- Portugal's Tiago Miranda's 2010 was a watermark by anybody's standards. He dropped no less than five singles and his group Gala Drop not only got praise from us, but also landed a plum gig opening for Panda Bear in New York City. In one calendar year, Tiago went from having his single "Motocycles" carted around in James Murphy's gig bag to releasing his "Disambiguation" single on DFA. To cap it off, Miranda snuck in one last EP, for Lovefingers's ESP Institute label, and it might be his finest showing yet.
Subtitled "In Memory of Dash Snow," Miranda goes slow and sleazy here across four cuts. "Yesterday is Dead" starts off with a boxy drum machine beat before adding shimmering keyboard lines, layers of propulsive hand percussion and a guitar line that nearly hums Pink Floyd's "Fearless," all of it slithering deeper and deeper. Somehow "Wild Combination" (not an Arthur Russell cover) slows the beat down to an even more syrupy chug, and its queasy, echoing piano soon mingles with a brighter cascade of notes to great effect.
On the B-side, there's the sun-kissed shuffle of "Mango," with warm breezes of guitar blowing across it, a Balearic classic-to-be once the gray of winter melts away. The beat seems to be foregrounded on "Strange Fruit," but it's soon shot through with echoing bass drops, woodblock clops and a fuzzy, melancholic melody. It's these subtle ways with a line, of having each instrumental component further its development and deepen its mood that makes Tiago's singles so intriguing, each subsequent listen revealing more nuance. No doubt he'll be one to keep an ear attuned to this year as well.
A1 Yesterday Is Dead
A2 Wild Combination
B2 Strange Fruit