Last year, Spanish neoclassical composer Tomeu Alcover delivered up his third album “Mx Lullabies”, but that didn’t prevent him from bringing it again to our attention. It is the second installment to go under the moniker of Nit Project -referring to Alcover’s preference of making music at night – and it contains ten songs that mix neo-classical music and electronica, one step beyond what other acts dare to do. On “Mx Lullabies”, the electronic beats that accompany the guitars, piano, synths and strings, are more sophisticated than the usual snare/bass/hi-hat combination, carrying an intricate personality that sometimes protrudes them into the realms of lead instrumentation.
RELEASE DATE: 02 August 2013 LABEL: Self-Released
“Mx Lullabies” is an album that deserves some before-hand explanation in order to be fully appreciated. The track list of the album sports song-titles in English and Catalan, but also in Swedish. Alcover is currently based in Sweden, to which he moved from Barcelona in order to find some adventure, as he mentions himself. About the album he says the following: “I wrote the songs of that album when my son was born. We lived in a little apartment then and I used to work when he allowed me. His name is Max. That’s where the title “Mx Lullabies” comes from. Every song in the album is a memory of something that happened those days. Like the song “You Call It Calm, We Call It Panic”. That one is inspired by the day at the hospital when he was born. His heart didn’t react to the contractions and the doctor said that he was too calm.”
The music on “Mx Lullabies” is branded by visions of French cinema and time ticking away in tiny rooms, white-clad and unfurnished. The looming sounds and images of sterile hospital spaces are quickly left behind when songs like “The First Time I Held Your Hand” or “Closed Eyes” start to play and the listener drowns in big blue baby eyes that lead into scenes of vernal forest and peaceful communion with something that’s ultimately a part of yourself. It’s almost like the Buddhist practice of becoming one with your own person, but it also brings something new that makes you fall in love immediately.
In the mean time, large clocks rhythmically beat seconds in the shape of minutes to the soft tones of “Divuit-Cinc” or the poppy electro-tones of “Remember to Breath”. Though the music on this album is very static – lacking any great tempo shifts or sonic pinnacles – it does feel like everything is moving around in an intricate fashion. The melodies and rhythms are quiet and almost pastoral, but once you zone in and block out all other distractions, your surroundings start to spin and the objects of your imagination start to become more vivid and intense. Almost to the point where every note and every hit becomes part of a cacophony of noises.
The songs on “Mx Lullabies” are no drawn-out epics or artful demonstrations of dynamic control. The title of the album tells us exactly what they do encompass; ten lullabies, marked by melancholy and despair, but also by hope and moments of happiness. The running theme of birth and early parenthood might not completely touch base with every listener, since not everyone has had the experience of having a kid. I myself, for example, am rather far from being ready for that commitment and for me, the themes that Tomeu Alcover explores quickly reside into a cinematic context – which serves it well, but I am certain that the actual experience is all the more priceless.