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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spanish Indie 27: suggesting the best national acts

Back with the national bands in a section looking exciting, thanks to the amount of groups demanding our attention with incredible music. Like today's trio. You're going to love them!

Chicharrón. Hailing from Carballo (Galicia) and arousing in late 2013 from the ashes of bands Franc3s, Telephones Rouges and the memory of the disappeared friend and artist Alberto Gende. Initially formed by the trio of Alberto M. Vecino, Diego Gende and Rubén Dominguez, they debuted with a celebrated self-titled album in 2014 out via the artistic collective Prenom. But the band was ready to face important changes, expanding the combo into a quintet with the additions of Mar Catarina and Xurxo Meis and the shift in the language, from Spanish to Galizian. Changes for good, as 'Postal', sophomore LP out since this March, proofs. Intimacy and intensity turning into pop, lush, crystalline and moody, where electric guitars, keyboards and arresting, whispered vocals are just vehicles to reach the listener deep inside. Call it dreampop if you want. I would say this is not just a heavyweight contender for Spanish record of the year, but for staying close to you for ages and ages.

Star Trip. Let me introduce you to 'Vicente Prats and his Crazy Horse'. Hailing from Valencia, this musician penned a bunch of homemade, stunning powerpop tunes, around 2009, without caring much about self-promotion. But five years later, another music adventure, Pretty Olivia Records, was born thanks to the irrepressible love for music of founder Javier Abad, who turned those tunes into a proper debut album, first one of his label. Luckily, this revamped beginning was also the start of something bigger, as Vicente joined forces with a trio of talented musicians for live shows and, eventually, became a full band, which has a flamboyant self-titled LP, out since late October 2015. Summoning the spirit of Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, Matthew Sweet, the sweetest side of The Posies, this might be one of the best powerpop albums ever made in Spain. The guitars chiming, the soaring vocal harmonies, the knockout choruses. The Goosebumps, the goosebumps all over.  And the big smiles... A new classic.

Lúa Gramer. And we end in Badajoz to meet this quintet formed in 2013 by members of other regional combos like Pequeño Tío, The Wish, Diva, Lich, etc. A year later they made a notable jump from local gigs and small festivals to being selected to play at Contempopránea Festival, reaching the semifinals of the Qfestival contest, and getting positive coverage and airplay from national media. On early 2015 they recorded first release with producer Paco Loco at el Puerto de Santa María. Now the results can be enjoyed at 'LG', debut EP out since January via Clifford Records. With a distinct 90s sound, devoted to dreampop and the warmest version of shoegaze, and echoing the spacey ambiences of Manta Ray, the guitar bursts of Los Planetas with the sweetest vocals recalling Nosoträsh. Vibrant and exciting. A lot of promise.

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