Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Gala Briê – Parece Que Fue Ayer

The Jukebox needs to go to Peru a bit more often, methinks.


Rebecca A. Gowns: Our heroine has won the day, but at what cost? Has she conquered the heart of the one who’s hurt her, tantas veces, or has she decided once and for all to let them go, so she feels the joy of making her own rejection? The exact story is unclear, but Gabriela Gastelumendi carries such a wonderful mix of sad acceptance and quiet triumph in her voice, it’s a bittersweet treat to listen to it.

Julian Axelrod: A lucid dream of a utopian pop future where swag meets sadness, guitar solos and harmonies are cool again, and every hook shimmers and soars like a rainbow shooting off from a waterfall. I don’t understand a word she’s saying, but I never want to wake up.

Juan F. Carruyo: The verses are an interminable slog that remind me somewhat of Akon’s I Wanna Love You. Then it turns upside down and gets all frothy down in the chorus yet there is a noticeable remove from the lyrics which express very delicate feelings of longing but aren’t quite reflected in the vocal performance.

Iain Mew: The weightless space disco bits are a pleasure, with only the guitar solo imposing a bit too much gravity. The ending handles a gentle descent perfectly though, with a feeling of bittersweet release that matches the words.

Tim de Reuse: The sound design cheesy, the chorus airy enough to float away, the mix boasting a sugary shine: oh, I’m a sucker for every single one of these details. Sure, there’s nothing here you haven’t heard before, but doesn’t it just fit together so effortlessly?

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Much like “Inmortal,” Gala Briê’s “Parece Que Fue Ayer” showcases both a maturation in sound and concessions to more widely-accepted, contemporary Western sonic templates in comparison to her debut album Intensos Instantes. Most important is how her music still feels dreamy, benefitting as much from the lush instrumentation as her evocative voice. The verses here contain her most emotive vocal melodies and deliveries to date, but they’re betrayed by a chorus that’s too cluttered and muddy. During the song’s coda, the clarity in tone leaves me wishing for a version that let’s busy, more inviting.

Edward Okulicz: It’s light as a souffle in the verses, but the chorus packs enough sway and swing to power a serious living room jig. “Parece Que Fue Ayer” is made up of lots of little bits of ear candy that melt on top of each other, leading into a surprisingly rueful conclusion that provokes relistening, so one can listen to that wonderful backing vocal bliss-out in the middle section.

Peter Ryan: Gala Briê is not new at this — from studying opera at an elite Peruvian conservatory to fronting electrorock outfit Las Amigas de Nadie to 2015’s debut Intensos Instantes, Gabriela Gastelumendi’s been plotting this course for more than a decade, about as long as her better-known contemporaries. Like January’s “Inmortal”, “Parece Que Fue Ayer” gets a fuller, more propulsive treatment than the debut’s languid chamber-pop pieces. Gastelumendi favors oblique lyricism here, evoking the endurance of unspecified wounds in the face of time’s passage. It could be construed as overstuffed, but so often such ruminations drown in their own blasé seriousness; the maximalist chorus pairs a flood of disjointed feelings with a refreshing sense of drama, an urgent resolve. It’s hard not to be a little thrown by the verses’ spare politeness.

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