Album Reviews

Delorean – Subiza

(True Panther Sounds) UK release date: 19 April 2010

Spanish four-piece Delorean make the kind of music that longs to be played on a warm summer’s evening, possibly around a campfire, probably in a gorgeous beach setting. Subiza, the follow-up to last year’s rapturously received Ayrton Senna EP, replicates the cinematic dance pop that Animal Collective and Cut Copy have moved towards in recent years.

Opener Stay Close could easily have been taken from the former’s Merriweather Post Pavilion album, all shimmering percussion, slowly building tension and a smattering of those odd yelps and vocal tics that peppered the album. Where the two bands differ, however, is that Delorean’s melodies are less up tight. It’s less of a struggle to enjoy the songs they create and, as Stay Close slides effortlessly along to its joyful conclusion, you’re lost in a swathe of keyboards and vocal swirls.

Much of Subiza (named after the island it was recorded on) follows a similar template of chopped up vocal riffs, glistening keyboards and summery melodies. Aware of their strengths, the band never overload the songs with unnecessary instrumentation. The six-minute Real Love is a simple rave-esque piano part, a bouncing beat and layers of vocal interplay that mould themselves around the musical backbone.

Grow introduces a distant guitar, whilst Simple Graces opens with a recurring old-skool hip-hop loop which, relatively speaking, is a bit of a shock. That the song slowly unfolds into another deliriously sunny confection is no great surprise, but it’s these touches that stop the album from being too polite. For all its obvious merits, there are occasions where you wish they’d let their guard down a bit more often and liven things up with a little discord.

Only on Warmer Places do the band really up the ante tempo-wise, creating an intricate sound bed of steel drum-style beats and chopped up synths, singer Ekhi Lopetegi’s fairly blank vocals racing over the top. It’s less Balearic beat and more cheesy rave, Spanish-style, and it’s one of the few times where the album strays away from the template and has a bit of fun.

They may have been doing this for over a decade – this is their fourth album – but the timing of Delorean’s rise to prominence is perfect. With alternative dance building up a head of steam thanks to its more famous exponents, there’s now a place at the table for a band like Delorean to reap the rewards. Thankfully, with Subiza, they’ve got the songs to help the process along. All they need now is the perfect summer and they’ll be inescapable.

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Delorean @ Lexington, London
Delorean – Subiza