From the very first notes of Barcelona trio LULLAVY’s new record Ruina I was convinced there was something special to eperience. With simple, yet very organic and tangible sounds, the band seems know how to make a hypnotic first impression and though it’s not about mind-bending madness we often bring you in our pages, it’s simply excellent at its lack of complexities and almost post rock feel. Reassuringly consistent, Ruina sounds both personal and kinetic, and it turns out it’s also political. We caught up with the band to get you some more details and explain the Spanish lyrics, so you could plug in your headphones and appreciate it even more.
LULLAVY uses only a few elements (guitar, bass and drums) to present their songs, with a sound that draws on both the emotion of Jason Molina and the harshness of the first PJ Harvey and even Fugazi. They watch the sharp and dry sounds of American alternative rock with their personal vision and specially cared-for Spanish lyrics.
Asked about their backgrounds and the new record, the band offered the following:
LULLAVY started as a solo thing. Just Saúl playing songs in acoustic. When he moved to Barcelona he formed the trio with Ernest Gómez and Guillem Bonet and everything turned electric. We recorded the 7″ Conjuro in 2014, and our first LP, Ruina, this year.
Ruina is mainly a political album. The sounds and lyrics try to paint an expressionist and abstract landscape of disconfort and frustration, always following the rule of less is more, pursuing simplicity. Reference influential albums? Rid of Me, by PJ Harvey; Over the Sun, by Shannon Wright; Repeter, by Fugazi; 1000 Hurts, by Shellac; and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, by Come, among many others.
They further elobrated on their local alt scene of Barcelona:
Barcelona is a big town, so it’s not too much saying there are several local scenes, and we feel close to more than one. It is impossible to talk about every band we like, but we had to name Decurs (most impredictible live show in town), Glitterhouse (we share rehersal room with them and they blew our minds since the very beginning), we also like bands from the nearby record label Saltamarges: Hurricade, Tanø, Please Wait and Llacuna (whose first EP you guys premieres last week). Barcelona is an exciting place to discover new bands and play with them.
1. Quien esté ciego para ver: We jammed the hard and soft part for so long, and stayed instrumental for a while. Some time after we decided to add a short but strong line, so we altered a couple of lines by Spanish poet José Ángel Valente (the title is part of the poem) and put them at the end. We like to think this song works as a declaration of principles for the whole album.
2. Los hogares: The main riff comes from adding tension to a very simple chord, the rest came after hours of repeating and rethinking. Lyrics are about broken hopes and finding out about reality as you grow up.
3. Intruso: A song about friendship as a source of strength and support when everything else is against you. We took simple chords and adapted some flamenco rhythms. Friends say it’s our most emo song.
4. Nunca un arma: The most rethinked song in the album. We played it in so many different ways and learned a lot from it. It’s basically a song against hiding in drugs, alcohol or whatever instead of using your own voice and brains.
5. Este silencio: Heavy chords and rhythm. This song is always included in our setlist. Not a love song, it’s about distance between friends.
6. Lluvia: First one we three wrote together. We did it very fast and enjoy it! Guitar goes between sweet and simple, and then the rhythm section gives everything a dark and angry touch. Probably from that ambiguity the chorus says “we’ll bring roses and stones”.
7. Hambre: The only love song in the album. The harmony is very pop, with chords in A minor, but it is interrupted by parts of distortion and yelling.
8. Molina: A song about loosing musical influences, about how some musicians are an important part of out lives, not only in the music we make or like to listen. Writen not long after the death of Manuel Molina, a flamenco revolutionary. He was part of Smash, the first Spanish band which mixed flamenco, rock, psychedelia and blues, one of the main responsibles of many rock lovers got interested in flamenco and vice versa.
9. La contención: A slow burner that shows our love for bands as Neurosis, Acid King, Sleep or OM. We played this song on repeat for weeks finding nuances and letting the different parts appear by themselves. Lyrics came a little later, they talk about facing what’s hurting you, pointing it and taking part of that respontibility.
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