Archives for posts with tag: Spain

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”.

MelenasMelenas are a guitar/ bass/ keyboards/drums band from Pamplona, Spain and “Mentiras” (which translates as “Lies”) is from their fabulous self-titled debut album of jangling psychedelic garage rock which is well worth exploring in detail… and then buying.

While some will hear the spirit of Look Blue Go Purple in that robustly rhythmic guitar strum, it reminds me more of the perpetual nervousness of The Feelies’ guitar sound. In recent years the only other band I can recall to evoke those same touchstones so well was Veronica Falls, who also shared a fondness for driving songs along with a heavy floor tom beat as Melenas do.

However, the songs here are also just as likely to evoke the spirit of the classic late 1960’s era of proto-psych-pop garage-rock fuzz, jangle and melody (as compiled on the “Pebbles” and “Nuggets” LP series) as they are any possible ’80’s influence. There’s a lot going on; from simple propulsive drums to a solid mesh of rapidly strummed 12 string guitar, soaring vocal melodies with layered backing vocals and a winning way with keyboard flourishes providing the sonic icing on Melenas’ psychedelic pop-tart.


Scott Mannion

Here’s another PopLib’s  send as a gift tip for the month. We’ve missed several days of send as a gift new music tips but I hope you have used those days wisely to search out your own selections on Bandcamp. We resume now with the welcome return of Scott Mannion, who runs Lil’ Chief Records and was once part of the fabulous Tokey Tones.

“Your Kinda Love” was released earlier this year and features Clara Viñals, a name you may recognise from the new Jonathon Bree single (also on Lil’ Chief Records). Or, if you are knowledgeable about pop music from Spain, from the wonderful Renaldo & Clara.

This is recommended to send as a gift to lovers of finely crafted bittersweet pop, and fans of The Tokey Tones. However, with lines like “there’s something beautiful about the way you lie” be careful who you send it to. Sometimes people take song lyrics very personally.

Alternatively, try the latest single “Not Exactly Deep” just released last week: