heard on the wire

What your stereo says about you

It’s close on four years since When Nalda Became Punk claimed this blog’s esteemed LP of The Year accolade, so what could be more welcome than the news that the Spanish indiepopsters are on the comeback trail with a new mini-LP.

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Pretending that I’ve got a clue

Lucky Soul

And so it was that in response to a Facebook meme I posted a list of the 12 LPs that have had the most influence on me, both personally and musically. And it was like looking in a mirror, for all was male and white.

So, I thought, what if the list weren’t male and white (for I like to use the subjunctive). And so I sat down with my MacBook Pro and my text editor of choice (iA Writer, since you didn’t ask) and…. Well the first few records came easily. The rest not so. This puzzled me till I realised that most of the black, female music I like is soul music, a “genre” that has always leant itself to the single rather than the long player.

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It started out with just an innocent kiss

Datsun

If you’re going to ape a musical style of yesteryear, at least do it well. So John Peel remarked in defence of New Zealand rockers, The Datsuns, but it may equally apply to Summer Twins, whose affection for the music of the ’50s and ’60s shines through their latest EP, Forget Me.

Sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown write and record what they describe as dream pop and rock ’n’ roll songs with a touch of California sun. There isn’t much of that around at the moment, which makes this music all the more precious.

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Sheena is a punk rocker

Greggs, Croydon, London CR0

If there were such a thing as a Best Punk-Pop Album of the Year award then Spain’s When Nalda Became a Punk would have it pretty much sown up, but running them a close second would be a female duo from the San Fernando Valley.

Bleached’s Ride Your Heart has been the smithsocksound of summer, the product of Jennifer and Jessie Calvin, two sisters with guitars and a great record collection. They look pretty cool too and write songs they describe as “punk, but also rock ‘n’ roll with a little bit of pop.”

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Moderns, you should stay home

Tracks

The world’s finest music festival takes place this weekend and as usual I won’t be there to see smithsocksimon faves such as When Nalda Became Punk, Camera Obscura, Alpaca Sports and Helen Love.

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I saw two shooting stars last night

Satellite Dishes

Such is my love for the debut LP by Spain’s When Nalda Became Punk that I’m taking the unprecedented step of blogging a third track from A Farewell to Youth.

The band started as plain Nalda, formed by singer and guitarist Elena Sestelo, but Became Punk with the release of a mini-LP, Time to Meet Your Family, in 2010. Nalda then became two when Elena was joined by Roberto Cibeira.

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Hannah Montana does the african savannah

Geneva

Now that’s a search engine-friendly way to mark a return from this blog’s semi-enforced hiatus — work, life and travel are such inconvenient priorities — and what better way than this track from a veteran of these pages?

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ latest LP, Push the Sky Away, is a reassuring return to form by Australia’s greatest export, following 2004’s uninspiring though critically acclaimed Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus and the largely forgettable 2008 offering, Dig, Lazarus, Dig.

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When Nalda Became Punk

When Nalda Became Punk are a Spanish three piece, quite possibly the finest popular beat combo ever to hail from the Iberian peninsula. The band started as the solo project of Elena Sestelo, inspired by artists such as Heavenly, Ash, Helen Love and Belle and Sebastian.

Last year Roberto Cibeira and José Oliveira joined the band in time to record the debut single, which was released last month on vinyl by Pebble Records and digitally through the usual outlets.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.