Valencian music has gained popularity in recent years with groups such as Zoo, Smoking Souls and Aspencat all following in the footsteps of the legendary Obrint Pas. The Valencian folk band El Diluvi, from Alcoi in Spain's Alacant province, is also making a name throughout the Catalan-speaking areas.
El Diluvi fuses Mediterranean, Celtic, Balkan and Latin sounds on this new disc, the group's fourth. Musically they cover the same territory made popular in the Basque Country by Gozategi, and sometimes reminiscent of Italy's La Lionetta.
The seven-piece band featuring vocalist Flora Semprere, and vocalist/ violinist David Payà, began as a tribute to 80s singer Ovidi Montllor, also of Alcoi. On Motius, in 2014, the group began to develop its own signature style. And this advanced further in Alegria, with the social activism of songs such as the feminist anthem "I tu Sols tu."
Here on Ànima we have eleven new tracks that explore the territory of love. "Ànima Blanca" is a sweet habanera about innocence, "Som Amor" and "Tendresa Insumisa" look at different aspects of love also.
Seven members in the group would normally mean there is a lot going on, but the band maintains its simplicity and sincerity along with its energy. And El Diluvi continues to deliver a strong social message also: "Deixa'm que et Conte" a cry of the working class person to be heard, has a lovely acoutsic guitar and voice intro by Payà that breaks into a reel.
There is good variety: "Vell Record" is a celtic toe-tapper, while "El Viatge" is a poppy tune about travel and solidarity, with a litttle Basque greeting in the chorus. Their reading of "Amor Infinit" (with Montllor's lyric) has Balkan or Klezmer influences, on a traditional Valencian tune; and on "El Foc" they team up with Toni Sánchez and Arnau Gimènez of Zoo, channelling Venezuela's Un Solo Pueblo but with Payà's violin taking the stage as well: "We found the fire/that burns away the pain."
Above all, the music is clear, expressive and energetic. David Rosell's production is impeccable. Flora Semprere is an engaging and committed front person. The message is a postive one of commitment to a better world. El Diluvi --the Flood--makes each song a statement, and a strong one. The world needs more El Diluvi. - David Cox
Find the band online
Read more about the music of Valencia.