In a glorious display of substance and style, Spanish indie emo punk rock act SALINA worked out their own love letter to atmospheric punk and rock, flowing together perfectly, delivering compelling tracks with catchy and well-written tracks that will make you tap and sing on long car trips with your best friends. To celebrate the recent release of ther debut album “Lava” on Beauty Fool Records, Saltamarges from Spain, Discos Delejos from the Canary Islands and Solidarity Club from the USA, we have teamed up with the band to give you some more details on their project, local DY music scene, and a bunch more stuff, including tough political and social issues like COVID-19 and racial injustice protests in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death earlier this year.
Salina’s new LP “LAVA” is the result of the band’s componential restructuring and their search for a trademark sound, like the one we’ve briefly and previously experienced in their split with Citrus Clouds. Restructured in terms of sound, intensity and most significantly, the use of Catalan in 5 of the 10 songs, the album comes as a collection of songs that surges from the inside out, like a river of lava, and other times feels more like a flowing body of introspection, meandering between fears, doubts, and uncertainties.
“This record in general is a compilation of sentiments, a portrait of different situations each of us have been through on a specific moment in time while the writing process of this album. Each song talks about personal situations but that we all have lived together.” – comments the band.
The play between the two languages also guides us along this river of lava, leading us through the entire album. It situates us in the vital reality of its components, such as this exercise in linguistic naturalness – expressing themselves with the language that most represents and defines them. The use of Catalan and English is employed with one as a language on its own, and the other as a language of influence. Dani and Carles subtly and naturally join and support each other linguistically in each song.
In this fashion, the bonds created beyond the music are evident. The personal bond resonates between the three, reflecting how each of the three members confronts the process of every song’s composition. The layers of guitar emanate color and brilliance, creating unique musical expanses on top of a robust and tight rhythmic base that is almost imperturbable.
Strong and catchy vocal melodies reflect nostalgia, and at the same time, uncertainty about the present, and what is to come. This new collection of songs exhibits a torrent of emotions and sentiments that mark the distinct creative process and musical base of the album.
The symbolism behind the album’s title as well as the songs simply can’t be ignored. They evoke and conjure up natural elements and images that define the Canary Islands, where Dani is from, and where the album was recorded. The message is clear that one must learn how to find in nature how to express their emotions, meanwhile evoking images and landscapes with which to exist.
Comments the band: “Practically the entire album was written by the three of us in our practice space. We tried to “master” each song so we could allow some extra time in the studio to work on arrangements and have better control on the recording process, rather than focusing on the execution only. In this sense, the days in Gran Canaria clearly have left their mark on some of the songs, the inspiration we got from the island came in different forms, just by going into the Ocean after a long day at the studio, or long nights before one recording session trying to figure out arrangements or adjusting lyrics. Having worked so hard on the composition of the songs before going to the studio has also allowed us time to work thorougly on the sound of each instrument, fit in the arrangements, and play with the vocals that we had thought for each song.”
Asked about the technical aspects of this recording and labels they have chosen for this release, they continued:
“This album has been recorded by Jose Antonio López at La Caterva studios, located in Telde, a small village close to the north east cosast of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). Dani and Ernest had already recorded at La Caterva previously with other musical projects and we had no doubt that was the place to make “LAVA” sound as it sounds. Jose is a great friend and makes us feel very comfortable while recording, and he also actively particpates on all the recording processes, not only technically, but also artisitically.”
The mastering was done by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering (Chicago, IL), who had also mastered other projects that some of the band´s members had in the past. As for the artwork, we also wanted to bring two “lands” together and we hired Capi Cabrera (from the Canary Islands), who did the cover and back cover art, and the catalán designer Pol Huedo (aka RTLL), who took care of the inner sleeve and the typography. We wanted to mix two very different artistic styles and we couldn´t be happier with the result. All promo pics were taken by Clara Roman on a winter evening at Clara´s living room.
The release of this vinyl is a co-release by Beauty Fool Records, Saltamarges, Discos Delejos and Solidarity Club (USA), the latter will produce a limited cassette edition of the album in the US. Additionally, it is important to mention the labels involved have been extemely supportive and we felt very identified with their philosophy, and that made us feel very comfortable and honored to be part of their respective rosters. We feel very grateful and lucky to have them around us.”
Plans for the future & touring vs COVID-19 pandemic:
“In the near future, our plan is to play this album live as much as we can, and while we can’t due to Covid, we’ll also work on new ideas. 09-
We had a few shows scheduled, including a nice showcase by Beauty Fool Records, that had been either cancelled or postponed. The situation in Spain hasn’t allowed us to carry on with our plans of presenting the album live, and we haven´t been able to get new shows. Nevertheless, in the past few days we got great news from Sala VOL in Barcelona, who are starting to schedule shows again starting in September, and they got us a spot on September 19th, so we’ll be presenting “Lava” live in Barcelona, fortunately.
In the past few months, the impact of Covid-19 in all aspects of our lives, has been huge. We spent practically 3 months without seeing each other, and of course without playing music together. The shows that were cancelled, and the future plans that are now still very uncertain.
We suddendly found ourselves from being so lucky of living in Barcelona, where there is a huge cultural and musical offer, to spend months at home doing teleconferences. The world literally stopped for all of us at all levels.
About a month ago, we started to adapt to the “new normal”, and we are very happy to see how record stores have reopened, open-space shows are also happening, and some of the venues in the city are also trying to put out some shows.
All this situation, really is just reinforcing our way of doing things, basically trying to do as much as we can by ourselves, with the people we love, and that we value and admire.”
Local music scene:
The local scene here is alive and well. Not even Coronavirus or the current political situation can stop underground local artists to create and share their creations. It is a fact that right now it’s nearly impossible to book shows in our go-to venues and it will take some time until we can go to live shows as we used to, if this is even possible someday. But we think that we will always have our local scene to focus on. There are a lot of new projects, anything from members of local bands that are presenting their solo projects to new bands that were born during or post-lockdown. Great records are flourishing right now showing that the scene is still very much alive.
Maybe we as musicians need to reinvent ourselves and focus on new ways to create, share and play our music. Even if it means new ways to play live shows. If something is true, it will always be true.
The George Floyd protests
“We totally support the riots and the people taking part in them. The murder of George Floyd seems that at least, has opened people’s eyes in terms of racism and police abuse. It has brought to light that racism is still an issue everywhere and not only an echo of the past, it is an institutional and systematic problem.
We, as white middle-aged men, have to be conscious and own our privilege and our prejudices against what historically has been considered as “different”. Here in Catalunya police abuse and racism are a part of our day-to-day life and there are no laws to prevent them.
Some examples of racism in our country are the persecution that the government and the police have against the “manteros” (migrant street vendors) collective in Barcelona, and the temporary migrant workers who come here to collect fruit in Lleida. Current Spanish legislation would not let migrant people with horrible situations in their own countries to be regularized or to access legal work.
So here in our country we clearly need to solve many matters against racial, and of course, sexist and anti-lgtbi+ agendas.”
Other bands we’ve been listening to lately:
Recently we are listening to Pay for Pain which have just released a record with a bunch of indie songs with a 90s vibe.
You should also check out Luces Negras from Barcelona and their catchy songs between indie and post punk.
Ferran Palau is a catalan songwriter that makes us feel like we are in the clouds. An absolute must.
This is a list of 10 things we love, not in any particular order, not in any field:
– Words in catalan (gamarús, aixopluc, apagallums…)
– La Caterva (recording studio in Telde, Gran Canaria)
– Smoking Room (record label from Oakland)
– Steak Tartar (spicy)
– El Montseny
– Hi Jauh USB (small venue in Barcelona, actually closed :( )
– Stove’s drum beats