Never before did a band name, album title and sleeve design come together in such a uniform sentiment. Never before did music taste so much like a fata morgana of the place it came from. “Diez Inviernos” is an album that resonates estranged romanticism – ten long winters of looking out of a window, with eyes that go out of focus and limbs that are heavy as lead.
Instead of conquering the world on the wings of an exotic tour de force, Frieda’s Still in Love have resorted to bringing the world a haunting impression of their homeland. The brushy bushes and the bare bone mountain ranges of the Spanish northern regions are undoubtedly a fine source of inspiration and it’s no surprise that “Diez Inviernos” contains an infinite richness of beguiled blessings in musical form.
RELEASE DATE: 20 January 2015 LABEL: Thursday Records, ContraFríoyNiebla, Auge Records
The five songs on this album are like the hand of a friend in that strange moment when you don’t know whether to high five or handshake, and you meet him in this uncomfortable up-hand grip. These songs are like moments in dreams that don’t want to be caught, evasive and always coming to you on the strangest occassions. It might be seen as one of the album’s strengths, but it’s the same elusiveness that makes the two shorter songs on the album – “La Cabaña” (the cottage) and “Marine” – disappear between the grandeur of “Vostok 1983” and “Ojalá se cumplan todos tus deseos” (may all your wishes come true).
“Vostok 1983” is a really great song, particularly for its title which refers to the time and place at which the coldest temperature ever was measured on earth. The song seems to deal with that cold on a molecular level. It starts off uptempo, like it’s still warm, and then everything starts to slow down and get colder. Within chemistry, warmth is a measure of movement and energy, and as everything cools down to absolute zero, all molecules loose their movement. In the same way the music slowly starts to loose tempo up until the point where it looses all momentum. Then it bursts forth like a proper post-rock song of course.
Across the album and especially on “La Cabaña”, Frieda’s Still in Love play their instruments almost in such a fashion, seemingly like they don’t care. They seem to be so caught up in their own little moment, that they forget they actually have to bring it about in order to share it with the listener. They’re like mumbling storytellers muttering their incomprehensible stories under their breath. Inconvenient, but strangely attractive.
Coming to a conclusion, this album does not strike me as a work of terrific innovation, even though the album has its definite quirks and sharp edges. The half hour of post-rock that “Diez Inviernos” encompasses is not a piece of haute cuisine, yet it shows Frieda’s Still in Love to be more like your grandmother making the perfect tostada. It’s a piece of toast, but it’s still the darn best thing you can get for breakfast in a million years.