Recorded, produced and mixed by Carlos Aquilué and Kiev cuando nieva in The navy, Huesca, and in Casa Pepín, Panzano. Master by Rafael Martínez del Pozo in Grabaciones de campo, Castro de Cepeda
Music by Javier Aquilué, Antxon Corcuera, Carlos Aquilué and Jaime Sevilla
Illustrations by Javier Aquilué Design by Carlos Aquilué
|4. Portaladas y pasajes|
|5. Como caen|
Inicio de surco
Recorded and mixed by Carlos Aquilué at Huesca's own rehearsal premises (now a mosque), this new album from Kiev cuando nieva has been in the making over two years, although the days used to actually record the songs were just a few. The reason for this is that jobs were changed, cities were switched, and new family members appeared in the scene. So the itinerary proposed in this collection of songs, in addition to suggesting a pleasant walk over (at times) rough terrains, also gives us clues about the new directions of the band. The clichés are scared away, but we are still led by road indicators camouflaged by spontaneously growing vegetation.
To put it in Luis Lles’s words:
Kiev cuando nieva is a group that has always been attracted to the pastoral and rural. But perhaps never before had that attraction been reflected in such a clear and transparent way as in this ‘Inicio de surco’ (which roughly translates as ’furrow-opening work’) which, from its very title and cover, seems to refer to the pleasures of life in the countryside, understood as a non-romanticized retreat, an ordinary break. It is not so much a vindication of the unpopulated country life of Spain as it is a hedonistic approach to the benefits of nature. It is not so much a song to the elusive and lonely austerity that celebrates the book "Los asquerosos" by Santiago Lorenzo as it is a declared love for the comforting breeze that blows in the countryside.
In any case, the enchantment that seeps from every groove in this 6th album by the band hailing from Huesca is often marred with that natural tendency to the enigmatic, which is something that also defines the trajectory of Kiev cuando nieva, a group with a declared passion for the oblique, the elusive, and the unpredictable.
As for the rest, in their new work, and in the manner of Lampedusa and his gatopardismo (Lampedusa’s The Leopard), the band consisting of brothers Javier and Carlos Aquilué, Antxon Corcuera and Jaime Sevilla has decided that, in the strictly musical sense, it is better to change something so that nothing changes. In that sense, the opening song ‘Roble’ is paradigmatic. Those vocal, priceless harmonies so 1960s remain, but this time they are marinated with an unusual Latin tumbao and unexpected echoes of verbena. In ‘Huerto’, the noise of a two-wheel tractor and the sound of a synthesizer bring disturbing elements to a lovely naive melody. And ‘Brizna’ is one of the summits of the album, something that could be defined as galactic folklore. Both ‘Portaladas y pasajes’ and ‘Como caen’ are wrapped in a strange melancholy and are clear signs of the imaginative search of the group for new pathways in pop music. ‘Aperos’, a new invitation to country life, combines two of the main harmonic influences of the Huesca natives: Crosby Stills Nash & Young and Robert Wyatt. Big words. ‘Arrendajo’ is, apart from the name of a bird, the title of another of their songs. In it we can envisage another of its influences, the Beach Boys of ‘Pet sounds’. ‘Navaja’ is a minute and fifteen seconds of curious reflection on current job insecurity (their peculiar take on protest songs?). And the album is completed with a simple love song (Arpa), the psychedelic density and hypnotic drones of 'Broche', the bizarre gospel of 'Spiritual', in which the voice sounds like an inland Pep Laguarda, and the minute and cryptic folk-rock of 'Gallo', which closes a brilliant and already essential album, one that oozes a mysterious serenity and brings comfort like a breeze through a field. So, as Neil Young would say, are you ready for the country?
(...) Like a breeze through a field, Luis Lles.