Indiepop’d: Los Bonsáis – Noise from Spain

It pays to check out your Twitter followers (and I don’t mean that in the police state paranoia way or creepy leering sense). But, really, it’s not a bad idea. Not only will it save you from a robot army wielding free iPads, but sometimes it puts you in the path of Spanish shoegazers brandishing guitars and powerful fuzzboxes.

Such is the case with Los Bonsáis. It only took about 30 seconds of “Es Mejor” for me to know that I had stumbled onto something I really loved. With their subtle, melodic vocals, it’s easy to place Spanish duo in the same camp as My Bloody Valentine and their variously fuzzy descendants, but the 60s surf inspired-inspired rhythms also owe a great deal to the noisier side of late 80s indiepop, like The Fizzbombs or Meat Whiplash/The Motorcycle Boy—or, in more directly relevant, contemporary terms: “like a Spanish Raveonettes” as a friend from another blog described it.

Head over to Bandcamp to check it out, I think you’ll see where we’re coming from on this. (You can also download the “Es Mejor” b/w “Un Instante” single for free there.) Of course, if you’re anything like me, you are probably thinking something along the lines of “I’ll bet they sign with Elefant soon”. I was when I listened Sunday night. I spent a good amount of time this week thinking of all the arguments I was going to make in this week’s Indiepop’d piece for why Los Bonsáis + Elefant Records is a match made in heaven only to plug this post from the band’s blog into Google Translate and find that my revelation had come to me a few hours late.

So the good news, for those of you digging the sweet noise of Los Bonsáis as much as I am, is that there will soon be a new 7” EP released as part of Elefant’s New Adventures in Pop series and one more disc to spin at your respective indiepop club nights. It would be redundant, at this point, to predict that “match made in heaven”. But it is never too late to celebrate a match well made.

For Autumn Comets, moments are years

foto por Alejandro Sanchez Albentosa y Raquel Rodriguez.

According to MySpace, Autumn Comets are a folk rock band. Autumn Comets are not a folk rock band. They’re are probably best described as post-something, but I’ve never really been sure what that means so I am just going to have to create my own classification. Autumn Comets (from Madrid) are a good band.

Their music initially comes across as a wall of sound, but closer listening (at the right volume), the true nature of the music reveals itself. Awash in swirling guitars, doubling glockenspiel, and soaring countermelodies, the songs prove considerably more complex than cursory listen will demonstrate.

[You may have noticed that I appear to be running out of things to say. That’s not far from the truth, really. As with every other band I’ve listened to in conjunction with La Fiesta Roja, all the information I have been able to find is in Spanish—a language I neither speak nor understand. At this point, I would normally regale you with a little anecdote about the band or a scathing remark about another scathing remark someone else has made. But I have no idea what anyone else thinks of this band, because I can’t read it.]*

In the grand scheme of things, however, it’s probably for the best, because this is music that speaks for itself (especially since the lyrics speak in English). So head to MySpace and let the music swirl around you. Or, if you’ve grown to despise MySpace as much as I have, you can listen to the full album here (though you will, unfortunately, have to play each track individually). Also, you could watch the video I’ve posted below.

*Before you accuse me of being an “ignorant American”, you should know that I do speak/understand other languages to varying degrees of efficacy. Spanish, however, is not one of them. No one can speak every language (though I do have a Dutch friend who speaks five and can read two more—she’s kind of amazing).

La Fiesta Roja

Well, there it is. The World Cup is over. I am already experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I am even going to miss the droning of the vuvuzela (I say that now, though I will likely change my tune Wednesday night at the Columbus Crew match when I am sat in front of a row of eight-year-olds vuvuzeling their little hearts out). I think we all can admit that it wasn’t the most beautiful game ever played, but Spain have won and etched their names on the cup for the first time. More importantly, however, that means it’s also Spain Week at The Indie Handbook (which we’ll call La Fiesta Roja until someone who actually speaks Spanish can come up with a better name). It’s only fair, really, since we’ve already had Dutch Week once.

Of course, the easy way to do this would be to work our way through the Elefant Records roster. But I am determined to actually put some effort into this, which is why we are going to get things started with Barcelona’s Nitoniko. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since Andrés Iniesta notched his game-winner in the 116th minute, it’s that the Spanish have a serious gift for melody (get used to the idea, because it’s going to be a recurring theme this week), and Nitoniko are no different.

Their album, Selva de mar, is full from start to finish of ultra-catchy, super-singable synthpop in the vein of robot rockers (and personal favourite of mine) Joy Electric. If you can listen to Nitoniko without the slightest urge to drop what you’re doing and dance around the room—well, then I pity you. But why don’t you go ahead and give it a try. You can download Selva del mar for free on Bandcamp.

So, what are you waiting for?