The Sound of Lucrecia: Congost
Pruna Recordings

At present, Lucrecia Pérez (María Lucrecia Pe´rez López aka The Sound of Lucrecia) may be an unknown quantity to many listeners, even if the Barcelona-based songstress did have four songs appear in volume three of the 4 Women No Cry series that Gudrun Gut curates for the Monika Enterprise label. Her profile may, however, receive a considerable boost with the release of Congost, a fifty-two-minute collection of ballads, pop songs, and instrumentals that Pérez largely produced at her Barcelona home. In true ‘bedroom producer' fashion, the songs were created using a laptop, three microphones, guitars, basses, voices, floor tom, ambient recordings, sampled drums, and percussion resourcefully generated from found materials (wall-banging, rubbing microphones on cloths, chairs, plastics, sponges, etc.).

“Ara” inaugurates the album seductively by coupling Pérez's sensuous vocalizing with a languorous trip-hop pulse and supple atmosphere, plus the track receives a noticeable boost from the presence of bassist Luke Sutherland (Long Fin Killie, Music AM). Some of the uptempo songs, such as “Too Much Light,” manifest a harder-hitting attack without any diminishment in the melodic department, while others reveal a home-made quality (“Questions,” for example) in their multi-layered construction, though here too the material doesn't suffer when it's so melodically enticing. Other songs (e.g., “Sobrevolar”) are soothing in a way that proves enchanting, especially when Pérez augments them with multiple layers of her voice. Elsewhere, that central instrument becomes a fragile quiver in the serenading “Ceniza” and a whisper in your ear during “Lemmings.” A small number of instrumentals are scattered amongst the vocal cuts, such as “Shoi,” a brief spotlight for the slow-burn of Matias Rossi's (Bradien) electric guitar playing. With some songs sung in English and some in Spanish, you may not know exactly what she's singing about (in “Extraña colección,” for one), but you'll still be charmed by the soulful delivery. A ‘bedroom' recording it may be, but Congost is also a high-quality release, not only in the caliber of its songwriting and performances but in its presentation too, with the CD accompanied by an attractive full-colour booklet containing photos and lyrics.

December 2009