The Clientele’s Alasdair MacLean and Lupe Núñez-Fernández have returned with a second album under the name Amor de Días, The House At The Sea, and like its predecessor it’s a beautiful mix of spanish folk and gentle pop.
While Street Of The Love Of Days leaned a little more towards its Spanish folk influences, The House At Sea sounds more like recent Clientele albums. The exemplar of this is “Jean’s Waving” with its bouncy, layered chorus. The tension in the verse about two minutes into the song make it one of the most compelling songs on the album.
Núñez-Fernández impresses again on “Viento Del Mar” and “Piedras Rotas.” Her mysterious, whispered Spanish lyrics and deliberate pacing will draw listeners’ attention.
Overall, something feels off during The House At Sea. On the previous record, Amor de Días had all the meticulous details down and the album flowed well together. This time around the music feels a little less considered. Most of the record drags, especially near the end.
The record ends with the strange “Maureen.” It contains spooky whispers and foreboding tones that set it apart from the rest of the album. It’s uneasy and out of place. It should lead to something else, but instead it’s unfulfilling.
This kind of finale helps cement the feeling that The House At Sea is not as well-constructed as Street Of The Love Of Days, despite excellent performances from MacLean and Núñez-Fernández once again.
The House at Sea will be out on January 29 via Merge Records.