Niza - Canciones De Temporada

(ELE1098: 8428846210988)

1. Amor Cúbico
2. Por Las Tardes
3. Parasol
4. Inés
5. Isolée
6. Solsticio De Verano
7. Septiembre
8. Tan Frágil
9. A Contraluz
10. Tal Como Éramos
11. Universo
12. Solsticio De Verano

NIZA is a two piece band formed by Silvia (vocals, keyboards, programming) and Roberto (guitar, programming). NIZA’s first steps were included in a new generation of Spanish pop bands that appeared in the late nineties, to shake some action in a then-quite-boring indie pop scene. Weapons wielded included lyrics in Spanish (as most of nineties indie acts opted for English instead), charming back-to-basics naïvete and assorted elements borrowed from sixties and eighties pop. Initially many of these bands shared the same goals, influences and even aesthetic elements, though each of them rapidly evolved in different directions. Three years have passed since that pop explosion, and it makes no sense to try to pull these bands together again: now they don’t need to be part of any movement to be noticed. That’s the story of NIZA, who went improving their formula little by little, away from the spotlight: the band’s second single “Topolino” meant a real step forward from their previous debut single. The main goal was still the same: to write sophisticated pop songs half Saint Tropez, half Rio. But “Topolino” (featuring cool hit “Por las tardes”) showed a much more focused, clear production. Besides, just a single second of Silvia’s cooing vocals was enough to start dreaming of a new Jeanette or with a Claudine Longet from XXI century. “Topolino” was followed by a two year’s hiatus. During this time Roberto and Silvia recollected the best fruits in their repertoire and carefully chose the ripest, tastiest pieces. To bring them to you in a silver tray. This is “Canciones de temporada” (“Songs of the season”). The making of the album goes through two phases: first the tracks are recorded in Refugio Antiáereo studios in Granada, with Carlos Hernández as sound engineer. Carlos had already worked with bands such as LOS PLANETAS, CECILIA ANN, VACACIONES or ME ENVENENO DE AZULES. Silvia‘s vocals were a key element in this recording. That’s when Ian Catt came in. He’s worked many times with bands such as ST ETIENNE and TREMBLING BLUE STARS, and some few Elefant artists like NOSOTRÄSH or CARLOS BERLANGA are also in his roster. Ian moved from London to Granada to carefully record the vocals. Then he went back to his studio in London to add some electronic final touches, mix and produce everything. In NIZA’s previous singles mostly all the instruments were played by Roberto and Silvia. But this recording featured a lushy display of guest musicians and instruments: Guille Mostaza (ELLOS) on bass; Erik (PLANETAS) on drums and percussions; David (LA CASA AZUL) singing in “Parasol”; flute and accordion arrangements; and the whole Ciudad de Granada Orchestra embellishing the songs with string and horns. Despite so many extras involved, the band manages to preserve its spare, naked sound. NIZA is basically guitar and vocals, and little else. Like in the very moving “Septiembre”, only using viola and guitar to result very touching. “Isolee” gets even further by leaving Silvia alone with some placid keyboard pad sound, over which she whispers some sweet confessions. “Canciones de temporada” tries to represent a sentimental relationship as it goes through the different seasons of a year. It starts with the more luminous spring, and ends with the dark , cold winter. There are two instrumental tracks (“Solsticios”) that serve as indicators of the two parts of the album: the “summer” one is the exact half of the album; the “winter” one closes it in a rainy, sad way. Following this scheme, the sunniest, most upbeat tracks in the album gather at its beginning; “Amor cúbico” is a vibrant, dance number that brings to mind the most rhythmic Motown hits. “Por las tardes” follows; it’s probably NIZA’s most popular number. Here it is in a new version featuring a very cool flute arrangement, acoustic guitar and a sound transparency that makes the song sparkle in a most seductive way, without losing any of its original charm. As we go down through the album, it gets gloomier and darker; we make our way through crepuscular bossa-nova numbers such as “Tan frágil” or “A contraluz”, both amazingly subtle and evocative, and then we visit the elegant hotel described in “Tal como éramos” till Silvia says “it’s over” and breaks our hearts in “Universo”, a song featuring a toy electronics atmosphere. NIZA have spent many seasons cooking this menu, but it’s been worth the long wait. Twelve tasty haute cuisine dishes that will satiate every gourmet avid of quality and elegance.

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