Aias – A La Piscina
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Like the environs of their native Barcelona, the music of Spanish noise popsters Aias is bright, warm, and breezy. On full-length debut A la Piscina, the trio members build on the foundation set by the artists who inspired them -- the lo-fi sensibilities of Vivian Girls, the intimacy of Best Coast, the sweetness of All Girl Summer Fun Band -- while carving out a niche of their own. The vocals, shared among guitarist Gaia Bihr, bassist Miriam Garcia, and drummer Laia Aubia, immediately set apart the band, delivered in Catalan and sounding like a cross between Spanish and French. Still, the ba ba ba’s of the title track, call and response of “La Truita,” and dreamy yearning of “Bali” resonate regardless of the language barrier. And the overall vibe of A la Piscina, which appears to translate to “at the pool,” is similarly universal, begging to be played at a beach party or summer hangout. The band is at its best on “Món Inventat,” as the ladies’ soaring harmonies are bolstered by echoing drums and a horn section that recalls a stripped-down version of Beulah’s When Your Heartstrings Break; when conjuring ‘60s girl group heartbreak with “Dues Pedres”; and when slipping in a wink at the Ramones between the surf-inspired guitar and sugar-spun vocals of “Una Setmana Sencera.” While not reinventing the wheel, A la Piscina is a promising introduction to Aias and a welcome addition to the music collection of listeners with a penchant for noisy yet sweet female-centric indie rock.