April 27, 2010
Delorean | Subiza
2010 | True Panther
Remember last summer? The muggy haze of humidity that crept over New York City in mid-July coupled with the onslaught of lazy, sticky tunes from Washed Out and Neon Indian? It was like three months of lying on the floor—because the fabric on the couch was too hot—in just a pair of shorts, with a pack of frozen food or a can of beer resting on your forehead, unable to move because, you know, that would just make things worse. A chill-wave summer. Or something like that. But amidst all this was Delorean’s Ayrton Senna EP—four tracks of sun-drenched, electro-dance pop that felt like someone had just dunked your head into a bucket of ice water. Now, one year later, with temperatures climbing, the Spanish four-piece is back with their second full-length, Subiza, a fine record that highlights Delorean’s knack for crafting wonderfully simple yet layered melodies that dance, swell, and fall almost effortlessly.
“Stay Close,” Subiza’s first track, sets the tone for the rest of the record perfectly: Starting with only a long bass hit, a running tambourine, a distant keyboard, and some call and response vocals, the song continually builds on itself incorporating everything from simple hand claps to a bouncing synth melody. “Stay Close” continues to crescendo throughout and each time you expect it to drop—and to drop hard—it never does, rather fading out beautifully.
The best moments on Subiza come when Delorean are able to craft exactly these types of songs—ones that jump naturally from hook to hook, continually rising and falling while seamlessly combining elements of techno, electro, house, and just simple pop music. The hypnotizing “Real Love” switches between a swinging chorus and a verse that feels just a few bass levels below the sweetest sounding dubstep track you’ve ever heard. On “Grow,” the melodies again swell and dip, with surprisingly apt keyboard vocal samples filling in the spaces. And the standout track “Simple Graces” makes use brisk keyboards placed over an old-school hip-hop drums touched with just the right amount of reverb—it’s warm, open, and inviting, but never without some sense of intimacy.
Even when Subiza falters, it’s far from jarring. Both “Endless Sunset” and “Infinite Desert” aren’t necessarily disappointing, but rather seem a bit monotonous compared to the rest of the album. The inconsistency in the vocals can feel irksome as well; sometimes they’re too far away, other times they’re too overpowering.
Still, Subiza undoubtedly shines. Delorean have meticulously merged a wide array of sounds and influences creating a wonderfully tight and lucid album. “And if you want to we could run away up into the sun,” sings Ekhi Lopetegi, on “Warmer Places” (borrowing lyrics from Ayrton Senna’s “Big Dipper”), as the song makes its final crescendo—the harmonies are simple; the build strong; each sounds crisp and rings out clear. Welcome to summer.
by Jon Blistein
Subiza drops June 8th, or pre-order it over at Insound!