SINGLE: New album "Hola" LP/CD
Once upon a time… “Hola”. After five years of silence as a duet (Ibon Errazkin released his last solo album, “Foto Aérea” in 2018; SINGLE has not released anything since that Maxi-Single “Rea Del Ritmo” in 2015), the duo formed by Ibon Errazkin and Teresa Iturrioz is back with a brand new album.
Good things, when short, are twice as good. This is a constant in the trajectory of Errazkin-Iturrioz, ever since AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN, the legendary group from San Sebastián they first made themselves known with, whose eponymous debut just turned 30. They have always leaned toward albums with discreet lengths, but with an incredible capacity for endless sonic fascination. On their fourth album as a duo (their fifth if we include “Anexo”), SINGLE is taking us on a new journey to their interior universe, new proof of their capacity to reinvent themselves without ever giving up their artistic principles.
“Hola” makes it clear, once again, that SINGLE is unique when it comes to making collages with an exquisite capacity for suggestion. They are always surprising when it comes to combining sounds and influences that at first glance – or first listen – can seem impossible to bring together. Here, Errazkin and Iturrioz do it again, at the same time as they bring back the essence of another of their celebrated groups, LE MANS. Diving into their roots, into their shared tastes and their passion for film, they have created a multifaceted album, at times disturbing, always exciting.
“Hola” would be the perfect soundtrack to a western musical. Really, it already is, the only exception being that they have not decided to accompany it with images. In the meantime, they invite the listener to step into the melancholic world that this potential sui generis Western movie is, through an opening that gives the album its title, and which opens the album in the way of a traditional musical, like “West Side Story” or “Oliver!”, two of their favorites. This introduction greets the listener with the main musical themes of the album, fused in one single instrumental track, measured, evocative – the essence of “Hola”, the album, concentrated into barely four minutes. It is an imaginative journey to a near West, were melancholy, dreaminess and unreality reign.
Ever since “Pío Pío”, their debut as a duo, SINGLE has pushed for composing songs that work as daydreams, and that beyond the lyrics that Iturrioz writes, give way to all kinds of interpretations. Like what happens with the legrandian “Pegaso” (that is to say, à la Michel Legrand), a sophisticated, indigo-toned mid-tempo that perfectly captures the sensibilities that make SINGLE a multi-colored duo, and which, in this case, also makes us think of a legendary western.
The most traditionally romantic ballad on the album was its first single, “El Roce”. It is a beautiful mature love story, delicately bare and free of clichés. After that, “Madrugada Belle Époque”, a dreamy nocturnal ode to the periphery of San Sebastián, reminds us why Errazkin and Iturrioz will always be leaders of the “Donosti Sound” that they have known how to enrichen from album to album. In this case, they let themselves be carried away by the feelings that come from memory and experience. As on “Marta, Quimi Y Yo”, the lyrics of which were inspired by people very close to Teresa Iturrioz, and which Ibon Errazkin turned into a song that walks the line between country, the classics of VAINICA DOBLE and medieval troubadour songs (with the priceless collaboration of Antonio Galvañ from PARADE on the piano).
The mythological inspiration returns on “Hola, Soy Dafne”, a vindication, in poetic key (with a subtle feminist touch), of characters like that nymph who was the protagonist of an unfortunate love story with Apolo, told in the key of bolero. And a wink toward the choruses of the Greek tragedies opens the brief “Un Beso”, a song that originally was 4 minutes long, and which is ultimately being released as an exquisite miniature that lasts less than one minute. “Un Beso” leads directly into “El Sueño”, an immediate SINGLE classic, and a clear example of their mastery as creators of pop. With echoes of “Rapture”, by Jerry Yester & Judy Henske, they talk about that moment when you abandon yourself to the desire to sleep, and fall into the deepest of sleeps. On this song, Errazkin also sings the choruses, and says that this is one of the songs that most reminds him of Eva Solex, a friend of the duo’s who passed away in 2018, and to whom the album is dedicated.
‘’Canción Para Hombres Grandes” is, in the words of Iturrioz, “and ode to the masculine gender”. The flip side, somewhere between romantic and ironic, of “Hola, Soy Dafne”, sensitive and loving (with the unexpected participation of the sounds of traffic that slipped in while Errazkin was recording the guitars in his home studio). It is a song that makes you want to dance holding someone close. And since SINGLE has always characterized themselves by their fondness for recording splendid versions, here they show us again their ability to make others’ songs their own, with “A Las Seis”. It was written by the Spanish folk duo José and Manuel, although they first heard it in the version by Ana and Jaime, a Colombian brother and sister who included it on their first LP, “Es Largo El Camino” (1968). It is relevant that for this faithful rendition they worked with Genís Segarra (HIDROGENESSE) on the piano. “Cuántos momentos / Tú y yo fuimos tan dichosos / Juntos pasamos / Los momentos más hermosos”(How many moments / You and I were so happy / Together we spent / The most beautiful moments), Teresa and Ibon sing on this song. This song tastes like a goodbye, and it becomes the perfect farewell to “Hola”. This is an album that you will want to say hello to again and again.
Agustín Gómez Cascales
TRACKLIST: 01 Hola 02 Pegaso 03 El Roce 04 Madrugada Belle Époque 05 Marta, Quimi Y Yo 06 Hola, Soy Dafne 07 Un Beso 08 El Sueño 09 Canción Para Hombres Grandes 10 A Las Seis
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