Spa: Spells for Travelling Forth By Day
By Casper Jensen
Spa’s second album is a mixture of guitar-based indie rock and power pop tunes, with an emphasis on song writing. The band’s strongest point is its mature, sophisticated lyrics and original bent on topics such as tabloid celebrities, youth culture, sexual politics etc. Spa could be compared to Steve Malkmus or Conor Oberst, without being overly derivative. Strong points include Fraulein (“limos in ranks/as the flashbulbs flare off of my fraulein”), the tune Dry Bones and the soaring vocal on Rolling Holy. Also worthy of note is the self deprecating Lionel Lopez, wherein the singer reminisces about a kid he knew that went on to attend posh colleges overseas and live the high life, while he lived off toasted sandwiches and felt alienated during sports days. In 2008 Spa won the Juice TV award for Indie Video of the Year, later moving to London where they continued to write and record. Much of the music on the album is in a straight-up three-piece power pop approach, with guest musicians Ben Furniss and Billy Squire on melotron and assorted percussion.