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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.
Welcome to a new installment of La La Lista’s Monthly Music Roundup! Every month, the many-tendriled monster that is the La La Lista Music Staff puts its various hungry ears to the ground to find the very best music released by the local independent scene. And then, through a process too disgusting to detail in writing, we make it available to you in a nifty little list that employs an obscene amount of adjectives. And this is where we are.
This month is no different, featuring releases that go from synth-happy pop to guitar-heavy rock to strange amorphous jazz improvisations — truly a nice little representation of the rich and varied sounds the independent Argentine music scene gives us every month. So let’s dig in.
Remember: we do this (just about) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no guarantees that we’ll pick it for the column, but we will listen with open eyes and open hearts.
Júpiter en Casa – “Una Verdad Parcial”
Júpiter en Casa, songwriter and audiovisual producer from Gualeguaychú, currently based in Buenos Aires, brings us her fifth single, “Una verdad parcial” (a partial truth). What drew us to this song is its irrevocable ear-wormyness; just from listening to the short excerpt she posted on Instagram upon releasing it, Jupi had us singing this song for a whole week before we even got a chance to listen to it from beginning to end. And when we finally did, we came to find that the entire song is made up of hooks. We are actually not kidding, they really should put a warning label on it or something, it becomes a habit, it will definitely take years off your life, it is definitely not good for you (hace mal, as the lyrics say), and what’s more, it will remind you that questioning that which is not good for you, might not be so good for you either.
Nuwanliss – “Sentir Verdad”
It feels impossible to talk about “Sentir Verdad” without also talking about the eerie and entrancing music video that accompanies it. But considering that Nuwanliss self-describes as an “internet multimedia artist” on their Spotify profile, we feel validated in this approach. Beginning with ominous synths and static crackles that fold into a relaxed cuatro strum, the contrasting sonic directions are accompanied by a dizzying swirl of images – water, then static, then Nuwanliss in the dark, mirroring and folding into themselves before making prolonged eye contact as the song hits its stride. By the time the electronic drums kick in with a hearty dose of R&B swagger, the artist is lighting candles, preparing a ritual centered around a vaginal headpiece that finally adorns the artist’s forehead. “La oracion de un libre camino” they intone (with just a touch of Portishead), staring into the sea as if calling onto some watery deity, praying for liberation from the the past obsessions, loves, and wounds holding them back.
Camila Buch ft. Mora Navarro – “En Una”
Singer and composer Camila Buch came out of nowhere with this bouncy wee number featuring the breathy delicate stabs of Mora Navarro. The track starts with minimalist drums as the foundation for lightly sprinkled synths carrying you into her first chorus, which launches into an oscillating loop with a simplistic snare rolls bridging the gap into a very head-bopping chorus before moving into a resolving soulful close before returning to the verse. It feels at times like it’s moving in many directions all at once yet is pulled together by catchy lyrics and phrasing. This allows “En Una“ to effortlessly glide through these different elements. Much like the phrase “En Una” (“on one”), it can be interpreted in many ways, while pointing to a certain sense of overwhelming emotion.
Sofía Naara – “Bucón”
Sofía Naara is one of our favorite musicians in the local scene, not only due to her role as drummer and vocalist in the mighty MUGRE (a power-trio that also includes Mariana Michi and Jazmín Esquivel), but also due to her previous projects such as Ohdiosa and one-off releases such as “Raíz (Mi Propio Invento)”. There’s a sense of mystery in her music, backed by a strong melodic sophistication. Naara has just released her new album Las Torpezas, and before you go off to find it on a streaming platform, you should know that (at least for now) she’s made the album available exclusively for sale through her website. A gutsy move for 2022, but one that we wouldn’t mind more artists attempting. Thankfully, she has made the album’s first and only single, “Bucón,” available to stream. And it’s a beautiful piece of work, opening with syncopated palm-muted power chords that give way to a percussive and harmonically rich song that’s at once welcoming and slightly unnerving. Definitely whets your appetite for what is sure to be a fantastic album.
Perro Segovia – “Antes De Despertar”
Perro Segovia’s “Antes de Despertar” is what happens when you take a lo-fi hip-hop tune and throw in vocals to it that actually work and add to the experience. Coming off his latest album titled Cangrejo (in reference to his sun sign in the zodiac), the tune features lush chord progressions and some light instrumental embellishments in the form of sparse guitar lines and soft synth pad effects. The standout is definitely Leandro Segovia’s sweet and airy vocal delivery that jives with the whole “Before waking up” concept. If you’re into jazzy and chill songs that you can listen to while traveling or love-making (yes, it would work in both cases), then “Antes de Despertar” is a great introduction to Perro Segovia’s work. We’re eager to see what this and other songs sound like live since he’ll be presenting his new album by the end of the month. We’ll keep you all posted when that happens.
Parásito Paraíso – “Otro Mood”
Parásito Paraíso is a project by led by frontman Tomás Parásito. The group’s music could be described as a kind of bouyant indie rock that carries the spirit of musicians like Ric Ocasek and Jeff Rosenstock, with sharp synth lines underlining every melodic hook (of which there are plenty). The group’s second album, cheekily titled Producto, brings this vision even further to the forefront. The track “Otro Mood” is a great showcase for the album’s entire aesthetic, with a high-energy beat and power chords reminiscent of late-80s indie rock pulled into the world of contemporary Argentine music. A catchy chord progression, ear-candy synth arrangements, and an overall winsome and refreshing feel. A great track from a great album.
Lumen – “Cuba”
We love a song that stops, starts, changes rhythms halfway through, and brings it back around. That is if the artist manages to do so in a way that feels natural to the song and not like a patched-together mishmash. Thankfully, Lumen manages to make it work with their track “Cuba,” a track that feels less like several pasted-together pieces of song and more like a single cohesive musical experience. Lumen is a bright young band, only forming in 2021 after Camila Cantero joined forces with Melisa Traid, Pablo Eguibar, and Alberto Orieta. And yet the songs the group has made available feel fully formed and lived-in. “Cuba” has parts that sound like math-rock, parts that sound like 90s indie, and parts that sound like nothing you’ve heard. With the group’s unique mix of Spanish guitar and traditional rock elements, they definitely set themselves apart from the crowd sonically. Here’s looking forward to what else they have to offer.
Máze – “Tiempo Necesario”
In hushed tones in the dive bars of zona oeste, we heard talk about a young man whose artistic advent would supposedly mean the salvation of the underground itself. If he only had the time necessary to bring his project to fruition, we might find out whether or not this is an exaggeration. But, in his first material released on Spotify, the single “Tiempo Necesario” (time necessary), Máze (Santiago Mazzeo) seems to recognize, however nascent of an idea it may be, that that which one is not able to have or be at a certain point in time, mysteriously, can be materialized through song. The identity struggle between a current reality and a dream projected into the future occurs within oneself, and the tightrope between the two becomes thinner and thinner, and thereby, more and more precarious. It’s easy to fall. With this first release, Máze externalizes the thinking that will help stabilize his path. We’ll be looking out for his next steps.
Ariel Invernizzi, Camila Nebbia, Raian Valença, Martín Allende – “CTM”
We wrap things up with a little bit of glorious chaos. “CTM” is an improvisational noise piece that manages to fuse elements of the harshest two-chord punk rock with the avant-garde stylings of Naked City, creating a work of brilliant cacophony and catharsis. Anchored by the expressive saxophone of Camila Nebbia, the track feels like it’s growing in various different directions and once, all the while sounding claustrophobic and contained. It’s a blast of triumphant noise that feels messy in the very best way.