Here at Elefant Records we really believe in NELEONARD. We believe in Nele’s lyrics, in their clear ideas about making POP songs: big, full of detail, with the goal of getting you hooked on the first listen, and not at all hesitant to talk about LOVE and the disappointments of relationships, whatever kind they may be. And that’s exactly why NELEONARD’s record label debut is going to be the first 10” in the catalogue of our collection for new artists, New Adventures In Pop. It’s a collection of songs capable of incorporating everything from the wide range of sounds of LA BIEN QUERIDA, to the lyrical sensitivity of Ana Fernández-Villaverde, the delicacy of a young LE MANS, the emotion of BELLE AND SEBASTIAN, an instrumental classicism close to bands like THE DIVINE COMEDY, FELT’s delicate guitars, or the memory of Spanish folk-pop groups from the 70s like José y Manuel, SOLERA, PICNIC and NUEVOS HORIZONTES.
Since their personal project was born in 2012, Nele have been adding people to the group to really give these songs everything they needed: Laura Alonso, Elena Comas, Guille Rodríguez, Eloy Bernal and Pedro Señalada, who come from bands like GÚDAR, LOS PROBETA, DIE KATAPULT, GABRIEL Y VENCERÁS and HIBERNALES. And step by step, the moment has finally arrived to get into the Caballo Grande Studios, with the production work of Cristian Pallejà (NISEI, FRED I SON) and Ferran Resines (BLUEBERRY HILL).
On November NELEONARD release their debut “Agosto” for our vinyl collection New Adventures In Pop [10” Mini-Lp]. The result of this work is six magnificent songs. The universal pop of “Podemos” is agile, exciting, lyrical, and addictive all at the same time, with lyrics that mix melodrama with hope, and irony with sincerity. It’s an anthem, 100%. “Por Pequeño Que Seas” inherits its melodies from LA BUENA VIDA and its inspiration from CORAZÓN’s and NOSOTRÄSH’s lyrics, oozing tons of bitterness but without ever stooping to the easy option. “Agosto” introduces Mediterranean details and flamenco touches that remind us of LA BIEN QUERIDA, with a sunny song of summery reminiscing. “Capital” opens the B Side with more superb instrumentation, full of emotion and lyricism, to talk about time and distance. “Sólo Por Un Momento” begins with echoes of Leonard Cohen and ends up, once again, somewhere between flamenco and folk sounds. Marvelous. And to wrap things up and leave us starving for more of what they’ve got, a bitter, acerbic song that burns you up on the inside. “Cómo Es” talks about those frustrations that can arise with a feeling as supposedly pure as love, and all the pain it can cause. Again, they are able to alternate elegance and tension, the dreaminess in the arrangements and the pop spirit that lies in all of these songs; songs which must turn NELEONARD automatically into one of the most celebrated realities in the new Spanish music scene. We are serving the appetizer and waiting for the guests to arrive.
Release 7" Single "Casi Cuela" with 2 new songs. These two new songs confirm that NELEONARD is one of the most biggest promises in Spanish pop, with music that is sober, fresh, but also has so much to say, and a tremendously rich lyrical and musical discourse.
Release “Coger Frío”, an advance digital single and video from their first album “Las Causas Perdidas”. It’s difficult to condense everything that NELEONARD’s album contains into one single song, and we want so badly to let you listen to all of it, but “Coger Frío” definitely contains a lot of what the album has to offer. The pop spirit, in this case inherited from PULP, CAMERA OBSCURA and HEFNER, the elegance and precision of the arrangements of THE DIVINE COMEDY and LA BUENA VIDA, and above all, spot on lyrics that hit the emotional bulls-eye; the kind of lyrics we will need to memorize on the first listen and sing along with like someone possessed. This song talks about the disappointments life can give us, especially with the things we had our hopes set so high for that ultimately fail us, but how sometimes the little details are the things that turn out to be the most important. “Coger frío para poder perder el miedo a lo conocido /... / Desaprender lo aprendido / Llenando cada silencio con palabras que inventar” (Getting a little cold to lose the fear of the known /… / Letting go of what I’ve learned / Filling every silence with words to be invented”).
Along with the single, there is a video directed by Diego Delgado, the Catalan director with tremendous experience in audiovisual design and advertising, and which serves as the perfect introduction to the group, who play this beautiful song that demonstrates their elegance, and at the same time their closeness.
Release their first album, "Las Causas Perdidas" . This album has that elegant pop spirit that is highly emotional, subtle, delicate, and that shows the fragility of what it is to be human. With the upbeat opening of “Reluces”, with clear echoes of THE DIVINE COMEDY, we see it clearly. Those beyond perfect arrangements that mark a crescendo that is more thanmusical: “En tu casa he oído que vives sin ti / sintiendo lo cerca que estamos del cielo”. (I heard that you live in your house without yourself / feeling how close we are to heaven.)Rebirth, reestablishment, believing in new opportunities, enjoying the feeling of security that someone gives you and that makes everything shine again. And when “La Más Alegre” starts, we have the first direct hit. Optimism in its purest form. Luminosity. LA BIEN QUERIDA. The strength necessary to enjoy life. We have already talked a lot about “Coger Frío”, in a good way, from the advance single, with that tart but colorful push that Darren Hayman reallylikes to use. “Seguro Que Es Por Mi” lets itself sink into the arms of melancholy for a moment, to accept the troubles and heartaches of life. This step backwards is needed to take a new leap forward. And that leap is “Menos De Mí”, which starts with majestic strings. Once again, we can see Neil Hannon, but also Sufjan Stevens, and above all LA BUENA VIDA. It’s a total temper tantrum turned into a song. This ability to talk about feelings that burn in day to day relationships and memories. It’s just enough to move toward the more crooner side of NELEONARD on “Tu Fiesta”. TINDERSTICKS and Nick Cave. Sobriety, solemnity, anguish, darkness. Raw emotions… “Un extraño en tu fiesta” (A stranger at your party).
The B-side starts off flirty, with that Andalusian accent and that immediacy and irony. “Mariadel” is simple, gorgeous, like something sweet you savor and enjoy slowly. “Vivir Como Ellos” has an exultant vitality with that touch of seriousness that makes NELEONARD such a strange species on the national scene. This is the news we were waiting for, that crooner pop sound, delicate and subtle, with those interludes where the violin and mandolin shine, and the marked pauses with an acoustic guitar. There is no better summary for a song that ends in a euphoric explosion of emotion and excitement. “Pues Es Verdad” gets back to that Andalusian touch, and combines it with the eternal magic of SIMON AND GARFUNKEL, forging one of the album’s other big hits. And then comes the calm; “Salvavidas” edges its way into the folk and acoustic universe - , IRON & WINE, NOSOTRÄSH, BELLE AND SEBASTIAN and LA COSTA BRAVA. “Ya Ni Cuento” sounds like the chamber album that THE SMITHS could have recorded, and to close the album we have none other than “Despedida”. The uncertainty and fear associated with all good-byes. Incertitude. Once again, Stuart Staples and his solemnity.
Release “El Bufón”, advance Digital Single of their second album “Un Lugar Imaginado”. while we continue with the countdown, we can enjoy this Digital Single that comes with a video where we can see the band playing, giving off ease and that happiness and energy that is so characteristic of them.
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