Alasdair MacLean of the Clientele and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas made a record (Street of the Love of Days) under the name Amor de Días and basically it turned out like a perfect blend of the Clientele's quietly autumnal, richly arranged sound and Pipas' fragile and intimate approach to indie pop. Full of truly lovely songs, beautiful arrangements, and wonderfully intimate and sweet vocals, the record will be very tough to dislodge from the top of my best of 2011 list. The Poplist asked the duo to tell us about some of the inspirations behind the band's sound....
Jandek - "Nancy Sings"
20 years before anti-folk, this is the real thing, and it's terrifying and beautiful in equal measure.
"Wind Plays Harp"
A harp is played by the wind in Meaford, Ontario. I love Aeolian harps, I was working in a community garden recently and I suggested they build one, just down by the river; the wind could play it all night long. They looked at me as if I was insane: we were in central London and it would have kept the entire surrounding estate awake.
Gal Costa - "Trem das onze"
A melancholy, rapturous performance by Gal Costa from 1973 that brings me to tears of sadness and of joy. Wait til she stops singing, see what happens. And talk about restraint. I've been a fan of hers for a long time now and finally got to see her at the Barbican in London about 6 years ago. I seriously could not stop smiling for about two hours, it hurt!
Dinosaur - Kiss Me Again
My favorite dance/running/working/everything song right now is by Dinosaur: Arthur Russell and Nicky Siano, featuring David Byrne on guitar, Wilbur Bascum on bass, Arthur on cello, Alan Shwartzberg on drums and the amazing Miriam Valle on vocals. This Jimmy Simpson remix is so irresistible, but if you ever see the 12" version of this, grab it, it's even better.
La Niña De Los Peines - "Alegrías"
La Niña de Los Peines gives me the chills. I'm no flamencologist, but there's something about her voice and the way she modulates the lyrics, like they're coming straight from her soul, Niño Ricardo's playing, and the wonky quality of the 1927 recording that blows me away, so arresting and immediate.
Here's a little sample of Amor de Días: