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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Refree
Nones
Acuarela Discos

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Raül Fernandez is the man behind Refree, a Spanish outfit led by a music journalist with a delicate radar for dispersed, delicate tunes. Nones is an elaborate testimony about loss and affection, his second effort after the album Quitamiedos. Both releases are about crafting beautiful pop diamonds with simple studio arrangements.

Fernandez's auspicious debut album earned a great deal of acclaim all over, for which he relied on the collaboration of chamber pop impressionist, Migala's Abel Hernández, and José Aguado (of Manta Ray fame).

Nones is an extensive lyrical exercise, a result of maturing ideas and boiling emotions. To put it simple, it's Rachel's meets Friends of Dean Martinez meets a trembling balance of solitude and gathering. It's a record soaked in Mediterranean references and post-folk sensibilities, like a brooding sedative for those aiming to survive.

The words are as subtle as the archetypal delusions kept inside little envelopes of life ("Como en los Días Corrientes"). The casual listener embarks on acoustic journeys across squalid extravaganzas of pain and sorrow ("Les Soldats Perdus"). It's life through the mirror, short stories of common soul seekers, those who often disregard magic and delight.

Nones tentatively flattens your wounds against the flesh so you can feel your nerves hurt, and notice little traces of sparse beauty between days. It's not hard to assume that these songs are uneasy reports of blurred realism but with an exquisite perception of everyday life. Starry-eyed characters play-acting, anxious for passion to be unearthed and with a goofy desire to wrap their troubles in dreams.

Sleepy, vacant melodies corrupt the space between, leaving you with nothing to revel in but a plaintive tension and permissive desire. Still, traditional songs surpassed by a low-key yet emotional delivery and that ultimately show that everything is not lost.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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