Fresh off the release of her new single “Suena Mejor“, off of the upcoming album “Duplo” (to be released later in 2022 via Big Scary Monsters, Counter Intuitive, Inpartmaint Inc., Montgrí), YAWNERS joins us for a quick roundup of top Spanish acts under the radar. Hailing from Madrid, Spain, YAWNERS newest work is their finest; a perfect mix of groovy riffs and swelling melodies topped with vocals that work as an instrument on their own.
Suena Mejor is the first single off of Yawners new full length record, Duplo, which will be out on May 6 via Counter Intuitive Records and Big Scary Monsters (UK/EU), Montgri (Spain), and Impartmant (Japan).
After releasing Yawners’ debut album in 2019, Elena Nieto found something else at the end of a whirlwind year. Just Calm Down showcased the Madrid musician’s love for huge, hooky alternative rock moments chased with the hummable accessibility of power pop. It was a combination destined to set the international stage ablaze. After gracing stages at SXSW in the U.S. and Eurosonic in the Netherlands, the pandemic caused Nieto to reflect on the current moment through the lessons of the past. Invoking a rarely-used Spanish word for its title, sophomore LP Duplo concerns itself with the choices made at life’s branching paths.
“I really wanted to make a new album but I didn’t really have any time to do it, so when COVID came ironically I got the chance to finally sit down and make it,” Nieto explains. The extended time frames allowed her to tinker with each instrumental layer, composing the album over five trips to the studio rather than its predecessor’s single session.
Although Yawners remains a solo vehicle, each song bursts with the muscle of an entire backing band, carrying with it a universal message of self-trust and clarity in both English and Spanish. “It’s about the good and the bad, especially during these couple of extremely weird years where all of us have had second thoughts about everything,” she defines.
Duplo’s themes waste no time being introduced. Opener “No Me Digas” recounts the pain of an ended friendship with fizzy energy that bubbles over and deconstructs itself. “Rivers Cuomo” attacks writer’s block by recalling the Weezer wizard’s spreadsheet of phrasings and chord progressions, with plenty of self-doubt in tow. This uncertainty flips external, too, from the will-we-won’t-we tug of war of “Honey” to the gravity of small decisions, even debating an invite to a party, on “The House (Say My Name).” Nieto wields bilingual hooks to highlight the universal nature of these songs, but a non-speaker of either language can find anthemic and vital moves forward simply by following Yawners’ endurance. “I think language isn’t a barrier in music. When I couldn’t speak or understand English, my favorite albums were still in English. I think the message goes beyond the language. Anyone can relate and anyone can understand.”
Duplo will be released worldwide by Counter Intuitive (USA), Big Scary Monsters (UK), Montgrí (SP) and Inpartmaint Inc. (JP).
Top 10 Spanish bands worth a check, by Yawners
“I think Spain’s music scene is incredibly rich and interesting so I’m very glad to be showing you some of my favorites.: – says Nieto. “Of course, it’s very hard to pick just 10 but here are some artists that I believe are worth checking out, in no particular order.”
A very cool post punk band from the Basque Country, they used to sing in English but they’ve just released a new album in Euskera. I really like how good they are live and their energy.
Cuchillo de Fuego
This band comes from northern Spain, a region called Galicia. I can’t really explain what genre they do but the shows I’ve attended have been crazy and very theatrical. I also really like their music videos.
This is a guitar & drums rock duo from Gerona (Cataluña). I very much like all of their albums, guitar riffs and drum fills. Also the lyrics to their songs are always special, a good start to learn Spanish.
A classic Spanish band from the 90s that is no longer active. Their album “Devil Came to Me” was the first rock album I listened to as a child and it’s honestly an excellent album.
Friends of mine, a rock band, they write very upfront and honest lyrics about everyday normal people issues. They’ve just released their second album, very much recommended.
I think they’re quite known already in the US but always worth shout out, especially live.
A post rock/emo band from Córdoba, they’re very nice people and make amazing records, you should check them out.
A pop rock band consisting of two sisters, Marina and Teresa, they have an upcoming album this year I think.
Another duo, but a synth punk duo this time. They make songs to dance to, very fun to watch, also very very catchy.
A punk band, the singer used to be the singer of Juanita y los Feos (which I also recommend a lot, so these are my 10+1 recommendations). A fun three piece band with very good songs.