Melenas are a garage-pop quartet hailing from Pamplona in the North East of Spain. They first emerged back in 2016, playing high-profile Spanish festival slots and releasing a number of singles, and a self-titled album on local labels Elsa, Nebula & Snap! Clap! Club. Somewhere along that path they caught the ear of the ever-curious Chicago-label Trouble In Mind, who will be the first imprint outside of Spain to share Melenas’ music, with this week’s release of their new album, Dias Raros, translating as Rare Days.
Further proof of the universal qualities of music, Melenas may sing entirely in Spanish, yet listening to Dias Raros, we’re instantly struck by their ability to make some sort of connection, speaking a musical language that transcends borders. Dias Raros is an album that seems to walk through the history of indie-pop, from the buzzing Stereolab-like urgency of opening track Primer Tiempo, through to the garage thrills of Despertar and the almost anti-folk clatter of Ciencia Ficción. By the time Dias Raros reaches the swaying Beach House-like closer Vals, which lives up to its title that translates as Waltz, Melenas have made a compelling case both for declaring them our new favourite band and for learning to speak Spanish as well.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Melenas?
Melenas is the band you should check if you like the reverb, jangly guitars, bold bass and drums, magic keyboards, a bit of fuzz, a little bit of kraut and plenty of harmonies of four dreamy ladies that absolutely love pop. We also love touring and playing concerts more than anything in this world. The third thing we love is going together to gigs of the bands we love.
We are Leire (bass & backing vocals), Lauri (drums), Oihana (voice, keyboards and guitar) and María (keyboards). We are from Pamplona, a small city in the north of Spain where we live, work and party.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show was on october 22 of 2016. We were celebrating Maria´s birthday party at Nebula bar, the place where we first met and where we have seen so many bands playing and spent big part of our last years. It was very crowded and we were super excited and nervous, the first time as Melenas! we finished playing the 4 or 5 songs we performed and we were feeling extra up, we felt it was a GREAT gig. Well… The day after, when we watched the videos… oops. Rookies.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
We love music, is in our lives in one way or another since forever! We enjoy a lot listening to live music and is a great way to get to people and express ourselves. The energy that it gives creating and perfoming it is so powerful and gratifying.
We are also in contact with creativity in other forms as María studies dramatic art, Leire designs and rehabs furniture, Lauri works in a contemporary art museum and Oihana is a graphic designer. Music and performing is somehow a wilder way of expression to us and that is definitely part of our personality.
FTR: What can people expect from the Melenas live show?
Remember your first feeling when you listened to Melenas for the very first time? Something like that (we cross our fingers hoping it was a good one).
FTR: What’s next for Melenas?
The future is an enigma these days but what we know for sure is that on May 8 our second LP, Días Raros, will be out!
We can’t practice all together right now but we continue working on our songs and we are very excited about the upcoming release! We would looove to start touring soon, play new and old songs and see your faces. Ah! we are also making new merchandising, stay tuned!
They Listen To…
The Animals – Please Send Me Someone To Love
Destroyer – The Bad Arts
Beastie Boys – Get It Together
Two sunsets – Katy Komatsu
Dias Raros is out May 8th via Trouble In Mind. Click HERE for more information on Melenas.