Mus La Vida

For those who have a poor grasp of both of Canada’s official languages, any knowledge of Spanish usually comes from pop culture. However, my lack of comprehension of titles and lyrics is somewhat allowed on this beautiful, accomplished album. You see, the duo of Fran Gayo and lovely singer Monica Vacas are from the principality of Asturias in northern Spain. Like other parts of Spain, they have their own dialect and indeed, La Vida is sung entirely in Asturian. While that may be the hook to get you interested in Mus, the reason you’ll keep listening is because of the low-key music and mood. Vacas possesses a breathy, full voice not unlike fellow international sensation Keren Ann, while Gayo is quite able in building a background of layered electronics and wispy acoustics. "Dulce Amor” provides a good template for Mus’s interesting combinations but the instrumentation and vocals come together best on tracks like "Perdieron y la Tierra” and "Una Estación Xelada.” On the latter, the rolling bass line and Vacas’s lush, echoed voice make for a lovingly gothic piece. Sometimes it’s a little too airy but it’s undeniably beautiful and beguiling no matter the language. (Green UFOs)