María de las nieves
For a stopgap measure, this five-song EP is quite the ambitious artistic endeavor. Destroyer’s Dan Bejar mines his Spanish heritage by singing the songs of Antonio Luque, frontman for the Spanish alt-goth rock band Sr. Chinarro. This gives Bejar the chance to interpret and record songs while staying one step removed from the process. Not having written the songs and having heard them performed by others gives Bejar a comfortable perspective as to what he can do to the material. For listeners who don't know the language, a few human musical truths still come forth. A Giant Sand/Calexico vibe heightens the laid-back intimacy of “Maria de las nieves,” and acoustic Spanish guitar nicely complements “Del monton.” A fully charged electric guitar in a Stones-like mode comes barreling out for “El rito.” A sense of rhythm informs “Babieca,” and a sense of forlorn romance emits from “Bye bye.” The bonus track “Untitled congas” is 45 seconds of conga playing. Overall, this set fits in logically with what Destroyer has recently been doing, making a cultured follow-up to 2011’s Kaputt.