Five Spanish Songs (Merge)

Rating: NNNN

On Destroyer’s new Spanish-language EP, Dan Bejar reimagines five songs by Antonio Luque of the indie band Sr. Chinarro, taking them beyond their acoustic alt-rock origins. Standout El Rito’s shiny indie pop treatment makes it one of Bejar’s more energized recordings to date.

The other tunes are equally appealing and cosmopolitan. Light but urgent guitar-strumming gives Del Monton nice momentum, Babieca has bongos and jubilant strains of electric guitar and strings, while single Bye Bye brings things to a mellow, gentle, completely satisfying end.

The project’s impetus was Bejar’s disillusionment with the English language, which he has said seems “spent, despicable and not easily singable.” But seeing as it’s hard to untangle his cryptic lyrics at the best of times, Bejar’s singing with admitted half-fluency in another language is no barrier to enjoyment. Actually, it removes an element of his style that can frustrate some of us.

Top track: El Rito

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