New Seville based shoegaze and dream pop group Martes Niebla are not as new as they first seem. With members from Spanish groups Blacanova, Escuelas Pías and Terry vs.Tori this is not a band trying to find its feet or its sound, and this confidence shows on a debut EP that covers a lot of ground in a short space of time.
The opener, “Fósiles”, chimes in with beautiful notes floating on subtle reverb. The vocals are clear, but dreamy, finding just the right balance between taking the lead and being lost in the dreamscape. It is a great introduction to the band and has beautiful production, nothing is lost and it all knits together perfectly in the mix.
“La verdad blanda” changes the tone a little, with synths underscoring those chiming guitars. This track is still floating, but slightly more urgent. The vocal harmonies twist and soar around each other, at times one voice and then separating to play off each other – it’s very effective. Underneath all this gorgeousness is a bass line that’s quietly pushing the song forward. It’s tempting to say the bass could be a little higher in the mix, but everything is so delicately balanced you wouldn’t want to unpick it.
Penultimate track, “Marble”, picks up the pace, and everything becomes more insistent. The vocals are pushed up front. The guitar darker. The drums punchier. The bass now higher in the mix. It’s the only track on the EP not in Spanish, “The sounds are bouncing off the walls”, which again changes the tone, providing light and shade to the EP. It would have been easy to do another dreamy, lilting song and you get the feeling the band have a million of those tunes in them, but it feels like they’re wanting to keep moving, keep changing.
EP closer “Cervatillos” is a fitting end to these four tracks. Building on what’s come before, it returns the band to their beautiful Spanish melodies and begins a dream pop-charge into the blue sky. A middle section loops and loops, pulling you in and carrying you with it, slowly building with layers of guitars as it tries to escape orbit. It is brilliant. More please.
You should buy this EP and then play it very, very loud on a very sunny day.
Reviewed by Jimmy and Mark from the band Corasandel.
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