Elena Setién is an artist defined by her vivid songwriting and nuanced compositions. The multi-instrumentalist’s music exudes the bold individualism and sense of empathy associated with her homeland of Spain’s Basque region. Setién’s declarative gestures both musically and lyrically breathe life into her expressive allegories. Her careful arrangements are direct and affecting and give her room for forays into experimentation. While Elena’s recordings are decidedly pop, she has considerable experience as an improviser. Another Kind Of Revolution, Elena Setién’s Thrill Jockey debut, is a work of entrancing, effortless beauty.
Setién grew up during a period of political upheaval in Spain, in the Basque region. The turmoil of the post-dictatorship period of the 1980s and the intensive civic actions left her with a sense of duty to fight for progress. A brief encounter with Laurie Anderson more recently also profoundly affected Setién. Specifically, Anderson’s parting thoughts on being an artist today: “You just have to make something beautiful and free.” Revolution is, for Setién, going back to simple truths and manifesting the beautiful in people. Her lyrics throughout Another Kind Of Revolution describe the beauty of everyday life, nature, and promote the forces of change not as a burden, but as the very source of hope to draw from.
spiritcake’s work drifts beautifully between personal conflicts and the natural world; every piercing rumination on his own emotive state met by a crackle of nightly noise in the far-off distance, a wash of ambience approaching.
Led by a voice that is immediately striking, spiritcake’s music is at once raw and rigid, and then untethered and vulnerable.