Mi 15.06.2022 | 19:00 UHR

ABGESAGT: Spanish Love Songs



„Unfortunately, we have to cancel this summer’s European tour. A few members of the band have recently been battling covid. We have left it until the last possible moment to make this decision, hoping the impacts to our health would ease. Unfortunately, they have not and we have to make this incredibly difficult decision. Some of our best tour memories are from touring Europe. This tour has been something we have been looking forward to for some time. We are devastated and playing for you again soon cannot happen quickly enough.“

Einlass: 19:00
Beginn: 20:00

When you’re young, you just want to be heard,” opines Dylan Slocum.
The singer and guitarist of LA-based punk quintet SPANISH LOVE SONGS is referencing
his band, but he could just as easily be talking about himself. Since forming in 2014,
Spanish Love Songs certainly have been heard, from legions of underground audiences
at The Fest and South By Southwest to outlets like NPR, who hailed the group’s 2018
album, Schmaltz, as a “wellspring of big ideas, bigger riffs and the biggest possible
feelings about love, war, fear and existential crisis.”

Schmaltz was an album colored by guilt and self-doubt, an insular collection of soulsearching
songs that found the singer amplifying his grief while kicking back at a
world that seemed to be doing its best to keep knocking him down. It was a cathartic
album, one that admittedly took a lot of Slocum’s soul to create. (“I don’t want to be the
band where each album is me complaining about myself for 40 minutes,” he says.)
So instead, Slocum decided to look outward for Spanish Love Songs’s third album,
BRAVE FACES EVERYONE, due out February 7, 2020 on the band’s new label, Pure
Noise Records. Steeped in the same detail-rich storytelling of Bruce Springsteen, The
Menzingers and Manchester Orchestra and filtered through the band’s sweat-soaked
punk fervor, the songs on BRAVE FACES EVERYONE represent the situations Slocum
and his bandmates — guitarist Kyle McAulay, bassist Trevor Dietrich, drummer Ruben
Duarte and keyboardist Meredith Van Woert — experienced during 30-some weeks of
rigorous touring during the Schmaltz album cycle.

These are character stories set in small-town America and anxious urban jungles alike,
unfurling heartbreaking tales of addiction, depression, debt and death juxtaposed
alongside looming societal bogeys like mass shootings, the opioid epidemic and
climate change. They’re all at once personal vignettes and universal truths of life in the
2010s, the lines blurred between Slocum’s own experiences and those of his friends
and acquaintances. Because, as he sings in “Beachfront Property,” “Every city’s the
same/Doom and gloom under different names.” These are the things that affect us all.
But for all its emotional heft, Slocum doesn’t see BRAVE FACES EVERYONE as a
pessimistic album. Rather, the album — produced by McAulay at Howard Benson’s
West Valley Recording — seeks to find balance between realism and optimism. It
implores us to harbor less judgment and more empathy, to talk less and listen more.
To understand that life never goes off the rails all at once. Rather, it’s a years-long
series full of seemingly imperceptible events that snowball into life-altering issues like
heroin addiction, mental illness or suicide. But just as things didn’t break overnight,
happiness and redemption aren’t as simple as a flip of the switch. It’s a day-by-day,
step-by-step climb we have to work to attain.
Ultimately, BRACE FACES EVERYONE boldly declares that even though things might be
bad, they’re not hopeless. On the appropriately named “Optimism,” Slocum sings, “Help
me weather this high tide/But don’t take me out back and shoot me,” while the albumclosing
title track bears the album’s central thesis: “We were never broken/Life’s just
very long.”

Ultimately, Spanish Love Songs are trying to break through that pessimism however
they can. Sometimes that’s as simple as a hopeful lyric or soaring chorus to cut the
tension in an otherwise weighty song, a brief respite that gives listeners a comforting
melody to rally around. “If you sing something loud enough and long enough,” Slocum
muses, “hopefully people are able to find some peace in that.” Experimenting with
more traditional song structures and fewer forwardly caustic moments this time
around haven’t dulled the band’s sound. If anything, they’ve accentuated the most
important parts of it. When everything is loud and urgent, nothing is. But when
Slocum’s voice swells to a roar on a song like “Generation Loss,” the undeniable power
grabs you by the collar and forces you to pay attention — and that’s the difference
between simply being heard and truly being understood. XX