There’s a gratifying solidity about “Jean’s Waving,” something that evokes bygone days and hopeful futures simultaneously. The feeling is nostalgic, to be sure, but not incurably so. The song is shot through with suspended chords, which tend to have a lovely irresoluteness about them—they haven’t quite committed to a full-fledged chord, but they’re ever charming in their indecision. And did I say solidity? Maybe I meant fluidity, as those uncommitted chords do flow so nicely into other chords, not to mention each other. (The most prominent example in this song is during the bridge, starting at 0:54, which seems to be built pretty much entirely from suspended chords.)
Well, solid or fluid, I like. Amor de Días is the twosome of Alasdair MacLean, best known as front man for the Clientele (currently on hiatus), and Lupe Núñez-Fernández, who is half of the multinational duo Pipas. When last we heard the band here, in March 2011, Lupe Núñez-Fernández was out in front, and the song, while still flowy, had a Continental flair to its brisk chamber poppy vibe. With MacLean on lead this time, the Clientele connection becomes (much) more obvious, for anyone familiar with that evocative band. But even with our friends the suspended chords, the sound here is less gauzy and more, maybe, crunchy than Clientele tunes tend to be. (Listen to “Somebody Changed,” from God Save the Clientele, for a reasonably close comparison.) So maybe we’re back to solidity after all. And I do believe that it’s Núñez-Fernández’s presence in the chorus that keeps the mood from getting too mopey, as it kind of helps the listener, however subtly, see or feel Jean’s departure from both points of view.
“Jean’s Waving” is a song from the second Amor de Días album, The House at Sea, which is coming from the fine folks at Merge Records in January. You can download the MP3 via the song link above or on SoundCloud via Merge.