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The Limiñanas

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Costa Blanca

(Trouble in Mind)

French duo The Limiñanas swim in groovy waters. Maybe it’s the baritone spoken French vocals that lead off the album, or maybe it’s the floppy ’60s bass tone, the 12-string guitars and sitar sounds, but this record immediately shows that it shares DNA with the likes of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot’s musical efforts. There’s a heavy dose of spaghetti Western and garage rock, too, and it lifts off the ground thanks to Marie Limiñana’s singing, which is about as chic as motoring around Paris on your scooter smoking a Gauloise.

The whole thing sounds like the soundtrack to a French New Wave film that’s probably too cool to actually exist. The lyrics don’t offer anything groundbreaking, but they’re full of hipster references to European and American pop culture of decades ago, offered in French, English, and Italian. The Limiñanas are in fact the Limiñanas—Lio and Marie—and the pair somehow crafted this sprawling, multi-instrumental work at home. Though this beautifully realized album possesses its fair share of downbeat melancholy, it’s the kind of melancholy that crosses over into pure sonic pleasure. It’s hard to choose a standout—the album morphs and evolves, crossing at will the borders between pop, rock and world music, all the while staying true to its retro French roots. This is best employed when you need to cast a spell of cinema verité angst or drive across the plains in search of a fistful of dollars.

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