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Hi Corea’s hypnotic voice

With only two songs published online, the band from Sevilla Hi Corea! has become some kind of phenomenon thanks to a very particular project of psychedelic pop. «It was something very curious because we uploaded it to soundcloud and suddenly started to see how the number of playbacks began to go up» Carlos Moreno (guitar) tells about Bill, one of those songs with the soul of an instantaneous hit. «The next day we saw someone over in the United States had promoted it and it had a ton of visits from California» explains Clarisa Guerra (keyboards, drum machine), and the thing is that their project transcends nationality.

If there’s a genre the band could belong to, that’s psychedelia. Thanks mostly to vocals, the element which gives consistency to every song. «We give a lot of importance to the voices and vocal harmonies and perhaps that is the reminiscence to the 60s and 70s we cause. We had eclectic songs, different from each other, and we were mulling over the arrangements for a long time so that they would all make sense as a whole. The nexus between them was that psychedelic touch. In the end, let’s say that the psychedelia is a transversal common feature to all the songs and that glues them together, but we’re not the usual psychedelic band» Bernardo Ruiz (guitar, bass) points out. Their style does not leave pop behind, especially thanks to the electronic arrangements present in their live project.

Their first release will arrive in September, an auto edited EP of four songs titled Odd Nature, but they would have more than enough material to sign a high quality full-length album. «It all comes from recording an EP instead of a longer format because we think that nowadays people lives at a very fast rhythm: you release a 12 songs album, they listen to two of them, then they turn to another album. We believe that today, the full-length doesn’t make much sense anymore and is most often mistreated. We said, let’s concentrate all of our efforts on four songs and give more importance to each song individually» says Carlos. Along with Bill and Sacred Place there are two other songs left to complete an EP they recorded in La Mina with Raúl Pérez.

The production of the EP has been a work by Raúl Pérez and the band in partnership. It was an arduous recording process, shared between the studio and the band’s rehearsal place, in which several arrangements were recorded. «We had all the time to test, to experiment… and we realized it was a work dynamic we really liked, so we’re going to do it again» says Bernardo, defending the idea of recording at their place.

We talked to them after their show at the Cibercentro Macarena Tres Huertas as a part of the Entretejas season; it’s a reduced format in which they arrange their own songs in a more electronic way, reminding of projects such as Au Revoir Simone in their calmer landscapes. «We make covers of our own songs» Clarisa points out, and the truth is that songs like Bill sound much more pop than in the recording. They even dare to cover the unclassifiable Julia Holter in a deluxe reinterpretation of In the Same Room. The song completely adapts to their solid setlist. «The songs have only an acoustic guitar and the voices. But we wanted to complicate it and turn it around. This is what came up with the beat boxes, and we’re pretty happy about it» claims Clarisa. «What we didn’t want is that when we did an acoustic show, it would be the same old pop rock as always: two acoustic guitars and a maraca, which is very good, but we felt like bringing something more personal to the table, more ourselves, and that would allow us to develop another language as well» tells Bernardo.

The composition of the songs and the lyrics are shared, always starting from the total of the different sound layers and making voices more powerful, according to Carlos: «We have a slogan that we always tell each other. We say ‘think of the song’ and we take the decisions from there. The song’s in charge».

Lastly, the band counts upon an attractive name which emerged from a joke. «We were thinking about the band, and Corea del Este came up, but we weren’t convinced. We liked Corea, it was sophisticated, fun… In the end we did like the idea of a territory. It’s neither Corea del Norte, nor del Sur. It’s unexpected. It’s clear for us that names are made. If Yo La Tengo works, then everything’s fair» explains Bernardo. But beyond their name, songs with enough potential to feel like unique are what makes them stand out. «You can’t give much time to that though, we prefer to spend it on the music».


Translation by Irene Soto.