Thursday, December 28, 2006

El Perro Del Mar

In 2003 a girl from Sweden called Sarah went to a Spanish island to sit on the beach and muse about her life. She'd been making music as long as she could remember but nothing quite matched the melodies that lived in her dreams. This depressed her. In fact, she hadn't written anything for several years which left her feeling 'really odd, kind of empty'. Picture her, if you will, looking out to sea, to the coast of Africa. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a dog appears on the shore. 'Something about this moment just spoke to me', says Sarah. 'I kept seeing that dog all week. When I came home I felt better'. Her muse returned. Back home in Gothenburg, she was inspired to write a bunch of songs that harked back to the Brill Building era, the youthful emotions of Goffin and King, only filtered through gauze, through dreams, circular and comforting. Shockingly so. Under the name El Perro Del Mar (in tribute to the salty sea dog), Sarah's first EP came out in Sweden in March 2004. Lead off-track Candy and the heartbreaking Party pinned down the El Perro Del Mar sound: minimal sound, an acoustic wash, a boom of tympani, some rippling chimes. Kind of a lo-fi Phil Spector production. 'Come on over baby, there's a party going on,' a gentle desperation expressed in three or four lines. 'This is all I need to say' she shrugs. 'I just want to express a feeling in a very condensed way. Like the blues tradition, where you lament on something and repeat it until it goes away.'

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