A short song with a lot to chew on. Despite a glimmer of electronica at the very beginning, “Bunhill Fields” moves forward with acoustic instrumentation (guitar, cello, eventually trumpets) and a brisk, no-nonsense beat—itself an unexpected and invigorating combination. (I tend to think of chamber pop as somewhat more noodly and/or deliberate.) Lupe Núñez-Fernández has the whispery, wavery tone of some indie-European chanteuse but the relentless movement (which kicks in for real at 0:36) adds something both solid and haunting to her delivery.
The chorus is swift and concise and semi-unresolved—as Núñez-Fernández sings (I think) “I can’t wait to let it go,” the melody floats back up to where it started, but she lets the word “go” melt downward again, ambiguously. Then there’s that mysterious motif with an inside out finish that follows the chorus (first heard at 0:53), begun by the guitar, played out by the cello and some vague keyboard, which we otherwise don’t hear in the song. Its simple but tricky melodic twist hangs in the air like an unanswered question. The song keeps going, words flying by answering no questions at all. The trumpets, meanwhile, seem determined to stake their own ground, independent of where the melody wants them to be be. It might help to know that Bunhill Fields is a renowned cemetery in the north of London, featuring the graves of William Blake, Daniel Defoe, and Thomas Hardy, among many other notable public figures (“the rocky garden full of stars,” as the lyrics have it). Then again, it might not.
Amor de Días is a side project duo featuring Alasdair MacLean, front man for the Clientele, and Núñez-Fernández, half of the duo Pipas. “Bunhill Fields” is from the album Street of the Love of Days, due out in May on Merge Records. MP3 via the good folks at Merge.