SanIsidro – a lo pesau, a lo bajo y a lo llano LP

a lo pesau, a lo bajo y a lo llano
Slovenly Recordings
October 9, 2020

Slovenly Recordings describes this LP as “a trip,” and they weren’t lying. In SanIsidro’s debut LP, a lo pesau, a lo bajo y a lo llano, you’re taken through a short series of flamenco songs that are fun, atmospheric, and slightly psychedelic. Whether or not you are under the influence of psychedelic drugs, these songs will put you in the right headspace.

A bit on the mellow side, this LP is arranged beautifully, with each song flowing into the next with ease. With a play time of only 21-minutes, it will be over before you know it.

I’ll be honest, this style of music is out of my comfort zone, which shows me that I need to get out of my comfort zone more. I am not too familiar with flamenco, but these songs have turned me onto the genre. The whole idea of having a flamenco LP that is stylistically psychedelic is very appealing to me.

I am incredibly grateful I listened to this LP. It has shown me a side of music I was blind to but understand more of now. Isn’t that part of the reason we listen to music in the first place?

The album beings with ‘Calamata,’ a very chill song with classic Spanish guitar, accompanied by what sounds like hand drums. Once the singing begins, it comes together quite nicely. The first thought that came to mind after listening was, “snake charmer.” Do with that as you wish.

I wish I was fluent in Spanish so I could know what he is singing. That’s part of the frustration I have with this LP – without knowing the lyrics, I miss out on a great deal of the themes and meanings behind the songs.

‘Unicorn Embolat’ follows, with a cheery acoustic guitar and vocals placed on top of one another sung over the chords. Other than that, there’s not much to write home about with this song. It’s short and ends relatively fast. It’s not my favourite on the album, but I think its good background music if nothing else.

The next track, ‘Avantguarda (La Tia Carmen)’, starts to bring the psychedelic sounds with a slight reverb effect on the guitar, playing an endless loop of a lead that seems to creep back and forth throughout the whole song. With a faint guitar and bass being played behind the vocals and looping lead guitar, this song is one of my favourites on the album. The way the lead guitar is structured is great to me. It really makes this song, while everything else falls in line behind it.

‘No Hacen Uno’ comes next. Beginning with a bassline and cymbals, slowly more instruments come in – a fun lead guitar section and vocals, both of which are the best on the album. The song is too short, though. There is so much they could have done with this song that they didn’t, which is super disappointing. As much as I like this song, it does repeat the same thing over and over again, adding just a little something extra or different would have made this a real banger.

‘Miratge’ comes after, introducing itself with a sad guitar that grudges along before bass and very faint percussion come in. Vocals follow, and a very sombre song is presented. This turns into a very different song roughly four-minutes in, picking up the tempo, and ending on twangy guitar that fades out. ‘Miratge’ is a great display of what I was looking for in ‘No Hacen Uno’, showing off a bit of the versatility this band is capable of.

The closing song, ‘Penya-Segat,’ is a slow burn that sends you spiralling out towards the end. Like many songs on this album, the structure is familiar. Opening on a guitar that has the rest of the instruments following suit, the vocals play along to the melody. After some guitar licks, they really nail home the ending, overlapping guitars and vocals all speaking out of order.

All in all, this album is a good time. My frustrations with the album come mainly from me not knowing what they’re saying. This album could have also been more psychedelic in delivery, but that pushed aside, this is an album I’m stoked to have listened to. I think you should go check it out now. Tell a friend about it. Don’t be selfish.

-Ryan Curtiss