The French duo The Limiñanas comprised of Lionel (multi-instrumentalist/vocals) and Marie (drummer/vocalist) create swirling worlds of cinematic-hued “reference” music; the great Record Collection Pop – where you can hear the Morricone and Serge and T-Rex and Motown and the blur of garage and psychedelic rocks with new wave and French pops and they have consistently made great music across a handful of records, productive, prolific – waiting to be discovered outside of their cult of fans.
Well, this is going to be the one that does that – a perfect summation of all that they are great at: instrumentals, songs in English, songs in French, female-led torch ballads, chugging, churning retro-rock grooves. And there are some big name guests here, but they never threaten to get in the way, more a case of being along for the ride. Peter Hook’s distinctive bass drives The Gift, a mid-album highlight that ends up tracing around the feel and, er, hooks of New Order. Understandably.
Ditto Anton Newcombe, on Istanbul is Sleepy. Yes, you can imagine it as a Brian Jonestown Massacre song thanks to his vocals, but at the same time it sounds groovier, hookier, cleverer…better…
So there are great spoken-word songs, en français, such as Trois Bancs, where you might think of Warren Ellis affecting a Gainsbourg patois during his regular Grinderman duties, other times we hear little motifs, instrumentals that are waiting to score anything by Tarantino (like the opener here, Overture) and there’s great Stereolab/Broadcast-styled indie-pop (such as Pink Flamingos).
The great thing about how The Limiñanas style and shape all of this is that it never feels contrived or convoluted. Rather, this is their sound, their own. Built from the parts of others, sure, and no doubt a spectacular record collection. But when that works, and works best, as on this no-duds, 40-minute set of perfect pop gems, well there can be no complaints. Only the feeling of joy as you rush to tell whoever you can about this, to share this, with thoughts, too, of basking in it. Pressing play again straight away. And maybe, just maybe, keeping it all for yourself…
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