2016 was a very busy year “across the pond” in Spain – which is a very strong market for power pop artists (Am I right, Kurt Baker?) and continues to produce great music in English and Spanish. A big thanks goes out to Rock Indiana label in Madrid. Here are some of my favorites…
Shennon and Lotton “PM Songs”
Guitarist, vocalist and composer Pepe Murgadas and his band (Roque Esteban, Xavier Belda, Pepe Esteban and Ximo Espinosa) are from Valencia, here to fill the world with Beatlesque melodies. His sound is very smooth and romantic with ballads like “Again” and “More Than Life Itself” shine with perfect musicianship. The upbeat mid-tempo songs like “I Saw That Photograph” effortless bring out those catchy hooks and each song here is a winner, without a wasted note. In fact next to my other favorite Beatles-styled bands of 2016, The Weeklings and Radio Days the music is less nostalgic and more modern sounding. The album is all in English and Super Highly Recommended.
Lukah Boo “La Sombra de Ayer”
The title means “The Shadow of Yesterday” and Lukah Boo (Toni Sáenz) is the lead singer of Madrid-based band The Happy Losers. This is his second solo effort and he still pulls at the heartstrings with his opening guitar ballad “Ocho Y Diez” but most of the album is uptempo power pop like “Huyendo De Ti” and “Hamburgo.” The music has glossy production that recalls mid 80’s pop like on “La Lluvia No Descansa” and “Si No Estas Tu.” The hooks are evident even if you don’t know the words, so check it out. Highly Recommended.
Julio Cable “Centramina, Beatles y Mazinger Z”
More Beatles huh? Well yeah but this artist has a bit more Pete Townshend, than Fab Four in his blood. Julio Cable is a guitarist from Cádiz and formed the band Los Fundo Los Mundos in the late 80’s. The powerful riffs crash through on the opener “Farmacia de guardia” and the solid follow up “Sin Hablar.” The combo of guitar lines on “Para volver a ti” and “ooh ooh” backing chorus is the closest the band gets to The Beatles, but he has more in common with “The King of Power Pop” Paul Collins. Highly Recommended.