Spain Blue Moods of Spain: A History, Pt. 1 (Diamond Soul)

Son of jazz legend Charlie Haden, Spain frontman Josh Haden created the most sensual, sacred music within the alt-rock subgenre of “slowcore.” His band lays claim to other labels, too, such as “torch-song punk” and “devotional noir-folk,” the latter accounting for Johnny Cash’s cover of pop-hymn “Spiritual.” With A History, Pt. 1, Haden unlocks a trove of four-track demos that never made it onto his band’s 1995 debut, and what could’ve easily sufficed as a document for Spain completists ends up being more—a collection of minimalist, lo-fi ballads. Varying shades of tape hiss conjure dreadful atmosphere, and the intimately rendered, simple yet stately “White Sand” isn’t pulp. This is outstanding, emotionally resonant, bedroom-recorded indie-rock that will appeal to fans of Modest Mouse, yet spoken in Spain’s unique vernacular more than 15 years ago. Buy via ★★★☆☆

Jarret Keene
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