Album Review – Noches de Agosto by Madbil (2020) (Hanky Panky Records)
I suppose Madbil are not the typical, wonderfully fey, jangly indie-pop Spaniards. In fact it is very hard to place your finger upon the general aesthetic of their sound. You do however, know that once your finger finds them it is ridiculoulsy hard to stop clicking the play button! Its all ear-worm mental.
Essentially, even if the majority of the tracks were not in Spanish, the astute indie-pop fan would still be drawn to that inimitably Spanish allure. All soft, swathed in natural warmth and cooked to a perfect twee crisp, the inter-changing male / female vocals have Madrid Popfest oozing from every pore.
That is where the similarity to all things absolutely Spanish-pop ends. For Madbil tend to take the gorgeous fluffy into decidedly more mature territory, with tracks such as Desierto y Mar, Cuanda Me Miras and Nochos De Agosto sliding stunning jangled melodies in and around the vocals, along with very unspanish, prominent basslines and subdued rock laced lead guitar riffs. Its ‘muscular fluffy’ and thrives on absolutely perfect contrast.
However, the very best of the album can be seen in two of the female vocal tracks. No Todos Los Ojos Cerrados and Reflections reduce the tempo, polish the production to genuine indie-pop perfection and thread sparse chiming melodies through the mix. The beautifully disinterested female vocals and laconic bounce of the ear-worm melodies conjure up visions of Watoo Watoo‘s Pascale, fronting early 00’s Comet Gain. Yes it’s ‘that’ good!
Indie-pop / twee-pop / jangly sophisti-pop…whatever you may decide, you will surely decide it’s glorious !!!