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Known for his co-leadership in the Spanish indie all-star band Grupo de Expertos Solynieve, his adaptations to Spanish of Italian maestro Franco Battiato, or his collaborations as a songwriter (for Enrique Morente’s daughter Soleá or Los Planetas), Manu Ferrón has followed a labyrinthine musical and personal path in order to write and sing the lyrics found in this new record.
Composing at low heat, he surprised us in 2013 when he finally released his first two songs under his own name. “Unanimiedad” was the title of his debut single, a 7” with little more than five elegant minutes echoing classics such as Teenage Fanclub or Randy Newman. A year later, he chose a 10” (“Misericordia”) to release five tracks full of choruses and wit which included an explicit homage to cult footballer Enzo “El Príncipe” Francescoli in “Cara de Astro, Andalucian echoes in “Me Quedo”, or the exciting pop of “Secreto a Voces”.
With this third release, the Mini-LP (12”) “Medalla de Otro”, Manu Ferrón and his band take a step forward to prove that effervescence can have the vocation of continuity. Or preferably, that in between pure art and craftwork, there is a third way which is as productive as it is nutritive, a melodic and emotional path which finds itself side by side with Guided by Voices and Vainica Doble, just in between of Light Heat and The Box Tops.
Always close to the sacrosanct three minute length (this was the intention since the beginning of the Mini-album’s conception), its 6 songs echo psychedelia, the murmurs of flamenco, splendid rancheras or pop through the use of a clean and painfully effective language with which Ferrón sings about the double-headed monsters of love and coldness, commitment and cynicism using short sentences going directly for the jugular.
If Manu Ferron’s 3 C’s are containment, contrition and concision, “Medalla de Otro” is another manifest against resignation in its six vibrant moments, avoiding shortcuts and mannerisms, which – as it happens with Robert Pollard’s work- seem to start directly with the chorus to end with it almost every time. Expressing himself by means of the reflex movements learnt with tradition, Manu Ferrón talks about what he knows (thus, he knows what he is talking about) through lifelong songs which are so personal that they talk about you.