Laia Llach: Sol d’hivern

Evergreen

Listening Post 368. Darwin believed love songs began as a primeval mating ritual and Byron heard melody in the roar of the deep sea. Romance and nature are the oldest tropes in music and also the newest; every song on these themes we hear today connects us with humanity’s long arc. There are, of course, artists of greater and lesser import: One who certainly deserves to be heard widely is the Catalan singer-songwriter Laia Llach, whose dulcet voice flows through the eight folk-pop tracks of Sol d’hivern (Winter Sun), her debut album. In her contribution to the catalog of song, she plays and struggles with universal experience filtered through personal adventures and trials. Her organic lyrics and music draw energy from the cycle of seasons and heavenly bodies, and the comforting influence of chords and keys. She also pays attention to fine detail, like the ivy that follows rain or the fragrance of rosemary that triggers summer memories. The sparkling title track lays a foundation, building strength out of the cold, tentatively chanting the first notes of healing (video 1). In Campelles, she evokes the air of the Pyrenees and warm nights lit by fireflies (video 2); while Serà la pluja (It Will Rain) intertwines poetry, personal effort and nature’s rhythm (video 3). Llach plumbs the difficulty— despite millennia of practice—of human communication in Mai ha estat fàcil (It’s Never Been Easy, video 4). And she ploughs through Mediterrània (video 5) like the pages of a book, trying to learn its secrets and build courage. There’s something refreshing and reassuring about discovering a new cantautora at the beginning of her career, an implicit pledge to keep nurturing the soundtrack of our lives. Will she be an evergreen presence, a Joni Mitchell or Françoise Hardy? No way to know except by listening—and that promises to be easy. (Microscopi)

Laia Llach: Sol d’hivern / Winter Sun
Laia Llach: Lead vocals
Pau Figueres: Spanish guitar, electric guitar
Cesc Martorell: Acoustic guitar, ukulele
Arnau Figueres: Drums, percussions, piano, keyboards, bass, guitars

 

Sol d’hivern / Winter Sun
Lyrics & music: Laia Llach

(From the Catalan lyrics)
I plant for December/I don’t care about anything else
The winter sun, like the evergreen/Is resilient as long as (time) doesn’t stop

Tell me if it’s so/I can sing you the notes I have
Oh yes, it’s worth trying/And it won’t even hurt

My world screams loudly/that it doesn’t want rain
that I can’t see myself when it falls
And it demands that I try/to accept myself as I am
And that’s when it all begins/that I recognize myself again

In December’s cold/I confine myself to a place where I cannot sleep
A clumsy satellite/caught in a spinning world.

 

Campelles
Lyrics & music: Laia Llach

When the green fades terribly again/may the fir trees fill this forest with leaves
To dust off the white powder of winter/that we used to touch the cross when we were kids

Remember that smell of rosemary/sharing those summers with friends
D
ecorating the beautiful street down the middle with yellow/where in August fireflies lit the night

And they told us:
I have the night, destiny and a desire that burns/tell me yes, it’s already night
I have the night, destiny and you waiting for me/tell me yes, it’s already night

Now you see the bees take flight/I swear I don’t want to tempt luck
For if hope is carried away by the wind/I promise you I’ll remember it, I’ll keep it.

Waiting for autumn days to come/we learned to share illusions
L
onging for the magic in the middle of the street/where in August fireflies made the night.

And they told us:
I have the night, destiny and a desire that burns/tell me yes, it’s already night
I have the night, destiny and you waiting for me/tell me yes, it’s already night.

I want to breathe the air of Campelles again/and be able to find a new shortcut
I want to breathe again…

 

Serà la pluja / It will be raining
Lyrics & music: Laia Llach

I can feel like the night/It’s in me again
Walking to my rhythm/Ready to start another waltz

Let it rain, let it rain
Let the rain sing while you sleep.

Now I can build/Repair what I have inside myself
Sew together pieces of a new world/And embroider my initials

Let it rain, let it rain
The rain will sing while you sleep.

You bring everything back to G major/The water that falls is not made of tears
Let it rain, let it rain/The rain will sing while you sleep.

I undid the patch/I dictated my destiny today
I will smooth out yesterday’s thorns/to be able to embrace whatever the path brings.

Let the ivy grow today/let the arms sprout
A
nd the memories fall/It wasn’t you and me anymore

If I were sure
It would be all tenderness…

You bring everything back to G major/The water that falls is not made of of tears
Let it rain, let it rain/The rain will sing while you sleep
Let it rain, let it rain/The rain will sing while you sleep

 

Mai ha estat fàcil / It’s Never Been Easy
Lyrics & music: Laia Llach

As I search for the words you don’t say/I undress before you, that’s who I am!
I put my feet beside you/the tile is breaking
and the crack drains the words never spoken.

Since it has never been easy/to care for what is so fragile
let’s hold hands/when times are changing
Since it has never been easy/to feel longing
when you are far from home/and you don’t know how to return

While the fire overtakes the return/I feel the cry of recognizing what I am not
The hope that it will let the thaw begin/of what we have never been able to communicate

How to return/not easy
It has never been, no/It has never been

Since it has never been easy/to care for what is so fragile
let’s 
hold hands/when times are changing
Since it has never been easy/to feel longing
when you are far from home/and you don’t know how to return

It’s never been easy
It’s never been easy

 

Mediterrània / Mediterranean
Lyrics & music: Laia Llach

I wear you on my skin/you embrace me all the time
you are spreading the strength we need/to walk again

You bring back to life/written in the sand
what are take away/deep in the sea

I want to be brave like you/how you dance when you break up
you miss, don’t give up
I walk barefoot for you/to find you between the steps
The salty caress

You live in the middle of lands that don’t know how to sew
and you teach differences by uniting/paving the way as only you can
You learn to care for/the life that is born in your hands
the house of all who today/will find your beacon

Mother, I want to be blue like you


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