Well-Crafted Coffeehouse Tunes
Amor de Días is the “not-so-secret” project of The Clientele’s Alasfair MacLean and Lupe Núnez-Fernandez of the UK indie duo Pipas. Though fans of The Clientele may mourn the very presence of this group (solidifying that “indefinite hiatus” status Clientele announced in 2011), fans of Oren Lavie, Nick Drake and Belle & Sebastian should rejoice.
Amor’s twelve track LP The House at Sea is a seductive mélange of hushed, soothing vocals, and cozy coffee shop guitar. Not crummy open mic night guitar – we’re talkin’ the Spanish guy, who keeps the couches packed and the coffee flowing til eleven pm. The lyrics are lovely in both of the presented languages, and the vocal reverb gives the whole record a sexy art gallery feel. While no track is extraordinarily striking or shiver inducing, the entire collection is nicely crafted, the kind of record that’s easy to spend a day or an evening with, making dinner, making art or just mellowing out. It’s James Blake gone bossa nova with a woman’s touch.
“The Sunlit Estate,” is curious fun, with a wicked train-over-tracks loop for a rhythm section. It could even be mistaken for a Leonard Cohen song. Serge Gainsbourgian “Day” is another song of note. The main vocal is whisper-sung by Lupe in a way that all but demands a sunbleached hipster video be made to accompany her. It’s got an Instagram filter sonically built in.
Altogether The House at Sea is a solid listen. Though it may skew toward NPR fodder, there’s nothing wrong with sharing this not-so-secret band and spreading a bit of mellow bliss.