Las Malas Amistades — ‘the bad influences’ — are from Bogota, in Colombia; Maleza is their third album for Honest Jon’s. Lovingly assembled, it presents twenty-eight exquisite variations of suadade, in an acoustic, post-punk take on Tropicalismo — knockabout, impromptu, snapshot and sublime.
‘… kind of like if the Young Marble Giants sang in Spanish and didn’t fully know how to play… pretty great’ (Vice); '... deliciously haunting... rekindles the spirit of DIY that their British counterparts have so patently forgotten' (The Times); 'startlingly poignant' (Metro); 'one of the most charming idiosyncrasies I have heard all year... where truth is seized accidentally and musical shambles are sweet, virtuous and silly... like watching early Bunuel without subtitles' (Plan B); ‘No Stars’ (Songlines).
‘We worked on Maleza for four years. We didn’t work on it all the time, though, but the songs kept streaming out and we just captured them whenever they happened to show their pointy little noses.
‘If you read the lyrics for the songs in Maleza, you may think that these four years were especially eventful in the sentimental department. There is a lot of despair and anger and distrust, as if each one of us had looked for and found an especially ill-suited person to go out with so we could write a couple of sad songs about the whole experience.
‘But if you don’t read the lyrics and just listen to the music, both vocal and instrumental, you might get a different idea. It all sounds very peaceful and fragile, as if beneath that layer of anger there was always a melancholic yet hopeful stream.
‘We worked slowly on this record. Composing songs together, sometimes playing them live in front of an audience a couple of times before recording them, other times capturing them just as they occurred to us. As always, we did it in Humberto’s house, in the middle of a very busy and chaotic neighbourhood, full of mechanics and car parts and broken motors.
‘But you wouldn’t know it from the music, which sounds as peaceful and quiet as if it were recorded in some cave in the hills.
‘By the way, Maleza means unwanted weeds, the kind you get when you are trying your best to grow something edible but end up with a bunch of strange plants instead. But there is a beauty in those plants too, and maybe this record in a way is about that.’
Apocalíptica / Lamento / Vacío / Mina De Sal / Dolencias / Mala Suerte / Duquesa / Desecha / Volverte A Ver / La Sureñita Agradecida / Como Si Fuera / Todo / Pico De Botella / Sí Se Puede / El Otro Día / Hombre-Perro / Ya No Quiero / La Ultima Turista / Machu Picchu / Si Te Digo / Con Tu Forma / Insomnio / Luna / Sin Fin / Aguilondor / Tigre De Papel / Más Allá / Llévame
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