Tag Archives: Spain

August 18, 2017 — “I am a Chicken” by Mourn


If you only listen to one song today, make it “I am a Chicken” by Mourn (2016, from the album Ha, Ha, He.).

Mourn is an indie rock quartet from Barcelona. The band of teenagers formed in 2014 and they released their eponymous debut later that year. Last year, they released their sophomore album Ha, Ha, He. via Captured Tracks in this country. I remember that I had the album on my radar last year, simply because of their affiliation with Captured Tracks, but I didn’t know anything about the band. I still know very little about them. Then, I saw them on this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival lineup, and when I started doing my Hopscotch homework, I got excited about it.

They say that they’ve been influenced by the Chicago brand of post rock — bands like Tortoise and The Sea and Cake. They also say that they’ve recently found a new influence in Throwing Muses. Any time a band says that they’re influenced by the Muses, I become very, very interested in them. If I’m honest, I don’t really hear much of a Muses sound in their music. Instead, I’m reminded in a lot of ways of the amazing Tsunami. Specifically, the stuff from the first side of Deep End. In a completely different way, I’m reminded of Bully, whose album Feels Like was my seventh favourite album of 2015, and whose show I was shut out of at Hopscotch 15. Oh, and since I’ve brought it up, Bully has a new record coming out on October 20. This isn’t about Bully, though.

In today’s song, I hear a lot of Tsunami, but Mourn’s sound is much better and their production values much higher than those of Tsunami. For some reason, Tsunami wanted their records to sound really muddy, and that was something that always disappointed me very much; they were an incredible band to see live, but their intentionally poor production values make listening to the records much less fun. This isn’t about Tsunami, either. This is about “I am a Chicken”. This is that song:

“I Am a Chicken” by Mourn

Speaking of disappointment, I really like the repeated line “Sorry to disappoint you”. And the layered vocals. Those are my two favourite bits about the song. There’s a really abrupt ending, and it’s not exactly because it segues into the next song on the album. It only sort of segues into the next song. It’s just the way it is.

Tonight’s song is a bit on the short side, and in fact, the entire album clocks in at a very tidy 26:05. Punk rawk.

You can buy Ha, Ha, He. as a download via Bandcamp here, or in physical formats via Captured Tracks here

Mourn is playing on the Friday night of Hopscotch, the second night of the festival. For the first time, the fest will run for four nights. They have the 11:00 slot at CAM, which is a long hike from the rest of the festival footprint, but there’s a lot of great stuff going on at CAM this fest. I don’t have a scheduling conflict in that slot, so it’s a safe bet that I’ll be there.

The Hopscotch Music Festival is in just three weeks. Check out the lineup, the schedule, and the ticket options. As usual, I’ll be there all weekend.

May 14, 2016 — “Your Cigarette Was Glowing” by Seven Tin Stars

Pablo Alvarez Garcia (Seven Tin Stars)

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Your Cigarette Was Glowing” by Seven Tin Stars (2016, from the Return to the White Tide EP).

Seven Tin Stars is a dream pop/shoegaze band from Gij√≥n, Spain. The band was started by Pablo Alvarez Garcia in 2002. I think it’s pretty fair to say that the band is the domain of Alvarez (vocals/guitars/keys), but he has a bunch of frequent collaborators to make it a full band. That full band usually consists of Fernando de la Flor Prieto (bass/keys) and Fernando del Rio Alberdi (guitars/vocals/keys). There are other past members and frequent collaborators, but I can’t be sure about anything other than those three guys. I really know nothing about this band, and the internet only offers scant help.

The band put out an EP called Songs My Mother Never Sang to Me in 2013, then an EP called Goodbye Stars (Daylight is Coming) last year, and then the Return to the White Tide EP in January of this year. I didn’t know about any of this stuff until I came across one of their songs in my Soundcloud feed earlier today. The band name looked familiar, and I recalled that they were on the We Are All BOOs tribute to The Boo Radleys. The compilation was another in a series of great compilation tributes curated by the Brazilian blog and micro-label The Blog That Celebrates Itself. Seven Tin Stars’ contribution to that was their cover of “Barney (…And Me)”. I’m not a huge Boo Radleys fan, but I do love that album Giant Steps (1993). That compilation is worth a listen, so see the link above. TBTCI just released another compilation tribute to Galaxie 500, which you can visit here. It’s also great, and includes Thrushes doing their cover of “Tugboat”. I’m severely disappointed that they couldn’t get anyone to cover “Listen, The Snow is Falling”, but I digress. This isn’t about that.

This super-dreamy/gazey song is reminiscent of a bunch of mid-1990s stuff, while also sounding contemporary. There’s even a little bit of something that reminds me of the whole Toronto/Arts&Crafts scene.

“Your Cigarette Was Glowing” by Seven Tin Stars

The band is signed to a tiny Mexican shoegaze/dreampop focused label called Emma’s House. They just began operations in January of this year, and they only have six bands on the roster. Four Mexican bands, an Argentinian band, and these guys.

You can grab a download of Return to the White Tide via the Seven Tin Stars Bandcamp page by naming your price here. You can also support the label by buying a download of the EP for the low, low price of $1.20 here“. There was a “limited release” of the EP on compact disc, but since that was a run of only fifteen copies, that sold out quickly.

03.03.2015 — “Kisses” by The Poetry Book

The Poetry Book

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Kisses” by The Poetry Book (2015, from the forthcoming album Young Martyrs).

The Poetry Book is a shoegaze/noise rock band from Madrid. The duo of Chris W and Soul R released an EP called First in January, and in advance of their debut album Young Martyrs, they’ve just released a single “Flowers/Kisses”.

I don’t know anything about this band, and there’s nothing about them out there in the internets. I just came across them in my soundcloud feed, and I really like what I’m hearing. I’m really looking forward to their album, whenever it comes out.

In their Facebook bio, they list The Jesus & Mary Chain, FSA, and Joy Division as their influences. Clearly, though, they’re also influenced by the 1960s girl groups in the US, the Phil Spector sound. In a different one of their songs, they employ the famous “Be My Baby” drum bit that I’m so fond of. The Mary Chain used it in at least three songs on Psychocandy, so if it’s good enough for them, it should certainly be good enough for the rest of us.

So without further ado, here’s your song of the day:
“Kisses” by The Poetry Book

I like the drone-y, spacey, sparse intro. Then there’s a big muddy wave and a relentless wall of sound at about 0:35. Later, the vocals come in, but they’re so buried in the mix and obscured by the wall of sound that they’re impossible to make out. They publish the lyrics at the bandcamp page, and they’re quite nice. They way they’ve done the vocal track, though, is the right way. It has to be buried. It has to be indecipherable.

You can download the First EP from bandcamp by naming your price here. You can download the “Flowers/Kisses” single by naming your price here.

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