After several years recording as A. Rex, in 2012, San Antonio’s Andrew Espinola released his most personal work to date under his own name; the reflective but never self-pitying ‘Into The Drink’. ‘Always Enough’ follows a similar path with the artist continuing his knack for writing memorable indie pop tunes.
‘No More Lonely Empire’ embraces a full, punchy production to follow on from ‘Into The Drink’. The drums and bass rattle along rapidly, providing a propulsive energy from which the songwriter assumes the role of protector for his “perfect ending for my beautiful Queen”. It’s a song that’s almost naively optimistic and upbeat and – on a purely musical level – second track ‘Taken By A Pro’ has a shiny outlook too but its lyrics are fuelled by being used in a relationship. Espinola reflects that “in her heart, the bags were always packed” and “she took parts of me, to make herself complete” but it’s the sunny tune and singalong chorus which turns what could have been a tale of self-pity into a cleverly-crafted nugget; comparing favourably to those fellow bittersweet graduates, Eels and Her Space Holiday.
‘Lazy Love’ balances the innocence of bird song samples and strings with further articulate tales of romantic regret; in this case not making enough effort to save a relationship. Yet just when Espinola is in danger of sounding bitter, ‘Love Is Always Enough’ provides an unexpected curveball. Based on what seems to be an enduring relationship in Texas, one must naturally assume this is a tale of a couple close to the singer’s heart so potentially schmaltzy lines (“She still loves how it feels when he says “You look beautiful”) become rather sweet and enduring.
Contrasting moods may be the order of the day on ‘Always Enough’ but this is an EP fuelled by the ultimate four letter word, love. Importantly, no matter how sumputous his melodies are, Espinola writes songs which make you pay attention to the words and that’s a rare quality these days.
Her Space Holiday, Eels