The arrival of Delorean’s Ayrton Senna EP was an incredibly welcome diversion last year. It essentially came out of the blue, 4 perfect summer tracks from a – at least to many – unknown Spanish act. Many assumed this was the band’s debut, but that’s not the case. They’d released two albums and an EP prior to 2009. Still, for all intents and purposes, Senna may as well have been their debut. Its reception vastly overshadowed their past work, and that very material seems to have only so much to do with their current state. They lost a member in 2007, and apparently changed direction afterwards.
The four tracks present on Senna were brilliant; “Deli” in particular became an essential summer closure song amongst those I recommended it to. Yet they were nearly foreboding. Regardless as to their previous efforts, the EP was their introduction to much of the world, and its brief content allowed for an essentially flawless record, creating great anticipation for what was next. A fledgling band will often release their debut quickly after the tease an EP can offer, or risk creating the sort of hype the Yeah Yeah Yeahs did back during their own beginnings. The more time that passed between the tiny piece of perfection, the more I wondered as to how the debut would turn out. The band had formed a reputation based on 18 minutes of material; they had a lot to prove. Then again, the hype certainly didn’t hurt Fever to Tell.
Delorean ignores another typical move with the release of Subiza. When an EP is as well-received as theirs’, it’s common for at least a track to be recycled, perhaps tinkered with a bit (take Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead”), but reused nonetheless. It’s a fair move, as it presents a track a band is likely proud of to a wider audience, but it’s also tedious to the already accustomed listener. Delorean deserves kudos for refusing to do so here.
Instead, the album is all new, opening with the absurdly likeable, slow building “Stay Close.” In fact, it doesn’t really build much of anywhere; it’s a continuous joyous romp, moving forward without going much of anywhere. It simply gives the illusion it’s going to breakdown. It works, serving as the perfect opener, priming the listener for what’s to be one of the most pleasant listens they’ll hear all year.
From there, the album continues in much the same fashion, each track bright, emerging at the perfect time of the year, before spring eases into summer. “Real Love” bubbles over with synth vocals, a feminine voice humming in the background, as the singer softly wonders, “Will we ever meet again?” It’s not sad, instead bringing to mind more images of summer, a random meeting that leads to a fun day, concluding with the question posed. The next few tracks continue in a relatively similar manner.
So you may wonder: does it all become too similar? “Simple Graces” is posed to answer this, confidently nestled right at the middle with four tracks on each side. It also features feminine coo-ing, but it’s tone is stronger, more immediate, with the vocals more present, rather than nestled deeply in the tone of the beat. Were the listener drifting away from the album at this point, the track would be sure to return their focus.
From there, diversity handled, the record continues in fun, consistently entertaining through to the surprisingly drum-based closing track, “It’s All Ours.” It’s not as unquestionably joyous as the rest of the record, closing the album at a sort of question. It’s certainly not sad, but while the majority of the album is rooted very much in the present, the closer seems concerned with what’s to come. Hence, it’s the perfect finale, and may even inspire the listener to just want to start the album over again, to return to the simple, joyful present. While it doesn’t offer the most diverse material, Subiza may be the most damn fun an album will offer this year. Writing this review with the record blasting, sitting on the porch in the sun, while friends drew tapestries with chalk, it certainly seemed so to me.