Aries <br>“Adieu or Die”

“Adieu or Die”

For the first time in her career, with “Adieu or die” Isabel Fernández Reviriego embraced fully the DIY approach. “I’ve done everything myself. Every sound is mine, every synthesizer, every melody, every beat”, she said in an interview.

An admirable effort considering the density of her music, where the echoes of 1960s sunshine pop seamlessly blend with contemporary Spanish neo-psychedelia.

The video for “Eclipse total” perfectly captures the spirit of Aries’ music. An iridescent concoction of colorful shapes, accurately corresponds with the bubbly effervescence of Reviriego’s sound.

♪♫ Listen: “Eclipse total” + album stream

Aries on Soundcloud, Facebook, Bandcamp, www.

beGun <BR>“Amma”


The first full-length album from Barcelona’s still young but already acclaimed producer beGun, “AMMA” bring us twelve songs that combine rich textures, unhurried beats, slow-burning themes and heavenly ambience.

African melodies and percussions will immediately attract your attention, but as you go down the tracklist you might also come across themes reminiscent of Indian chants or beats that come from beGun’s own neighbourhood.

♪♫ Listen: “Dora (Chapter IV)” + album stream

beGun on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Belako <BR>“Hamen”


Belako’s second full-length album is one of those confusing releases that have no particular time stamp, genre definition or even emotional tinge. And this makes “Hamen” a fantastic record at least for two reasons.

First, it lets you focus on the sheer songwriting and performance, and Belako stand out in both fields. Second, their equivocal approach offers you a getaway from the daily routine, including the musical one. Start with “Nomand” and you’ll stick to them for the next hour.

♪♫ Listen: “Nomad” + album stream

Belako on Facebook, Twitter, www.

Cala Vento <BR>“Cala Vento”

Cala Vento
“Cala Vento”

Instead of reminiscing distant past – Cala Vento’s first album came out almost a year ago – we should rather mention they’ve already released another full-length that seemingly talks about what happened after the first LP came out.

What happens to you after each encounter with the duo’s sunny garage rock, is absorbing a bit of their energy, freshness, witty lyrics and healthy distance to anything that’s been going on around lately.

“Cala Vento” was one of the best debut albums of 2016, but after this lesson of forward thinking, Joan Delgado also Aleix Turón quickly moved forward themselves. Let’s try to catch up.

♪♫ Listen: “Isabella Cantó” + album stream

Cala Vento on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, www.

El Último Vecino <BR>“Voces”

El Último Vecino

If you like the mood of The Smiths, New Order or The Cure, you should certainly check out this new album by El Último Vecino. But even if you don’t, try it anyway for the sheer quality of their songs.

The reason to mention all those bands is that like all three of them, El Último Vecino somehow manage to create all but euphoric atmosphere with mostly dark sounds.

A melancholic synthpop masterpiece, “Voces” will therefore amplify your mood whatever it is at the moment.

♪♫ Listen: “Tu Casa Nueva” + album stream

El Último Vecino on Facebook, Twitter, www.

Espanto <BR>“Fruta y Verdura”

“Fruta y Verdura”

Like its cover art, “Fruta y Verdura” is among the most colourful and imaginative albums of 2016, also full of memorable melodies, sweet sounds (even if sometimes with harsh production), and of course the unforgettable voice of Teresa.

Together with Luis, the other half of the duo, she brings folky songs and rhythms to the 21st century with a variety of unexpected details, layers of acoustic and synthesized sounds, and a thoroughly psychedelic approach. Exceptional release.

♪♫ Listen: “Atravesado por el rayo” + album stream

Espanto on Facebook.

Hinds <BR>“Leave Me Alone”

“Leave Me Alone”

Madrid-based quartet Hinds have been lucky to draw international attention with their debut album, or we should rather say – they’d worked for it.

Combining garage rock sound with sunny pop themes, “Leave Me Alone” is right in the middle of aggressive and entertaining, catchy and impertinent.

♪♫ Listen: “Garden” + album stream

Hinds on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Juventud Juché <BR>“Movimientos”

Juventud Juché 

On their second full-length album “Movimientos”, the Madrid guitar-bass-drums trio Juventud Juché revisit the dark and sometimes violent post-punk landscape, raw and direct.

Their less-is-more, simple-is-better approach to the sound and songwriting let them offer an impressive album without putting any special efforts, or using any studio gimmicks. Fervor and belief in what they do is all they needed.

♪♫ Listen: “En Tu Casa” + album stream

Juventud Juché on Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook.

León Benavente <BR>“2”

León Benavente

Formed in 2012 by a quartet of acclaimed musicians – Abraham Boba, Luis Rodríguez, Eduardo Baos and César Verdú – León Benavente have already released two full-length albums that showed their different backgrounds can be combined into a diverse but cohesive music expression.

On their second effort, they excell both in the range of inspirations (dance punk, indie, synth pop, psychedelia, post- and krautrock), and in the execution of their ideas. The sound of “2” is impressive, and this repetitive exprience – due to the rhythm section’s approach – is itself worth repeating.

♪♫ Listen: “Tipo D” + album stream

León Benavente on Facebook, Twitter.

Manel <BR>“Jo Competeixo”

“Jo Competeixo”

On their fourth album, the Barcelona indie quartet Manel keep enriching their already impressive sound mixture beyond our writing capabilities, with anything from Brit Pop to Latin to classic soul to funk to comedy (?) fluctuating constantly and competing for a place on stage.

So there’s a reason the cover of “Jo Competeixo” is so colourful. Why it all sounds cohesive and provides such a fantastic music journey might be a secret talent of Manel and the experience of producer Jake Aron, whom they worked with in New York.

We can’t wait to hear what they’ll come up with next.

♪♫ Listen: “La Serotonina” + album stream

Manel on Facebook, Twitter, www.

Maria Arnal i Marcel Bagés <BR>“Verbena” EP

Maria Arnal i Marcel Bagés
“Verbena” EP

Singer Maria Arnal and guitarist Marcel Bagés started working together a couple of years ago. By revising the songs found in fonotecas, the digitalized music libraries, they present an unorthodox take on the oral tradition of the Iberian Peninsula.

Just like on their debut EP, on their second effort “Verbena” the duo emphasize the dramaturgy inherent, contrasting pure, melismatic singing with raw, distorted sounds of the guitar.

Although “Verbena” includes just five songs lasting about 15 minutes, it’s nothing short of astonishing and one of the most unforgettable music experience of the last year.

♪♫ Listen: “Cant de batre” + album stream

Maria Arnal i Marcel Bagés on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Melange <BR>“Melange”


On their self-titled debut album, Madrid’s quartet (recently turned quintet) Melange seems to be carrying an intense if sometimes stormy conversation on which music genre they should take inspiration from in the next minute.

If you dare mention one of them, let’s say folk rock, you’ll have to keep naming another ones like psychedelia, progressive, space- and post-rock, musical, film music, 70s pop… let’s stop. To put it simply: mélange it is.

♪♫ Listen: “La cosecha” + album stream

Melange on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Quique González <BR>“Me mata si me necesitas”

Quique González
“Me mata si me necesitas”

On his new album “Me mata si me necesitas”, Quique González offered a set of classic Americana songs that we can bet neither Bob Dylan nor Ryan Adams would mind having in their vast catalogues.

What makes this record intriguing, is how González adapted tradition from across the pond to the local context and his own sensitivity, not to mention Castilian lyrics. Some will find this combination peculiar, some irresistible.

♪♫ Listen: “Charo” + album stream

Quique González on Facebook, Twitter, www.

Silvia Pérez Cruz <BR>“Domus”

Silvia Pérez Cruz

Two years ago, Silvia Pérez Cruz gave us “Granada”, one of 2014’s most beautiful albums recorded with Raül Fernández Miró. And here she is again, as enchanting as ever.

Honest, focused on every single sound, and not afraid to be silent when it seems better for the music, on “Domus” she also offers us some hymn-like choruses like that immediate theme in “No Hay Tanto Pan”.

You’ll also have a rare chance to hear Silvia singing in English, which further adds to the record’s versatility. This 2016 album will certainly stay with us throughout 2017.

♪♫ Listen: “No Hay Tanto Pan” + album stream

Silvia Pérez Cruz on Facebook, Twitterwww.

Triángulo de Amor Bizarro <BR>“Salve discordia”

Triángulo de Amor Bizarro
“Salve discordia”

One of the noisiest and most acclaimed name in the Spanish alternative rock scene, Triángulo de Amor Bizarro dominated many Spanish year-end lists just like three years ago with their previous album, “Victoria mística”.

Their fourth full-length yet, “Salve discordia” seems to be a step forward for the band in each aspect – songwriting, performance, production, energy, and impact. It takes a few listens to appreciate it properly, but the effort pays back.

♪♫ Listen: “Barca quemada” + album stream

Triángulo de Amor Bizarro on Facebook, Twitter.

Viva Belgrado <BR>“Ulises”

Viva Belgrado

As you know screamo isn’t our cup of tea, but Viva Belgrado are an exception. They go far beyond that particular stylistics, and even if they weren’t – they’d still stand out.

After the opening disruption, “Por la mañana, temprano” is the song that gets you first with an impassioned declamation set onto a post-rock background, and you can’t call it otherwise than beautiful.

Disruption and beauty is what the Córdoba quartet interchangeably nurse on this second album. It’s a short, intense experience you should try even if the word screamo would normally scare you out.

♪♫ Listen: “Por la mañana, temprano” + album stream

Viva Belgrado on Bandcamp, Facebook.