by Carlos Reyes
Russian Red is one of the new great sensations coming from the rich indie scene in Spain. Her legit name is Lourdes Hernandez and releases a very confident first album that will have no trouble traveling. Universal music because her music is about emotions, singing in English with some of the best vocals I’ve heard this year. We immediately think of a much acoustic oriented Feist and definitely searching for folkloric waves and therefore following Ainara Legardon or even fellow Christina Rosenvinge. She owns a quirky personality that only makes her music even more charming, sometimes depicting nostalgia and even an eccentric way of seduction. Honestly, this album doesn’t feel Spaniard at all; it more accurately belongs to the great pop we’ve been getting from England lately.
The amusing vocals might overshadow the music a bit too much, causing the album to sometimes feel extremely dry and repetitious. But I Love Your Glasses is an album of great linear and a rare debut that understands music form; the organization of sound and silence. Listening to her performances on YouTube (watch this, WOW) decreased my admiration towards the album; it doesn’t capture the monstrous potential that could have been recorded in a much acoustic and atmospheric production. The sound design feels loopy, a great distinct quality to have when working with the gentle and delicate music.
Even if it has not been released as an official single, the track “Cigarettes” has become a signature song with plenty of catchiness and enchantment. Covers from fans are popping here and there. “All the cigarettes that I have never smoked, and all the letters that I have never smoked,” a song about the lack of patience one has, even for love. A song with vocals that follow its instrumentals and manage to develop itself in accord without overshadowing the backgrounds. The first single “They Don’t Believe Me” is probably the most energetic track of the album; a nu-jazzy piece based on repetition and backed up by response of second vocals.
To me, the best song in the album is also the less synthesized at the engineering studio. “Gone Play On” feels like almost like it is narrated instead of singed. “This never ending song is coming and is gone, it’s travelling on a plane on my way,” I just love when songwriters insert life into music principles. Another highlight is “Take Me Home” which I have no doubt has been influenced by Dolly Parton. Some of the songs in between don’t have as much charm, but are middling fillers that manage to support the mood of an impressive if not great first album. Expect to read and hear more about Russian Red, there are already rumors of a U.S. release date.
Download MP3: "Gone Play On"