Alternative dance music outfit Delorean started in 2000 in Zarautz, a Basque town in Spain, and came out with their self-titled debut album in 2004. Beginning a group of friends wanting to explore mutual interests in music by playing hardcore punk, the band composed of vocalist and bassist Ekhi Lopetegi, guitarist Guillermo Astrain, keyboardist Unai Lazcano, and drummer Igor Escudeo, quickly moved towards an electronic or indie sound, and is now often suggestive of M83 and Miike Snow.

2010 saw the release of their third album Subzia and a rise to international attention. The band became known for danceable electronic music reminiscent of summertime. Now, with the 2013 release of their fourth album Apar, Delorean wants to expand on that. While Subzia was produced with mostly sampled female vocals and computer beats and instrumentation, Apar aspires to move away from “clicking a mouse” and towards a more physical sound. To record this album, Delorean built their own studio in Barcelona and, in addition to Lopetegi’s voice, now features several guest female voices, including Caroline Polachek of Chairlift on “Unhold.”

One of the more interesting features of Delorean’s music is the juxtaposition of lyrics to actual sound. It’s not very often that a pop-dance song will sing about real life experience while it expects a mass of people to be dancing in a club with bright lights and glitter. In fact, most of the time it seems the goal of popular dance music is to separate the struggles and frustrations of life from a good time; sometimes pop and dance can be a form of escapism.

This isn’t quite the case with Delorean. Instead of trying to escape, they dive headfirst and work through issues, yet still find the ability to take delight. The second track from Subiza, describes “Real Love”: the parts of reality that aren’t the thing of pop-culture fairytales.

Its sad and it hurts.
The deeper it is, the harder it gets to gently say bye

Will we ever meet again, will we ever?
Feel our hearts hardly beating, will they ever?
Stop beating, break apart, will we ever?
Lose all our hope, hope to get lost - want to fade.

Somehow, despite the obvious frustration and struggle displayed lyrically, Delorean manages to get the listener moving and his or her heart beating along with the song. The lyrics may draw from painful places, but ultimately Delorean sets out to be an uplifting force. It pulls the listener out, getting them to move and dance.

Delorean’s sound expresses itself well beyond the lyrics. On “Spirit”, the opening track for Apar, you don’t have to understand every word or anticipate every next beat in order to be moved. Not polished beyond belief, Delorean conveys an authenticity that is much needed in a world dominated by the latest Top 40 dance hit.  

~ Kendra Kamp


Calvin performances

  • with Until the Ribbon Breaks
    Feb 17, 2014; Covenant Fine Arts Center