At Monkey Week, Seville's very own showcase festival, we find the five bands we're hoping will break out of Spain in 2018.
"No Sabes Mentir" ("You Don’t Know How to Lie") has been one of the buzziest debut tracks in Spain this year and comes from an unlikely collaboration between Madrid band Solo Astra and hyped trap MC Pimp Flaco. If you can imagine a psych version of The Smiths with Morrissey influenced by Kid Cudi rather than Oscar Wilde (with added vocoder) then you're almost there. It shouldn't work but it absolutely does.
A true outsider spirit is shot through the music of 19-year-old Adrian Suchowolski. Uploading songs to Bandcamp and Soundcloud since the age of 15, he's rackedup a clutch of self-released albums under the Suko Pyramid name that skirt across the genres. Touched by the surrealism of Pet Sounds, Aerial Pink and Mac DeMarco, he's a disarmingly surreal presence. At only his fourth live show to date, he breaks the wall between the audience and performer to invite questions from the audience, rap an introduction to himself (just a single line - "My name is Adrian") and generally behaving with the same indulgent spirit you'd expect for someone growing musically outside of the industry.
An earnest and accessible take on punk - with flourishes that land somewhere between Joy Division's early sound and Marr's first experiments with the Smiths - have won Seville's own Palo Alto have a solid fanbase in this town. They sound best when they're hammering out fast, urgent blasts of songs which push their influences into something truly unqiue - it's memorable, anthemic and euphoric.
We've mentioned Murcia-born/London-based Alberto García Roca and his hyperactive rock and roll before - but seeing Alien Tango live for the first time is a revelation. Sitting somewhere between a Lemon Twigs and Jimothy Lacoste show, Roca's vaudeville-glam persona owns the stage at Monkey Week. His music and performance is entertaining, inclusive and generous with a universality that will break down borders.
Spain's music scene is notorious for its revivalism and the bands that continue to stand out are those who manage to spin the concept of looking backwards into something inventive - check out Baywaves, Lost Nastys, Hinds and Parrots as evidence. Pamplona four piece Melenas' take on the C86 sound would see them at home on Captured Tracks but there's an underside of scuzzy garage to their sounds that cancels out any low-fi twee. Live they're effervescent, ballsy and put heart into a genre that's sometimes lacking.