Flying in the face of national stereotypes, Spain has a small yet thriving independent scene of sulky lo-fi pop. Many of the early bands came from San Sebastian (in the Basque country, where it’s less sunny than much of Spain), leading to the label ‘Donosti sound’ (from the Basque name of the town). One of the most interesting groups in this scene was Family (featured in a previous post).

Doble Pletina (which means double cassette deck) are a new band in this tradition, though they come from Barcelona. This is from their first release in 2011, one of the best examples of the genre I have heard. NB This is the original demo version, which they re-recorded for their first single. Arguably the demo has more charm.


Here is a recent Guardian article about the scene, which they dub ‘friki’ (which translates literally as freak, but really means geek or nerd). Sadly the featured group Papa Topo is not my cup of tea at all.






Y bailamos apoyados,

tú en mi y yo en ti

con los dientes apretados

intentando sonreir

aunque no sea divertido

y nos queramos morir


Por la estúpida creencia

que no nos podemos ir

hasta que enciendan las luces

o que nos hagan salir,

hasta que se haga silencio

y no quede nadie aqui.


Y me sorprendo pensando,

casi hablando para mi,

que no todo está inventado

como se suele decir

que hay un nicho en el mercado

que aún está por exprimir

es la…



Música para cerrar las discotecas,

algo que bailar

si el final se acerca

y que nos permita salir de aqui

música que acabe

con todas las fiestas,

que cierre las barras,

que abra las puertas

para que podamos ir a dormir.


Y mientras sigo bailando

lo empiezo a visualizar

en el momento en el que salga

lo tendré que patentar

la base de mi fortuna,

mi fórmula magistral

será la…






We dance, supporting each other

You in me and me in you

Through gritted teeth

Trying to smile

Even though it’s no fun

And we want to die


For the stupid belief

That we can’t go

Before the lights come on

Or they make us leave

Until it’s silent

And nobody is left here


And I surprise myself by thinking

Almost talking to myself

Not everything has been done before

As people usually say

There’s still a niche in the market

Waiting to be exploited

It’s the…



Music to close the discos

Something to dance to

If the end is near

Which let’s us get out of here

Music to end

All the parties

Close the bars

Open the doors

So we can all go to bed


And while I keep dancing

I start to visualise it

The moment that we leave

I have to patent it

The basis of my fortune

My master formula

It will be the…





E – C#m – A – C#m

A – C#m – B – A



Often the subjunctive is used in Spanish to talk about a possible future.

I think if you use the subjunctive the stress is on something being a possibility. It is typically preceded by que:

Música que acabe con todas las fiestas – Music to end all the parties

Whereas the future tense would sound a bit more confident (this is our plan and it WILL happen).

Nuestra música acabará todas las fiestas – Our music will end all the parties

So for the tentative dream in the chorus of this song, the former (present subjunctive) seems better.

NB The past subjunctive is also possible

Música que acabase con todas las fiestas – Music to end all the parties

The meaning doesn’t really change, but perhaps the dream seems even more distant.


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