March 03, 2005

Pipas "Chunnel Autumnal"

Back in 2001, the pop-loving duo of Lupe Nunez-Fernandez and Mark Powell quietly released their debut record, a ten-inch vinyl mini-album entitled Chunnel Autumnal. For the few who heard this record, it was an instant love connection. The duo’s songs were downbeat enough to be blue, but were frantic and catchy enough to stick in your heart. Short, concise and succinct, these songs would be a hint of what was to come with their debut album, A Cat Escaped--which found them running through ten songs in twenty minutes. Thankfully, Matinee has decided to reissue this brilliant little record, allowing fans like you to hear what the fuss was about way back when, while also collectors like me to enjoy these songs in all their glory, without having to fear scratching their vinyl copy.

While their sound has remained the same, Chunnel Autumnal is very much a baby-steps record. Their sound had yet to gain the caffeinated groove-based energy of A Cat Escaped, but their pop skills were definitely on the increase, as the excellent “Wells Street,” “Tout Va Bien” and “Bye Bye” were instant standouts, with lovely singing, plenty of ba-ba-ba’s and tons of indie-pop sweetness. To make this record even more essential, Matinee’s added three additional songs, the wonderful “A Short Film about Sleeping” 7” debut.

If you like your pop music hyper and sweet and a little blue but not too much, then Pipas has been waiting for you. You might have missed Chunnel Autumnal the first time around, but there’s no excuse now for missing out on what these two have to offer!

--Joseph Kyle

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