MELENAS!… From Pamplona Spain with Love!

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MELENAS is an all female Indie pop/ Garage quartet, hail from Pamplona, Spain, a picturesque region nestled just south of the Pyrenees. Such beauty can’t help but inform the band’s songwriting, but MELENAS aren’t content to just sit placidly & take in the scenery. MELENAS was born in the summer of 2016, when Oihana wrote songs at her home and shared them with Maria, Leire and Laura, all regular colleagues at the small bar Nébula in Pamplona. The harmony between all of them was total from the very first moment and they quickly formed one of the bands that has given most talk in the national garage-pop scene.

The band has hit the ground running, playing incessantly both locally & on the stages at national festivals like Primavera Sound & Eurosonic as well as releasing a debut full length (2018’s “s/t” album) and a 7-inch single both triple-released on local labels Elsa, Nebula & Snap! Clap! Club. Trouble In Mind is honored to be releasing their new album Dias Raros and is the first label outside of Spain to release MELENAS music to the world.

΄΄Dias Raros΄΄, hums right from the get-go, peppering their garage-pop punch with elements of lysergic dream pop, melancholic indie rock and strident guitar jangle. The album title translates to “Strange Days” an acknowledgement – according to the band – of “, those days where you spend more time inside than outside. Inside your own self, inside your bedroom and your own universe thinking about your wishes, dreams, memories, obsessions or fears.”. The lyrics – sung entirely in their native Spanish – reference “those interior dialogues where sometimes you fight to escape.

The album of MELENAS titled ΄΄Dias Raros΄΄ released May 8, 2020 recorded and mixed by Karlos Osinaga, except Keybords recorded by Guillermo F. Mutiloa also mastered by Jonan Ordorika, produced by Karlos Osinaga and Melenas with Tamu and J.Cristobal collaboration. The cover photos of the album by Dani Canto! 

The MELENAS album, ΄΄Dias Raros΄΄, for sure is an album with clear sound and with amazing vocally in all the songs of it! Also we must say that the sound of  keyboards is wonderful!

Truly these four girls from Pamplona, with their music, will cross the borders of Spain all over the world. As long as luck helps them, because their music is for sure remarkable! At last the album contains 11 amazing songs and we prefer you to listen to it, because is the new clear indie pop/garage sound, is the clear voice from Spain, is the sound for the future!

Pandemic days and we are in athenscalling.gr webzine office listening music from YouTube, when we had seen 4 girls singing some Indie pop/ Garage songs, the name of the female quartet was MELENAS!

A week after we will have an interview with MELENAS quartet from Pamplona Spain

Athenscalling.gr: Hi Pamplona! I am very happy because I will have an interview with a new bright star of music! I’m talking about MELENAS quartet! Welcome!

MELENAS: Hello Athens calling, we are happy to meet you, too! It is our first interview with a Greek magazine, and from this precise moment, as we are answering, we can only think of travelling to play there!

Athenscalling.gr: At first I will ask you, about your name band, MELENAS what it means and who gives the name? 

MELENAS: Melenas literally means long-haired. Also, it was used some decades ago (in a little pejorative way), in order to name a kind of wild young person, usually with long and messy hair, who didn’t exactly fit the standards of their time, not only because of the look, but also because of their way of living… Nowadays, using “Melenas” in that way seems kind of funny and old-fashioned. When we made the band we started to try a lot of names (some of them were really despicable)… Once “Melenas” came up, we knew it was the name for us.

Athenscalling.gr: ΄΄ Dias Raros΄΄,the title of your album, in English means Rare days  do you believe it ?

MELENAS: Well, we are living really strange days, aren’t we? The thing is that we named the LP at least months before the pandemics (when it started the records were already pressed and almost ready to distribute), so we chose “Días Raros” for other reasons… A “Día Raro”, at least for us, may be a day when you are living more connected with your inner self rather than with the outside world, flooded with emotions, memories, dreams, hopes… These are the materials which the songs are made of, the essence of the music and the lyrics. And it turns out that the four of us happen to live this way at least 50% of the year, so…An then, the pandemic started and suddenly we realised that Días Raros had took another meaning, which now was global and totally related with the outside world. Surprise!

Athenscalling.gr: Yes I agree with the title Dias Raros and I will ask you how pass your time with pandemic days of COVID-19?

MELENAS: When the pandemic started we had to work very hard on the release of the album doing zoom interviews, lives on instagram, writing texts and even filming a totally DIY video for a song. It kept us very busy and gave some entertainment and fun during the lockdown. The work had a sour flavour too as we didn’t know if we were gonna be able to play the record and luckily, we’ve been able to do it this summer! in weird circumstances but, it has given us some fresh air and energy to keep going. We received a lot of messages from people around the world explaining how the record was giving them joy and that filled us of happiness too! <3 thank you people, hope to see you all very soon <3 

Athenscalling.gr: Tell us about your music, how we can characterize your music genre?

MELENAS: We make reverb core pop songs. These songs usually share some attributes like the importance of the melodies and the harmonies, the driving bold drum rhythms and bass patterns, the jangly guitars and the softpsych keyboards. To this base we could also add, in more or less prominence, depending on the song this other attributes: kraut, dreamy, shoegazy, garage… and we also love this description from Mariana Timony in Bandcamp’s “Record of the day” review: pastel post punk. So there you go, a big mix there.

Athenscalling.gr: And about the lyrics of your songs? What is the reason that you write the lyrics? 

MELENAS: The lyrics in our songs talk about our lives, things that have happened to us or we have felt or feel in a moment: memories, dreams, frustrations, projections, love, friendship… what pop is made of!

Athenscalling.gr: And another question about the lyrics. Why in Spain and not in English?

MELENAS: Because that’s our language 🙂 Why English and not Spanish? he he. Kidding. We think in Spanish and it is the easiest way for us to communicate accurately what we want to explain.

Athenscalling.gr: Melenas is an all female quartet, tell us 4 other female band from all around the world

MELENAS: Marine girls, Vivian Girls, Automatic, Antenna, Elia y Elizabeth, La Luz, Mint Field, Cariño, Adiós Amores… 4 is not enough, there are a lot that we love and admire and everyone should listen to!

Athenscalling.gr: Now let’s play a game with your band name… Please fill in the blanks with any words you like, (M),(E),(L),(E),(N),(A),(S).

MELENAS:

Mushroom / Music / Moco / Mandarina/Moon

Eco / Ethereal/ Excuse moi

Lazy / Liliput/Leotardo/ Lamp

E-mail/ Evil/ Espejo/Espacio

Nada / Nun / Negativo

Alien / Antena /  Amiga / Asteroide

Sparks / Sad / Sexy / Song

Athenscalling.gr: Let’s talk now about your influences.

MELENAS: There have been different songs or bands we have felt as inspirational during our live as a band. When we began,΄΄Marine girls΄΄ were very inspirational to us, somehow we felt we were close to their way of playing and conceiving the songs. We also loved the guitars and melodies of TV personalities and the Modern Lovers. As we made some steps by playing and recording our first album we felt very inspired by bands such as Broadcast and Stereolab, the beautiful harmonies of the voices, the mood of the songs, the sound and the effects. Apart from this very small list there are so many others that inspire us, from classics like Carole King, the Beatles or Κraftworks to the guys of our neighborhood doing trap songs that have been published yesterday. The inspiration can come from a melody we like, the production of a song, the harmony, a progression of chords, a cool picture, video or attitude.

Athenscalling.gr: Do you know something about Greece?

MELENAS:We have never been there (we cross our fingers to make that dream come true!) but we see Greece as the beginning of everything! The the basis of European culture, where the thought and natural and social sciences were born, the various political models and many innovations that would be inspiring for centuries to come.. ! As a curiosity let us tell you that one of us has a studio called Apotheke and that is a Greek word! We share one of our label records with a Greek guy that lives in Barcelona, his project is called Evripidis and His Tragedies, and we recommend you guys to listen to!

Athenscalling.gr: Before the end of the interview I must say to you that I like very much your song΄΄No puedo pensar΄΄and if you want tell us the story of the song.

MELENAS: This song talks about being in a spiral of thoughts, somewhere that you can’t come out of but you try to escape from. We like how the topic matches the rhythmic and energetic guitar with the minor chords progressing to the majors, from the trap to the escape (ha ha too poetic, sorry. We won’t do it again). We love the video too! We wanted to reflect on one side the melancholy of the lyrics by recording in super8 and in a location that we love, an old and beautiful funfair in San Sebastian called Lgeldo. On the other side we loved matching this scenario with the movement of the fairground ride matching the guitars and symbolizing the loop of the thoughts (we did it again? ha-ha).

Athenscalling.gr: Thank you MELENAS and all the best in your music way

MELENAS: Thank you too!

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