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Written by the La La Lista Music Writers staff: Evy Duskey, Jorge Farah, Jamie Larson, Emilyann McKelvey, Ezequiel Mancilla, Pablo Pérez, Julián Alejo Sosa, Margaux Williams.
Welcome back to La La Lista’s Monthly Music Roundup!
It’s been a while, and we’re extremely psyched to be bringing you the best fresh releases from the Argentinian independent music scene. There sure has been a lot happening over the last few months, so let’s get right to it.
Remember: we do this every month, so click here if you want to check out our selections from past months. You really should, because they’re really good. And one last thing — are you an artist? Do you have a recent release that you think we absolutely should check out? Hit us up on Instagram, or by emailing [email protected]. There are no guarantees that we’ll pick it for the column, but we will listen with open eyes and open hearts.
Los Besos – “En La Arena”
Los Besos, a much-loved staple of the LLL crew, returns with their addictive pop sensibilities in their latest track “En La Arena”. The well-crafted pop song features beautiful vocal harmonies reminiscent of the 1970s, gelling together perfectly with the track’s delicate synths. Meanwhile, a bouncy driving rhythm section gives pace to this song which emanates total joy. Lyrically, the tune is downright adorable; an unashamed feel-good summer song. The band thrives in this space, resulting in this floaty little number that pulls together so many different elements in a subtle way.
Juan Ibarlucia and Paula Maffia – “Tatuaje”
“Tatuaje,” the new single by Juan Ibarlucia, is a somber lullaby that explores themes of abandonment, longing and acceptance in the span of 4 minutes. The track’s minimalistic percussion eases the listener into a sort of mantric state, as the softly plucked guitar chords set a dark, murky tone that sustains through the entirety of the mix. Paula’s contribution cuts through perfectly, as her imposing voice helps build around this spooky atmosphere that walks the tightrope between mystery and erotism in a way only she can do. The song starts to slowly unfurl near the tail end of the track as these lush and tense string arrangements come in, invoking memories of Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool. Juan’s deep voice allows some passages to sound almost like an incantation, something that this song could very well be, as lyrically there’s a lot of symbolism of “dark gold,” runes, and the universe of the arcane. “Tatuaje” makes us feel excited about the direction Juan Ibarlucía has taken and we are certainly looking forward to hearing what other weird and off-kilter ideas he’s rummaging in his mind.
Amelia – “The Prince of Yellow Daisies”
“‘Cause meeting him was dying and waking up in heaven.” “The Prince of Yellow Daisies” is the second track on Amelia‘s sophomore album Heavenly. Its 9 tracks tell the story of a Lisa Frank-inspired fantastical romance, bringing the expression “everything is rainbows and butterflies” to the next level. While the other tracks on the album lean toward the lighter, poppier, more bubblegum side of this concept, “The Prince of Yellow Daisies” conveys a stoic sort of seriousness, making it clear that this romance goes far beyond teenage infatuation. It’s a spiritual, eternal, love that has spanned multiple lifetimes and dimensions. Before the rainbow comes the storm, and this song, both lyrically and sonically, speaks to fact as well, with a gradual and subdued buildup, a sigh, and a swelling climax that culminates with the conclusion, “you’re my nirvana.”
Luciferica – “Warlord”
First of all, I’d like to give you a few recommendations before you start listening to this song. If you’re sitting down, hang on to your seat. If you are standing, try to spread your legs a bit and hold your ground. Because what you are about to listen to is bound to blow you away. The new album by Luciferica, Wailing War, is here to tear shit up. It consists of five energetic songs that delight us with a dense. dark atmosphere transporting us to snowy Norwegian mountains (by way of the Río de la Plata). The instrumentation is classic: drums, bass, guitar and vocals, an explosive combination if we add the Drop-C tuning that intensifies the doom aesthetic of the band. If you are interested in raging distortions and slowdown tempos, this album is definitely for you.
Delfina Campos – “Fases”
Labels can sometimes be useful to navigate the world around us, but they can also do more harm than good, especially when applied to other human beings. Such is the message of “Fases,” the first single from singer-songwriter Delfina Campos’s upcoming studio debut album Cómo Bailan los Demás. Written on a grand piano at her ex’s place, “Fases” is a powerful reflection on the dangers of pigeonholing people, as well as an urgent plea to leave behind our superficial preconceptions of others and accept life in its vast complexity. Unlike the rest of the album, which adopts a more electronic approach, “Fases” was recorded with a full band in a studio, creating an organic palette of sounds that perfectly suit the track’s warm feel.
Lucas Martí – “Todos Sabemos Coger”
When we first heard of this song, we immediately found ourselves thinking “please be good, please be good, please be good.” Because we were really into the idea of featuring a song with a title that translates to “we all know how to fuck,” but our main criteria for selection is musical excellence. We’re happy to report that the track meets that criteria and more; it’s a delightfully off-kilter jaunt that incorporates dreamy synths, snappy beats, and sudden blasts of distorted power chords. Its contours are tricky to get a sense of, but once you settle into the fact that its sudden rhythmic shifts are baked into the cake, you start to really enjoy it.
Eliseo – “xo”
We’re suckers for a slow-jam, and this smooth-as-silk after-hours guitar-driven ballad by Eliseo sits in the comfortable intersection between 2010s neo-soul (as evinced by the songs jazz-tinged guitar line) and His Royal Badness himself, Prince. With a chorus melody that faintly recalls Alicia Keys’s “If I Ain’t Got You,” this is a song that manages to feel timeless and fresh at the same time. Perusing Eliseo’s internet presence, it appears the young artist has achieved a following through his use of social media and is a relative newcomer to the world of music, “xo” being his first-ever single. The smokey, ambrosial tune is a fantastic introductory card to the world, and he now has our attention.
Rosa Profunda – “Delfos”
We wrap things up with “Delfos” by Rosa Profunda; a lush nighttime jam, with hushed vocal melodies pressing up to either side of your stereo soundscape while a bassy, hypnotic groove pushes the song along. Chopped up saxophone samples pop up throughout, adding to the song’s psychedelic noir atmosphere, and the chorus kicks into a lovely murky haze. The Cordoba natives hit it out of the park with this addictive release.
Every month, we ask a musician from the local scene to pick a favorite recent release they want to share. This month, we asked Luciano Fortuny, bassist for Bie Musica and Subeibaja Electrico.
Feli Colina – “Chakatrunka”
In a great example of how one can be innovative while sticking to one’s roots, “Chakatrunka” is one of the 2 Feli Colina songs from her upcoming album El Valle Encantado. Using a hypnotic fusion of folkloric rhythm with urban beat, the track is anchored on a bass vamp to which a bass drum and piano are added to create a perfect atmosphere for the story interpreted in a stripped down and raw way by the Salta native. The song concludes with a recitation by Valentina Brillantina, which is an excerpt from her book Algún día tendremos dinero. “Chakatrunka” accompanied by the track “Mi Caballo,” can also be seen as a short film on YouTube.