It is said that “boy meets girl” is the classic start to any love story. In the case of the Soon-Another, it’s “girl travels to Peru, girl meets boy, girl and boy make band.” Born out of a relocation to Lima on the part of singer Adele Fournet, the band sports a truly unique musical conception, blending the tropical beats of South America with the poppy airiness of North America. Their new album, Autodidact, is full of these fused melodies, making for a rather original listen.
There is certainly a difference from the detritus piling up in the Best Buys of the Nation. “The Garden” has a delightfully catchy opening that accentuates the smoothness of Fournet’s mile-high vocals. Backing her is an unmoving rhythm that fulfills the true meaning of the word “downbeat.” Electronic noise is interspersed throughout the song, giving it a hip-hop vibe without succumbing to the clichés that could occur with less careful musicianship. The relaxed “Hogar” outlines the band’s chemistry much more, beginning with a wild yawp that segues into a beautiful acoustic guitar solo. Over this melody, bilingual, dual-gender harmonies decorate the song, showcasing the ethnic diversity of the band. This is a dynamite collaboration; it’s light and whimsical without sacrificing musical depth or sonic fullness. “Emtpy Space” also does a good job of displaying the different influences of the band. Its chick-rock chorus doesn’t distract in any way from the hints-of-flamenco guitar lines and indie construction of percussive beats and ambient sound.
When the band deviates from their norm, such in the rapid-fire vulgar rap of the title track over grunge instrumentation, it falls flat from the high bar they set for themselves. This is overshadowed by their nature as a whole, however, and songs like the great “Institutionalized” make up for any flaws. With wonderfully jazzy interludes and tribal beats, the song is a true roller coaster ride through distant lands at dizzying heights. It’s a piece of music and not simply a song. The Soon-Another are a band to keep your eye on. Even if they’re not your cup of rock, there’s no denying they have mountains of promise.