Music executives think they’re smarter than you. That’s why they devise schemes like reissues to steal your money. They trick you into thinking something old is new again by snazzing up the packaging, adding a few “bonus tracks”, and maybe a video or two. More often than not, this trick dilutes the merit of the original and leaves you wanting to strategically scratch out the sub-par bonus material. Thankfully, the third incarnation of El Perro Del Mar’s debut has avoided this pitfall by not altering much of its original conception.
The songs on El Perro Del Mar’s North American debut have been floating around in some form or another for about two years now. They first appeared in 2004 on two limited-edition EPs, were then assembled by Memphis Industries earlier this year and now appear on a domestic release with just one pesky bonus track from the split 7-inch with Jens Lekman.
So why bother releasing these songs so many times? Well, because they’re damn good. Sweden’s El Perro Del Mar, aka Sarah Assbring, makes the type of music that begs for repeated listening. Like the French chanteuse Francoise Hardy, El Perro Del Mar’s blend of the femme fatale with the lonely girl next door is as fascinating as it is inviting. Musically she appeals to retro sensibilities, and yet adds enough of her own to prevent songs from ever being dull. Songs like “God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get)” and “I Can’t Talk About It” sound like they were produced by a Phil Spector gone lo-fi, and “Here Comes That Feeling” has Assbring’s vocals simply dripping in reverb as she gives a nod to old Otis Redding.
Since these songs are about two years old, ingest them quickly and be on the lookout for new material, because El Perro Del Mar must have something brewing in the kitchen by now.