Oso Panda, Papa Topo

Oso Panda, Papa Topo
Elefant Records, Spain

Rating: 78

By Carlos Reyes

The latest protégées of renowned Spanish indie label Elefant Records prove to be way more than just a twee, oversweet formula, or just another band from the so-called ‘tontipop.’ These kids are making great pop music, and they’re not afraid of sounding lame, in fact, they are so comfortable with their resources that they could genuinely personify what ‘happy music’ is or how its sounds like. We’ve been following the band since we knew about it through Adria Arbona, the leader of the band who had been doing a tremendous job rescuing great pop pastries on his blog Tweeranosaurus. Oso Panda is a 7’’ containing two tracks (+2 remixes).

Papa Topo’s demos were witty and charmingly naïf, they worked as novelties and left-side music but the band went through a major transformation once Adria Arbona decided to recruit Paulita Demaiz as the other half of the pie. Their hit “Oso Panda” was insanely popular last year; so much many people claim it ended up hurting them. The song is as incredibly catchy as it can be annoying, in a way, close to what bands like Black Kids and Los Campesinos! have had to overcome to move away from the feared tag of singles-artist.

Luckily, the band has a fixation for simplicity, washing away much of the obtrusive over-sugared content with the help of Guille Milkyway, the mind behind La Casa Azul. Milkyway does a top-notch production work, capturing the band’s glockenspiel personality through a very glossy and well-polished oomph. He also provides a their hit a remix, it’s well orchestrated and it sounds like a futuristic Western. But “Oso Panda” isn’t convincing enough of the band’s potential, just like their label, the one song that made us total fans is the sunny and delightful “Lo que me gusta del verano.” The duo makes a treasure out of a warm summer, that exchange of ice-cream flavor quandary and relief is priceless. The whole thing is enchanting, too bad it is so short, the band has announced a full-length release by the end of the year, needless to say we’ll be impatiently waiting for it.