The House At SeaAlbum |
Indie side project becomes a proper band
The 2011 debut by Amor de Dias was a quiet, almost entirely acoustic gem recorded piecemeal by Alasdair MacLean and Lupe Nuñez-Fernandez as a busman's holiday from their primary groups The Clientele and Pipas. By contrast, The House At Sea was recorded in a single nine-day stretch with a traditional four-person band lineup including MacLean's former Clientele bandmates James Hornsey on bass and Howard Monk on drums. Unsurprisingly, the results are not far removed from The Clientele's early releases, albeit with a gentler acoustic edge. The debut's nods to vintage bossa nova and flamenco-via-Forever Changes are still present, but this time perhaps better integrated into crisp little indie-twee tunes like "In the Winter Sun" and the charming first single "Jean's Waving." The more vibrant, live-sounding band recordings (captured by producer Brian O'Shaughnessy on a 1970s-vintage pre-digital board for full retro warmth) suit both the songs and the singers, whose harmonies sound more relaxed here than before. While The House At Sea might not fully soothe those still bummed about The Clientele's open-ended and possibly permanent hiatus, it does prove that Amor De Dias is its own, endearing thing.