Music and lyrics. Two-pronged ontological foundation, some might argue- but what significance do these lyrics hold? Is it a semantic gravitation, where the weight of the words expresses an attractively relatable sentiment, or rather, a syllabic weight, such that the poetic soundscape of the words themselves behaves in parallel with the instruments, and its gravitational pull is directly correlated with the sonic texture of the words?
In heralding the track of the day, this philosophical divide was central in my mind. Though I do speak/understand Spanish, it’s not on the level where one dreams in the language, where one’s mind autonomously forms meaning from the semantic symbols of speech. Thus, when listening to music in languages other than my native tongue of English, I can happily “opt out” of this semantic-deciphering mechanism, much like someone who is extremely nearsighted can opt out of wearing glasses and blissfully enjoy a fuzzy foreground. I quite like this semantic fuzziness, and believe that it actually enhances one’s perception of the musical contour itself. Drawing another sensorial parallel, I find that semantic fuzziness can be compared to closing one’s eyes and the heightened aural acuity that results from blocking off one stimulus-rich pathway.
I happily employed this listening tactic when discovering Melenas‘ recent release “Volaremos.” By shutting off word-based semantic stream, the mind more readily focuses on the track’s vocal affect, on the timbral richness of the track’s much-used “ah” vowel, on the subtle shifts in vertical harmonicity despite the surface-level repetitive chord structure… An all-female four piece hailing from Pamplona, Melenas come forth with the perfect Kill Bill track, narrated by ninja-star-sporting femme fatales Oihana and Leire. The track reveals a compositional style and aptitude that parallels the music-theorist fanboyed King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard what with its wondrously executed compositional risks, from interludes peppered with electroacoustic-y synthesized sounds to tonally devious clarinet-like harmonies in the chorus, all laid over a rolling ocean of surf-psych garage. This track was released along with less nightmarish Lady Pills-esque track ‘¿Dónde estás?’ in previewing Melenas’ first EP, set for release this coming fall. Even from my foggy lyricked standpoint, I notice a distinctly different approach to these two tracks, and am finger-tappingly inquisitive as to which paths their EP will further explore.