Pastora

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From Lastfm:

Pastora's sound, both Spanish and international at the same time, is based on the vocals and lyrics of Dolo, the music and arrangements of Caïm and the visual concepts created by Pauet. Building on these foundations, Pastora have developed a unique artistic proposition that blends together programming, acoustic sounds, lyrics that go beyond the normal bounds in their originality, new musical ideas and a visual accompaniment to the songs that is closer to video art than video clip. Now, having forged a new path for Spanish pop with their first record, Pastora release a CD+DVD for their second album - La vida moderna.

La vida moderna represents an advance in Pastora's music without diluting their original essence. Their new recording comes as a CD with 13 new songs (lyrics by Dolo Beltrán and music by Caïm Riba) and a DVD on which, for the first time in Spain, 13 visual compositions created by Pauet Riba accompany the tracks. In addition, the DVD includes new 5.1 remixes of tracks on the album, an audiovisual biography, an album of unpublished photos and a "Making of ..." film. On La vida moderna, Pastora remain faithful to their musical and aesthetical roots, choosing to look to the street to unearth new stories.

On La vida moderna, the trio from Barcelona tighten up their sound. Produced by Caïm Riba and Carlos Cárcamo (who in 1975 created Granada, one of Southern Spanish rock's seminal groups), Pastora's new album brings together both musicians and machines. The programming done by Caïm Riba, Carlos Cárcamo and Ángel Riba is maintained, but it is now accompanied by guitar played by Dayan Abad, Jero Castellá and Caïm himself; piano and keyboards played by Vicente Borland; bass by Ferrán Ochoa and double bass by Yelsy Heredia; drums by Pau Josa; saxophone by Segundo Mijares; violin and cello by Diego Galaz and Úrsula García; backing vocals by Bela and Joana Rubio... La vida moderna mixes distinctive electro pop with a warm acoustic sound to create an album that has a deeply rich musical quality filled with intriguing details to produce a subtle and carefully crafted recording.

La vida moderna is a treatise on contemporary pop. It consists of 13 songs written from the bleaker side of sentiment, telling stories about people who break free of convention, rules and systems. The tracks recount nostalgia and reality, flight and return, search and discovery. They also tell of loss and losers, melancholy and loneliness, disappointment and frustration, all given a Mediterranean sensuality by the magnificently intimate and breathy voice of Dolo.

The 13 songs on La vida moderna offer a series of distinctive atmospheres, images and arrangements. The album opens with Archivo de palabras tristes, a mid-tempo piano-driven recording, a new approach by Pastora, that brings in touches of jazz guitar ("Que lento es el coco. Cuando tiene que aprender siempre se queda corto"). Invasión is built on dance programming ("Te doy mis penas pa que te hagas un collar cuando no te vea") whilst Desolado is pure pop, a tremendous acoustic ballad underscored by the piano played by Vicente Borland ("Solita por la calle Desidia, que es donde se pierden las niñas que van de excursión"). La vida moderna is a funk continuation of Tengo, one of the best tracks on their first album (""Hoy tengo ganas de saltarme los mitos que murieron solitos"). Día tonto starts off as a ballad before moving over to the dance floor, bringing in a choir en route, another new move for Pastora ("Tengo el día tonto, de esos que por más que salte toco el suelo pronto").

No se puede más creates its energy from a guitar reminiscent of Pat Metheny ("Me imagino que salto del sofá y me pongo a desfasar por la ciudad de un lao pa otro"). Perder el tiempo also moves from a quiet intro into electronic dance ("No es que vaya sobrá; me sobran las ganas de patinar") whilst ¿Y qué pasa si soy del montón? returns to a slower tempo with Spanish guitar, piano, chords and an acoustic feel ("Si en las fiestas no destaco, si en el super se me cuelan, si por más que me suba la falda me tiemblan las piernas"). Los bichos continues the acoustic vibe whilst El azar no perdona returns to electro, as does Mundo interior ("Pero no vale la pena tener un mundo dentro y no sacarlo pa fuera"). Finally, Planetes marins, a serene track sung in Catalan that brings in chord arrangements and creates the sensuality of Tu siesta, closes a flawless album.

La vida moderna is Pastora's second album and provides confirmation that it is still possible to be surprised by a distinctive sound. Beyond labels or anything else tying them to a style or convention, Pastora create and live in a world of their own, gliding over the contours of modern life and telling us about everything that they see; the same things that we see and experience every day - La vida moderna.

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