Linda Guilala ‘Psiconáutica’ (Elefant Records)
CD | Ltd Vinyl | DL
Linda Guilala – you would be forgiven for thinking was a solo performer, I certainly did – a belief reinforced by the lack of performer imagery within the artwork, instead we get a psychedelic swirl that looks to have been taken from one of those video backdrops screened at the likes of Granny Takes A Trip back in the 60’s, the artwork does however provide some clue as to the delights held inside.
Turns out that ‘Psiconáutica’ is Spanish indie pop group Linda Guilala’s second full-length album following their 2009 debut ‘Bucles Infinitos’, in the interim seven years the 3pc who hail from Vigo, North Western Spain have experimented with their sound, moving from synth-pop to an altogether noisy, darker and more rewarding beast.
The album has twenty songs (more than half fall short of the minute mark) and there is barely a second of silence, not even between tracks – add to that a lyric being sung entirely in Spanish, and you are presented with a body of work that demands your time, this is not an album to pick tracks from, or to shuffle on an IPod; it is an album that will carry you off to crystalline spaces, an album constructed from walls of sound, treated guitars, and keyboard tones.
‘Psiconáutica’ is a glorious excursion into noise-pop – ‘Cosas Nuevas’ which translates to ‘New Things’ is wickedly infectious, its propulsive, powered by a simple and energetic drum refrain, and a keyboard melody that burst through the haze – solar flares lighting the way for Eva’s measured vocal, which takes on a more melancholic tone within ‘Fobia Social’, darker melodies, slashing guitar, a huge storm of hurt, and alienation; the clouds continue to swirl with ‘La Última Vez (1ª Recidiva)’ – a standout track, again constructed around a pop derived melody enriched with pulsars of sound, and shimmering keyboard shadows, the following interlude ‘Sinestesia’ being a fade out until a double click suggests the CD has stuck before launching into ‘Accidente’ – everything you ever wanted from the Jesus & Mary Chain and Lush brought together in 3 minutes!
‘Abstinencia’ had me remembering Golden Boy & Miss Kitten ‘Rippin’ Kittin’ – the lyric is moody, dismissive, with a sound Ladytron once so effortlessly pulled off, whilst ‘Ansiedad’ hints at the Cocteau Twins, certainly for a non-Spanish speaking audience the lyric like that that of Liz Frazer almost transforms into another instrument, delivering melodies hinting at the meaning within.
Linda Guilala have crafted a genuinely wonderful album, rich ethereal pop, laced with a desire to experiment, the perfect collision of catchy melody and sheets of unrestrained hallucinogenic noise.
For me; Linda Guilala is the find of the year to date.