Manuel C. Ferrón
Manu Ferrón is well known in Spain as the co-leader of Grupo de Expertos Solynieve (where the other 50% is Jota, of Los Planetas' fame), and also as the writer of several minor hits for a few independent bands. Recently, he has also been collaborating on the Spanish translation of Franco Battiato's last album lyrics. And now he is blowing our heads off with his brand new 10'', Misericordia, five songs almost entirely made of choruses and epiphanies, wonderfully and strangely entwined with artists such as Big Star, Randy Newman or Guided by Voices.
Quoting Heraclitus, you'll never play the same song twice, and that's exactly what happens with “Cara de Astro”. Originally composed in 1993, it has been on a constant journey through languages, titles, lineups and intentions. Now, it's all about the famous quote by Uruguayan football player Enzo “El Príncipe” Francescoli, who once literally said that “you just can only play well when you can and when they let you do it” .
“Cara de Astro” is full of energy and has an effervescent approach to the listener, exemplifying an essential motivation for Manu: Do it NOW. Do it now, instead of “I would prefer not to” (classic Bartleby, the Scrivener). But now, it's the perfect time.
“Me quedo”, apparently a “girl-meets-boy” song, could be also understood as a “man in front of the mirror” or a “world, oh, world, listen to me” story. The chords that surround it could remind you of Robert Pollard with a dark, psychedelic, twist. There is also a slight, smart, even casual reference to traditional Andalusian music.
Landing between Zumpano or Teenage Fanclub, this 10” has also pop-like revenges against intellectual elites, like “Enemigo que Huye”, “Precisamente de esta manera” –maybe the one more close to indie-rock tradition, or the jewel in the crown, “Secreto a voces” where Ferrón witty talks about the rottenness of artistic creation and the fake truths that, with our tacit approval, are killing art and feeding the mass culture industry.
Misericordia is anchored with songs deeply filled with melodies sounding like survivors from a wild storm that finally land home, getting more and more close to perfection after bloody fights with inner devils. All of them are inhabited with emotions, memories, proclaims, and spiritual, almost private stuff, a gift for the wise listener.