Hey there Blendees, welcome to another succulent Saturday Selection! Today I bring you a truly special treat, the self-titled debut EP from electric tango project Amapola Dry.
Though their name and label always put me in mind of an artisan microbrew, Amapola Dry is, in fact – and this is something I do not say lightly – one of the most unique bands I have ever had the privilege of listening to. There are some aspects of their music, some details of their style that I can point to and say “this reminds me of this group” or “this reminds me of this style” or “this reminds me of this person”, but these are just small parts of the whole. Amapola Dry’s overall sound and feel is entirely different than anything I’ve ever encountered before.
Combining electric string instruments, hand drums, accordion, and beautiful vocals, all wonderfully layered with incredible production, Amapola Dry is an amalgam of musical genres from all over the globe. Self described as “music from the planetary suburbs”, the 5 tracks on Amapola Dry are chock full of different styles that I never would have imagined hearing all in the same songs. There is the latin tango influence that runs through most of the EP, and this is fused with an Eastern/Mediterranean vibe with the addition of gypsy folk (reminiscent of Gogol Bordello), and a soupçon of, if you can believe it, slightly dubstep-esque electronica.
If all those disparate musical styles brought together in close concert isn’t enough for you, over the top of it all Amapola Dry throws on (at least) two different vocalists, a male and a female, who each have their own amazing styles and sing in a variety of different languages.
In “Drifting Alone”, Amapola Dry’s first track, the female vocalist sings with all the smooth sensuality I usually attribute to the opening credits of a James Bond movie.
Then in “Sombras”, the male lead sings with such haunting reverberation, backed by increasingly spooky electric strings, that it puts me in mind of a masquerade ball in a vampire’s castle on a crag somewhere in far Eastern Europe.
The total run time of Amapola Dry is around 25 minutes, i.e. short enough that you can go listen to it right now. Seriously. Go. Right now. I’ll wait here, thank me when you get back.