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The House At Sea

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Album Review

After releasing an enchanting debut album, 2011's Street of the Love of Days, Amor de Días (the duo of Alasdair MacLean of the Clientele and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas) return with another autumnal classic on 2013's The House at Sea. Unlike their debut, which featured many guests and some tricky arrangements, this time out they keep things small scale, both in terms of the musicians involved and the record's overall sound. If listening to Street of the Love of Days was like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket and being caressed by the duo's rich voices and melancholy melodies, then listening to The House at Sea is like being enveloped by an even warmer, more comforting blanket. It's a record made for reflection and quiet moments, filled with tenderly plucked acoustic guitars, relaxed bossa nova-influenced rhythms, breathy vocals that travel from the speakers right to the heart, and only the occasional uptempo song to shift the mood a touch. That's not to say the songs are dozy or not memorable, or that you will drift off to sleep as the album plays. Amor de Días put plenty of effort and soul into their craft and both are still capable of writing a song that will stick in your head for days. MacLean's "Jean's Waving" is a folk-rock jangler that equals his best work with the Clientele (which is saying a lot), "Day" is a subdued but insistent track that comes closest to rocking thanks to drummer Howard Monk's steady beat, and the opening "Voice in the Rose" has the kind of vocal line that is quintessentially MacLean and near perfect. While these moments are nice and perk up the ears of lovers of pop hooks, the true heart of the album is in the atmosphere that the more restrained and blue songs create, and the spell the mood is liable to cast over listeners, the kind that's hard to shake for hours after the record ends. The album has a reserved beauty and a peaceful grace that spring from the songwriting and are brought to the fore by MacLean and Núñez-Fernández's tender and true vocals. There aren't a lot of bands that can pull off making something so quiet and unassuming but with as much emotional pull and drama as The House at Sea. Amor de Días do it with ease, and this makes them a truly special band and the album required listening.

Customer Reviews

My precious?

Maureen has a really cool sound to it… but it's melody is lifted straight from the Lord of the Rings! All I can picture is Gollum creeping around for his precious


It's not often that I come across albums that I can really listen to, from beginning to end, without losing interest, and then do it again. This is that kind of album. It's also interesting in its depth and scope, it sounds like 5 different styles of music. A stunning work of art.


Formed: 2008 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Formed in 2009 by Alasdair MacLean of the Clientele and Spanish vocalist/instrumentalist Lupe Núñez-Fernández of the indie pop duo Pipas, Amor de Dias, which translates to “love of days,” began assembling in secret in 2008 on evenings and weekends. Bolstered by a pit crew of seasoned musicians like Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, and Gary Olson, the band spent three years assembling their Merge debut, a breezy blend of tropicalia, English chamber pop, and psychedelic folk called Street of the Love...
Full Bio
The House At Sea, Amor de Días
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Customer Ratings