AMOR DE DIAS Feat. Alasdair MacLean (The Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas) with DAMON & NAOMI and THE THORNBILLS at the Pike Room

THURSDAY MAY 26, 2011
doors at 7pm
tickets: $10 in adv; $12 day of (buy tickets)

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AMOR DE DIAS (Spanish for "love of days") is the name of the until-now secret new group of Alasdair MacLean of the Clientele and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas. Finding common ground as painters as well as musicians, and having regularly appeared onstage together in London (often with Lupe reading the text of the Clientele's "Losing Haringey" in addition to playing with Pipas), they decided to collaborate on a project of their own.

Wandering in Madrid, Alasdair noticed a street sign for Calle del Amor de Dios, which he mistakenly translated as "Street of the Love of Days." The name struck him as a great title, even after Lupe corrected him, because he was actually on the Street of the Love of God.

Written between Spain and the UK, the album would be recorded at Regal Lane Studio which, thanks to the generosity of producer Ken Brake, allowed them almost unlimited recording hours. Over the course of three years, they quietly put together their debut record during evenings and weekends as they called in local friends (Louis Philippe) and visiting musicians (Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson) for sessions, building up their songs' multifaceted arrangements and vocal harmonies with harps, bouzoukis, strings, recorders, and brass.

These songs took shape as each of the writers helped the other to finish lines, suggested lyrical images, or wrote harmonies or arrangements to complete each other's ideas. Shared inspirations ("Surrealist poetry, myths, London, books of days, forests, landscape, lullabies") give the album a consistent feel, as do the dual Spanish guitars that form the core of the sound along with Howard Monk's polyrhythmic drums and Danny Manners' bass.

The result is a focused, cohesive jewel of chamber pop, reflecting a little of Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso's elegant brand of bossa nova, a little of Erik Satie's haunting night music, and a large dose of spooky psychedelic folk. The beautiful harmony singing throughout the record makes it all their own, however, and nowhere more obviously than on "Harvest Time," which was recorded first by Amor de Días and only afterwards by the Clientele (on 2009's Bonfires on the Heath). The version here is the original, primal take, previously unheard.

At times spare and empty, at times rich with instrumental texture, at times jazz-tinged and hypnotic, Street of the Love of Days rivals anything either Alasdair or Lupe has recorded before.

With DAMON & NAOMI and THE THORNBILLS

 

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