Music

If you put boogie boards, golden sand and slip n’ slides in a blender you’d get Shadowboxing by Los Espinas

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With influences like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and PJ Harvey with shades of Silversun Pick Ups, Longwave and even R.E.M., Los Espinas are the epitome of promising, fresh and exciting indie pop.

Their latest single Shadowboxing is an anthem for the warmer months; all summer-soaked, hot pavement and ice-cream air steeped in a skin tingling, honest pathos.

los espinas

Even though Los Espinas hashed out their debut track a year ago, Shadowboxing is finally primed and ready to see us through the smoulder of the holiday season.

Shadowboxing appears strikingly familiar because of how immediately likeable and catchy it is. Anthemic because it taps into a raw nerve, stirring a person as much as getting them dancing with moving and imperative lyrics charged by a garage rock turn of melody that you’ll find yourself humming when you wake up in the morning.

There’s something very compelling, urgent, almost needful about this release, the lyrics coming across as an impassioned confession which the music complements with a wheeling bridge that breaks into a chorus reminiscent of Desert Lights by Something for Kate (another of their influences), Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea by PJ Harvey and 2001’s self titled offering by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

With elements of poignant narrative (relinquishing hold of things, finding a new direction) and the curling surf of softly crashing pedals and shiny guitar work paired with echoed vocals on a mild delay, Shadowboxing is an assured composition that never veers off and feels uncertain but comes across as well conceived and meaningfully constructed.

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The result is the sonic equivalent of nostalgic, lomo photography; kind of dreamy but never sappy, impressed with salty air and distorted palms overlapped with melancholy frames of memory and the saturation of the present.

It’s affecting, it’s alive, it’s young and yet curiously timeless, folding into itself all the best parts of Los Espinas’ influences and genre stylings while taking it in a new direction, which as cult indie film maker and musician Jim Jarmusch says; “it’s not about where you take things from, it’s where you take them too.”

Los Espinas have come a long way from small bars in Mexico and Latin America where the first songs started appearing before hitting Sydney. This hit is every bit an Aussie summer cracker as it is something that could have come out of California; the reverb of the breakers, the skaters at Venice Boardwalk, or taking refuge from the heat at an Aussie pub with these lads on stage; their sound translates well in that it seems to originate from its own sonic landscape but still be accessible and warm enough to be known by very different places and times.

Check them out live, sharing a set with Pretend Eye at the Vic on the Park Hotel in Marrickville this Fri Nov 18 at 8pm and see how they well translate live, and just how infectious they can be as their wave rolls into town.