Adiós Amores hail from Seville, Spain and their first album brings together a string of three glorious 7″ singles they released in 2020 and 2021 plus two new songs to start and end the album. The album is cheekily – but accurately – called “Sus Mejores Canciones” (“Their Best Songs”). And what songs these are. It’s hard to pick just one song to represent what’s on offer – should it be one of the frenetic flamenco surf guitar pop songs featuring fairground keyboards, the bhangra (?) disco song that closes the album, or one of the beautifully arranged melancholic 60’s-styled guitar pop songs? “Charlotte” falls into the latter category, and also showcases the duo’s twinned vocal harmonies:

The duo of Iman Amar and Ana Valladares are from the south of Spain, geographically distant from the main centres. Perhaps it is the way that musicians in out-of-the-way places (eg: here in Dunedin) can sometimes draw creative inspiration from being outsiders, and not being caught up in whatever the ‘zeitgeist’ may be in the music industry at the time, but there’s something of the imagination and sonic world of Adiós Amores that sets itself apart from much else I can think of.

First time I heard the album (thanks to a Monorail Music newsletter when the Glasgow music shop made it their album of the month) it reminded me of the lurid, strange films of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. I can’t remember the soundtrack music in those films, but this is the sort of music that would fit perfectly.

The songs and arrangements and interwoven voices have an air of 1960s European pop about them. But for every melancholic classic pop tune like “Charlotte” here there’s a frenetic hybrid explosion of sound, combining twangy surf guitars, fairground organ, and Flamenco castanets, and even some exotic dancefloor disco on the closing “Noche Illuminada”.