Cuando Termines Con Todo, Habrá Terminado Contigo introduces a young talent to music fans, Irene Rodriguez Tremblay. As the lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist for Spanish trio Aroah, Tremblay is at the center of the group’s debut EP, released on the fine Spanish pop label Acuarela. Aroah’s sound is a folk-tinged, mellow pop style. There’s mellow guitars and sublimely catchy melodies, but also an intense focus on human emotions, including those that societal customs dictate us not to reveal.
On “Eder, Simone”, Tremblay begins by confessing, “I keep a bottle in my closet”, and then proceeds into even more personal revelations. Giving a litany of her secrets to an unidentified lover, she unveils her true feelings in a slightly angry tone of voice, against impassioned guitar playing. “I sing my song, you fall asleep, you make me feel like shit, I love you . . . I close my eyes and we have sex and I think of someone else”, she admits, with a tone that sounds less resigned or apologetic than wearing a combination of melancholy and rage.
The song has a feeling of voyeurism to it, like we’re listening in on a private moment. The sense that something emotionally difficult and significant is being revealed, yet we’re left partly in the dark as to the specifics, runs through most of the songs here. The overall tone of the EP is melancholic, albeit without any sort of “feel sorry for me” subtext. Instead, these are songs about sadness and the difficulty of emotional connections, which still bring with them both a sense of the larger complexity of life and of the beauty that can exist in the world.
That beauty is embodied in Tremblay’s stunning vocals—not only does she seem to have the natural gift of a born singer, but she uses that gift sublimely, continually matching the exact mood of both the lyrics and the music. On the opening track “Come Home”, atmospheric backing music supports in-your-face vocals that have a sultry edge to them, as Tremblay beckons a lover to come away with her. The second track, “Recuerdos”, one of two songs here sung in Spanish, is the most upbeat and radio-friendly song here, and the giddy bounciness of her vocals fit the track perfectly. The other four songs all have a darker, sadder feel to them, and still, her vocals escape any sort of one-dimensionalness. Her voice rises and falls in all the right places, conveying emotions just right, making the songs feel like absolutely pure expressions of feeling. Capturing the deepest thoughts and feelings in song without falling into patterns or clichés is quite an achievement; Aroah’s debut release does exactly that within pop songs that have an amazing amount of staying power, leaving listeners in rapt anticipation of Aroah’s next recording.
// Notes from the Road
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