to Spain, Fasenuova, Nudozurdo or Décima Víctima. Menace and mystery.
A shift from shoegaze today, moving back to our dear, warm, eternal jangle-pop in our anthology. Although this time comes from a quite unusual place, Haledon, New Jersey. Impossible guitars!
Song: Higher Ground
Artist: The Feelies
I got into The Feelies because of R.E.M., which I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone. Everything I readed could resemble or recall to the Athens legend it was automatically checked by me, expecting to find more glimpses of that unmatched, glorious beauty & mystery. But to be honest, 'Crazy Rhythms' didn't click with me at first. Glenn Mercer's voice paled in comparison with Stipe's (well, as 99% of voices do, as a matter of fact) and in several tunes, guitars were too repetitive, building up tempos that seemed to develop into tranced-out rock. But then I listened 'Only Life', their third album, and the floodgates opened. Leaded by the immense 'Higher Ground', this is jangle-rock unafraid of going further, with dreamy lead guitars, quietly, confidently thrilling, with Mercer and Million inviting us to listen to their guitar dialogue: chiming riffs, controlled distortion, tension,clarity, pace. Higher grounds, indeed.
Oh what a triplet of bands we have gathered in our discoveries' series this weekend!You're going to love it,enjoy!
Surf City. You can't do wrong going down under. Formed in 2004 in Mt Roskill, Auckland, this New Zealand quartet was quickly hailed as a "band to watch", releasing their s/t debut EP in 2008 on Arch Hill Recordings/Morr Music, with full-length 'Kudos', arriving two years later. But the best was yet to come. First with sophomore album 'We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This' out on Fire Records and, arriving in just a couple of weeks, 'Jekyll Island' that should propel Surf City to indiepop's stratosphere. Psychedelic pop with twists of fuzz, echoing our Flying Nun heroes while taking a ride as well with American heavyweights like The Velvet or The Feelies. Influences aside, this is catchy as hell, ridiculously engaging. Serious contender for addictive record of the year. Not to miss.
American Culture. Hailing from Denver (the press release says "they live out in the desert near four corners where Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico meet"), there's very few information on a band that, back to the press release, "don't really want the world to know who they are, personally. Just the music. We even had a hard time tracking them down for this. The tracks and art come to us on a CDR in an envelope with no return address. We have only e-mailed with them. Never spoken. They ask (politely) for no photography during their rare live shows, usually in houses or basements". They define themsleves as "pop music for introverts". Which is kind of ironic, in a way, because the majority of 'Pure American Gum', their first record (as far as we know), out next week on Jigsaw Records, is expansive, pure, unadultered, 90s indie-rock. Guided By Voices meeting Dinosaur Jr, Pavement on stereoids, Jesus and Mary Chain high on Coca-Cola. Pop hits. Diet Cig. Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman of Earl Boykins (Forged Artifacts) hails from New Paltz, NY. With a very short background, only a handful of shows after the duo started out las summer, we began to hear first, promising tunes, late last year. Now five songs have seen the light of day via Father/Daughter Records, on the debut EP 'Over Easy', out since February. An incredible, flawless litte dose of efervescent pop-punk, irresistibly catchy and energetic, with shouty, sing-along lyrics (Tiger Trap? Don't want to point that glorious name in vain but...). Make no mistake, Diet Cig are here to make you dance, yell, smile and love them. Instant crush...
As we said, March is a month full of music! We have a really special concert this weekend, one of the most amazing discoveries last year, The Zebras. But first goes first, and for this new round of our TOP TEN playlist series we bring you a new song of our beloved Courtney Barnett (second album about to arrive!), the latest proposal of Honeyblood (we are devoted fans of their music), or the exciting, powerful comeback of Best Coast. But we haven't forgotten our discoveries' chapter, fully charged with bands like The Treasures of Mexico (what a superb find) or Field Mouse. Remember, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog page. So, join us!
This week we have the pleasure of having one of our favourite Spanish bands in our interview series. Ladies & Gentlemen, here's Xavier Friedrich, the leader of our dear Grushenka. These Go to 11!
Xavier Friedrich, Grushenka
Grushenka: a family of noise-pop
Formed in 2010 by siblings Xavier and Laia, we felt in love with their music just a year after, with their first, homonym EP, published by our beloved label El Genio Equivocado. Five songs offering us a most promising dose of bursting, blatant noise-pop, echoing Los Planetas or Ride. A promise that was even excelled in 2012 with their first album 'Técnicas Subversivas', a brilliant work that established Grushenka as one of the most exciting young bands on the national scene. Now, after some changes in their line-up, on the first months of 2014, they returned in full form with tremendous single 'Enredo Interesante', anticipating their second album 'La Insoportable Levedad del Ser', out since February. Making a smooth but convincing shift from overwhelming noise-pop to lush, hyper-addictive dream pop, without losing a single bit of their intensity, energy and trademark touch. Can't help it: our love for Grushenka's music is permanent. Here we go!
Spice-up your life & choose your own popstar!
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
The Spice Girls in cassette. I felt the urge to buy it after listening to it for five days in a row at school's piped music.
2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
The first was The Rolling Stones with my mum when I was fifteen. The last one was The Gramophone All Stars when I was at work (I work as a sound technician in the local theater).
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
I'm not ashamed of my tastes and have no prejudices, but I always have liked a lot the Blackadder opening, and maybe that's quite embarrassing.
Saints turning demons in a space-rock gem
4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
My first Epiphone electric guitar, which is actually of a cheap range, and it's been customized by my girlfriend.
5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
I'm not sure if I could choose a favourite, but I dig a lot 'Santos que yo te pinté' by Los Planetas.
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too) Robert Smith. He looks very cuddly.
Pumpkins get surreal (& reach their best)
7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
I like 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' by The Smashing Pumpkins cover, but I wouldn't say it's my favorite.
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both)
Books inspire me. I recommend to read whatever book.
9. Song (of yours) you are most proud of
Can't choose. I'm equally proud of all my sons.
Molt tocats per la tramuntana...
10. What does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Nothing. They say the most you repeat a word, the more it loses it's sense.
11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Selling fruits and veggies in a small shop in Empuriabrava.