Aroah No Podemos Ser Amigos

This is an absolutely stunning debut album from young Spanish artist Irene Tremblay, which showcases her immense talent as a singer, guitarist and songwriter. No Podemos Ser Amigos ("We Can't Be Friends") is a beautiful collection of 14 songs rooted in both folk and gentle guitar pop. Being half-American, the majority of the songs are sung in English, her native tongue. Having only released an EP last year (Cuando Termines Con Todo, Habra Terminado Contigo), it is amazing how confident this record sounds. With a style similar to Mazzy Star, the Sundays or the Innocence Mission, Tremblay has quickly found herself in some very good musical company. The fact that she does most of the work herself makes this all the more impressive. Tackling a rather melancholic array of subject matter, the album is at times sparse and dour, while consistently maintaining your attention, thanks to her captivating voice. Tracks like "Flavour Of The Month" or "Her IQ #1" hit a nerve right from the first listen. "Words" or "Tell Noah About the Rain" are a bit more complex in their structure but are captivating nonetheless. Themes of heartbreak and betrayal give the album depth, and the real sense of her emotional involvement shines through these short and delicate songs. With Tremblay taking centre stage, it's not clear why she hides behind the Aroah moniker, but regardless, this is a remarkable debut from an artist that we will be hopefully hearing more about in the future. (Acuarela)