Aroah El día después

[Acuarela; 2007]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: Spanish-tongued folk pop, orchestral pop
Others: Tara Jane O’Neil, Cat Power, Lisa Germano

Aroah's El día después is autumnal. Pastoral, too. But there isn’t any livestock — no mooing, neighing, or baaing. There is a suitcase in a pasture, though. Contents: vinyl soundtrack (1), Pete Seeger songbook (1), umbrella (1), spiral notebooks (2), brown camera case (1), skein of yarn (1), toy butterfly accordion (1), masquerade mask (1). Aroah is the stuff of which Wes Anderson soundtracks are made.

At least to us provincial Americans, Aroah has an inherent beauty about her, because we fragment like Louisiana crumb cake when we hear singing in a foreign tongue. It’s like a honey, syrup, molasses mixture dripping. We suckle it. Lick, lick, lick. But the beauty, oh the beauty, when she, Irene Tremblay, for no apparent reason, sings the first line of “La escala de las cosas” in English: “You are a geographer”. Then it’s back to Spanish before you can shout mira to your immigration reform friends.

“Amarillo” and “Nada” are bookends, but what they support is certainly something to stabilize and keep upright. On “Pequeña y verde,” Ms. Tremblay sings something like a downward spiral. It’s dizzying. Her bob haircut bounces during the descent. It's deceiving to call the music on El día después “folk pop” or “orchestral pop.” Her shaker, saxo, trompeta, guitarra, y mellotron are much more than those classifications. As is her voice.

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