Her Only Presence

A Brand New Start

Written by: PP on 19/12/2009 15:03:27

We don't receive a whole lot of music from Spain, wonder why that is. But here's a Barcelona act that should appeal to fans of singer-songwriters and original emo alike: Her Only Presence, an outlet for Luis Cifre's solo recordings. Don't worry if you don't know who that is, because this is strictly grassroots, underground stuff that hasn't made a name for itself yet, although "A Brand New Start" is the third album under the moniker. The genre is minimalist, dreamy indie/electro pop, and the record was written, produced, and mastered by Cifre himself. Those are the facts you need to know before deciding whether you should continue reading or not.

The songs are all acoustic guitar driven, with Cifre singing on top with calm, emotional vocals, occasionally pushing a little harmonica to the mix as well. There are a few passages I'd classify as post-rockish ("6" for example), but for the most part, the music revolves around programmed electro beats (see "Okay"), gentle acoustic guitar strumming, and Cifre's voice. "Arms Up" starts with an interesting 8-bit beat brining nintendocore bands to mind, though that feeling is erased every time the percussion and harmonica kicks in.

Her Only Presence's Myspace page cites American Football, Kevin Devine, The Appleseed Cast, Paulson, Texas Is The Reason, and The Get Up Kids as influences. That's a whole lot of original emo bands, which is why it's not surprising to see parallels and comparisons to original emo throughout "A Brand New Start". Things are still kept within the boundaries of singer-songwriter / indie pop, but you can definitely tell what Luis has been listening to while growing up. So now that you have an idea of how Her Only Presence sounds like, only one question remains: is it any good? It's not bad per se, but you'd be hard pressed to choose the record over other similar stuff. The main reason for that is that while soft and emotional, many of the songs don't have enough going on to interest the listener in the long run. There are a few exceptions, such as "With Violins", where the soundscape is busy with varying electronics, the acoustic guitar is a bit stronger, and the chorus is better, but these tracks are few and far between.


Download: With Violins
For the fans of: Kevin Devine, Paulson, The Get Up Kids, an acoustic Brand New ("The Devil And God..." era)
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.10.2009 (Summer 2009 digitally)
Promise! Promise!

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