Andres Y Xavi, aka Glen Fallows and Stephen Ellis, emerge from lockdown with a fresh balearic broadside under their belt. They trailered their album, titled Sounds From The Secret Bar, a few weeks back, with the single, Walking In The Sun, which features a guest appearance from The Woodentops` Rolo McGinty, and boasts a serious ambient remix from Xavi – one that draws comparison to Mixmaster Morris` Irresistible Force. A follow-up to 2019`s Vibraciones Y Sentimentos, the new record is likewise collaged with spoken word samples – a la Coyote – and comes complete with more crashing David Axelrod / DJ Shadow-esque drums. Those “found” vocalists talking the listener through methods of meditation – on A Sunny Morning At The Ashram – and bringing, preaching, the Good News. The “song” of seagulls betraying the sets Brighton birthplace. But, it`s the big, accomplished, orchestral arrangements, the swooning romantic strings, that mark the greatest change – where the emotions of all of the instrumentals travel toward epic, and anthem. Each of the tracks delivers some damn fine fretwork. Be it the perfect picking of Babel, the countrified strumming of Raise – the former building to a Cure-like climax, the latter quite possibly a play on John Cougar – sorry – Mellencamp`s Jack & Dianne – or the sensitive Spanish leanings of Turn Left At The Egg. Tempos move from head-nodding boom-bap – keys leaving psychedelic vapour trails, but the tunes too sunshine-filled to be labeled “trip hop” – to drum `n` bass turns – in homage, if I’m not mistaken to The Ballistic Brothers` London Hooligan Soul. Last time out the duo covered J-Walk and Underworld, on this occasion it`s Talk Talk`s Renée. The personal highlight, however, is What Do You See In Me? A reggae-influenced rocker, with a bass-line reminiscent of The Police’s The Bed`s Too Big Without You, and peppered with most excellent Prince-like metal guitar. A nugget of new wave tropical that comes across like a long-lost Compass Point / Grace Jones joint, except with Rolo, Mr. Why Why Why, upfront.
Andres Y Xavi`s Sounds From The Secret Bar can be purchased directly from Hollis Recordings.