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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Spanish Indie 32: suggesting the best national acts

As we are doing with our "worldwide series", it's time to reinvigorate our national discoveries section. But before digging into 2018, here's a must needed review of three favourites, three mind-blowing debut records from past year that couldn't be missed. Fall in love with them!

Últim Cavall. Just had to write this down. They deserve it, and I kind of owe it to them. Because this first album, 'Records de Kyoto' was one of the most listened by your humble blogger last year. Hailing from Garraf, Barcelona, this quintet came out of the blue with a self-titled and self-released EP in September of 2015, with the aforementioned record appearing in March of 2017 via our dear Discos de Kirlian. Somewhere in between shoegaze & dreampop, their music is warm, melodic, fragile and electric at the same time, cinematic, extremely exciting and evocative, a distant soundtrack for a vanishing city, blurred but still very much alive. Like the tunes of this phenomenal band. Not to be missed. 
Hank Idory. Quick drive to Valencia to meet musician Juancho Alegrete, his Bowiesque nickname and, foremost, his wonderful self-titled debut record, out since October via (couldn't be any other way, it's a match made in music heaven) our beloved Pretty Olivia Records. Carefully crafted, gentle, warm and inviting from the very first spin, 'Hank Idory' is a treaty, a masterclass of sunshine pop, echoing the 60s tradition in what it sounds, feels and looks like an act of love for the lost art of creating moving songs. Full or lushy arrangements (mellotrons, violins, harpsichords) as well as vocal harmonies and indelible guitar lines, here you have ten gems to still believe in music and its healing powers...

Melenas. And we end in Pamplona, Navarra. to meet this all- female quartet (with members of must-listen bands like Río Arga and Ginkas) that began clicking cylinders during the summer of 2016, along the tunes composed by vocalist and guitarist Oihana and her meetings (and concert-going) with bassist Leire, keyboardist María and drummer Laura at the bar-music venue Nebula club. Less than a year later, and with some exciting buzz anticipating it, here's their self-titled debut album, released past September via El Nébula Recordings, Elsa Records and Snap Clap Club. The hype, for once is more than deserved. Knockout tunes, shiny, round and addictive, somewhere in between Heavenly (yes!) and Kokoshca, with hints of some garage forgotten band from the nuggets-era that didn't lose the knack for melodies, plus some slightly psychedelic and/or passages. Whatever the form, instant pop pills. What a debut... 

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