I never know what to expect with this artist, but I've never been disappointed. The bite-sized, orchestral eccentricities of 'From the Valley to the Stars' were followed quite soon by the open, electronic textures of 'Love Is Not Pop', a summer landscape of low key loss and yearning with a few bolt-on radio edits. These two conceptually very different earlier albums are now followed by one that yokes together echoes of both. 'Pale Fire', the title track, seems to define the essence of El Perro del Mar's unique creativity, one which is compelling and strong for being so laid back and understated. She has a voice you could shine a torch through (it is the colour of pale fire), and her musical arrangements carry it like warm, clear currents of water. It seems her songs have always been fluid introspections on love, loneliness, memory and a creative soul's inability to connect to any kind of universal fun. This album offers more of the same, and she clearly sticks to what she knows because she knows it all so well. My personal favourites on this CD are 'Walk On By' and 'Love in Vain' but there is so much to like. Unlike the last album she doesn't offer us any picture of herself on the cover - something I've always thought added to her inscrutability - but, creatively, the whole thing is so beautifully self-referential it doesn't really matter. You should buy this.
For her fourth album Sarah Assbring takes a swift turn in style but not in essence . Groovy synthesizers don't conceal what underneath , the wounded heart of this record and the songwriters' bittersweet explorations of love and ( always combined with) loneliness . Whenever i listen to an El Perro Del Mar record , what comes to my mind is a little child , sitting and crying at the corner because he/she just had a fight with his/her best friend . It does sound that vulnerable and truly innocent .
Having just seen the artist live in Madrid , i was amazed at how she was dancing ( seemingly in her own private universe ) on the smokey stage , laying her soul bare to a small but not indifferent crowd ( there was not one poster in the whole town advertising the concert..someone should really fire her agent quick ! ).
Highlights include " Hold Off The Down " , " Walk On By " and " Home Is To Feel Like That " .