Release Date: Nov 19, 2013
Record label: Trouble in Mind
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Garage Rock Revival, French Pop
The Liminañas' third album, 2013's Costa Blanca, finds the French duo making some subtle renovations to their sound, bringing in some new elements that help to expand the tightly focused sound of their previous work. While the main thrust is still a lively brand of French pop meets Velvet Underground garage rock, they add more acoustic guitars, stretch out the songs' running times, and generally retreat from short, punchy songs in the direction of songs that take their time to unwind and have more diffuse charms. Whereas most of the duo's older work sounded lifted from a compilation of forward-thinking Continental Nuggets, this time out there are tracks, like the instrumentals "Alicante" and "Rosas," that have a definite deep-cut soundtrack feel that's new and quite interesting.
French pop in its purest form hasn't really got its groove back since the 60s, but, wisely, it's this very era that this Perpignan duo mine, marrying fuzzed-out psychedelia and agreeably rambling rock with the pop sweetness of that decade's chansons. The ghost of Gainsbourg is felt most keenly in Votre côté yéyé m'emmerde, a softly spoken-word litany of icons and celebrities. Not hero worship, though, but an eye roll at the cute-ification of the past; its title translates to something like "your yé-yé view annoys me", or, more literally, "enshittens me".
With modern pop as we know it well into its seventh decade, you'd be forgiven for thinking that music is at the stage where regurgitation of what's gone on before is simply a matter of course. Yet, as evidenced by The Limiñanas' Costa Blanca, it's what you do with the source material that counts rather than re-treading old ground to create a scenario of diminishing returns. One of the stand out bands of the 2013 Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, the Perpignan duo of Marie and Lio Limiñana found themselves augmented by three additional musicians to create a hypnotic maelstrom of sound that suggested an alternate universe wherein the Jesus & Mary Chain's influences were the Gallic pop and ye ye of Anna Karina and Serge Gainsbourg's sly sophistication; a heady combination to be sure and one that whets the appetite for recorded material.
On their third album Costa Blanca, a return to Chicago’s Trouble In Mind label that released their debut, the Liminanas bring the noise (a new penchant for slabs of guitar distortion) and an expanded cinematic sensibility to their Gallic garage-pop vision. When discussing the Liminanas, reviewers invariably mention Yé-yé (a frothy variant on French pop music, dating from the late Fifties), as well as the Velvet Underground, Serge Gainsbourg (himself an auteur descendant of Yé-yé), and more recently, the film music of Ennio Morricone. Increasingly, the Yé-yé citations are marginal.