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Howdy, music lovers. We know, we know, it’s already March, and you’re probably thinking, “Hey, La La Lista, where the hell have you been? We’ve been waiting for your annual list of the best local albums from 2022!” First of all, please calm down. Secondly, rejoice! We are finally ready to present our favorite releases from the year that just flew right by.
You see, 2022 was a year of surprises, experimentation, and discovery. It was a year that challenged us, moved us, and inspired us. And we didn’t want to rush through it or miss any of the gems that emerged from the local independent scene in Buenos Aires and beyond. We needed some time to properly digest and savor all the amazing music that was released, and to give each album the attention it deserves.
But trust us, it was worth the wait. We heard everything from genre-bending fusion to introspective singer-songwriter fare, from dancefloor-ready beats to thought-provoking social commentary. We were blown away by the creativity and originality of the artists who released albums in 2022, and we’re excited to share our favorites with you.
What do we call “local albums?” As usual, our definition of “local” encompasses all of Argentina, and we are referring to artists who are active within the Argentine scene. So if a band is made up entirely of immigrants but they’re part of the local scene, they’re fair game for this listing. Also, we’re not afraid to blur the lines between EPs and LPs. Because let’s face it, in the digital age, formats are just labels – it’s the music that counts.
We hope you enjoy our selections, and as always, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the independent music scene in Buenos Aires and beyond. Let’s keep the good vibes flowing, and keep supporting the artists who make our hearts sing. So without further ado, let’s dive into the La La Lista picks for the best local albums of 2022.
Aromo – El Ricuerdo
Aromo is a trio known for their melding of autochthonous folk music of Latin America with an indie sensibility, and their 2022 release El Ricuerdo finds the group at their very best. A follow-up to their self-titled EP from 2021, the album is a musical adaptation of a book of poetry by Isabel Cascallares Gutiérrez. It showcases the trio’s exceptional talent for crafting graceful and effortless songs that are beautifully complemented by the poetic lyrics.
The sonic qualities of the album are remarkable, featuring a predominantly acoustic sound that is deep, resonant, and spacious. Aromo’s ability to mix various traditional folk music of Argentina and neighboring regions with a modern twist makes El Ricuerdo unique and captivating. The album’s instrumentation is exquisite, and the production quality is downright lush.
The gorgeous title track sets the tone for the album, showcasing the trio’s use of meandering Bandoneon lines that evoke both Celtic and Andean traditions. “Coqueando” follows, a quiet and tender ballad that highlights the trio’s vocal harmonies and acoustic instrumentation. “Fue en el Cruce del Camino” features stately piano playing to create an affecting lullaby.
Overall, El Ricuerdo is an outstanding album that showcases Aromo’s exceptional musicianship and their ability to bring traditional sounds into the present day. This album is a must-listen for fans of Duo Salteño, Mercedes Sosa, and Atahualpa Yupanqui, as well as anyone who appreciates beautiful, soulful music. The blending of traditional folk music and contemporary sounds is masterfully executed, creating a unique and captivating listening experience.
Nahuel Briones – Milagros Inútiles
If ever there was an album to capture the panoply of bizarre that was 2022, Milagros Inútiles by Nahuel Briones is it. On his fifth solo album, the artist stays true to his MO, fusing various styles and creating beautifully idiosyncratic songs filed with moments of beauty, chaos, confusion, and dread.
The album opens with the song “Marciano Abandonado,” a bizarre and surreal track that features glitchy beats, scratches, and seemingly random stabs of power chords, accompanying Briones’s paranoid rapping before briefly transitioning into something akin to The Beatles. The song features absurd lyrics and an otherworldly feel that sets the tone for the rest of the album.
“El Gemelo Que Encerramos en el Sótano” has a Misfits punk swagger that briefly transitions into a 1950s rock and roll pastiche. “Internet Nos Cagó” is built around a choppy marching rhythm that drives the song forward. “Sitcom” is as close as the album comes to a catchy pop song, with a section near the end that is genuinely emotional as Briones sings “pienso mucho en vos” (“I think about you a lot”).
These songs are all unusual and interesting, scratching the brain in intriguing ways. The album takes unexpected turns, and there are multiple moments when you hear arrangement touches that make you chuckle for their sheer audacity. Nahuel Briones continues to carve out a space for himself as one of the most idiosyncratic and interesting artists in the scene.
Delfina Campos – Cómo Bailan los Demás
Picture a packed Vorterix theater teeming with feverish Mitski fans impatiently clamoring to see their favorite singer. A daunting proposition for any opening act. But singer and songwriter Delfina Campos came out and over the course of a brief set was able to win the audience over with her brand of after-hours pop music, gracefully dominating the stage and winning over the crowd. She was already on our radar as a rising talent, but her set at Vorterix cemented her in our eyes as an incredible singer and songwriter.
Delfina Campos’s debut album, Cómo Bailan los Demás, is a fantastic showcase for her undeniable talent. The album is an emotional journey that takes the listener through the darkness of personal drama through the filter of washed-out city lights at night. A lot of trip-hop influences are evident throughout, with a pervading feeling of velvety smoothness. The opening song, “Detrás del Espejo,” is a brilliant introduction, presenting both the sonic and the emotional throughlines of the album.
“Hemofilia” is a standout track with its gorgeous rain-soaked arrangement, while “Secretos” injects a funk-influenced sound without compromising the overall aesthetic. There are many interesting sounds throughout the album, with beats that sound unique and original rather than recycled from elsewhere. “Romance con la Luna” features a very low, barely perceptible rumble of an audience running below it, adding a touch of ambiance that complements the song’s lovely lilting melody. Cómo Bailan los Demás is a brilliantly cohesive album with a very clear sonic identity and aesthetic. Suitable for long nighttime drives pondering the evening’s follies.
Chechi de Marcos – Cecilia
Cecilia, the album by singer-songwriter Chechi De Marcos, is a stunning showcase of her prowess and musical versatility. The album is largely acoustic-based, but there is much more to this album than meets the eye. From the opening track, “No Me Quieras Tanto” (a collaboration with Luca Bocci) it’s clear that the songwriting is unusually sharp, with arrangements are lush and beautiful.
One standout track on the album is “Por Vos Nada”, which introduces new wave influences with a dynamic, driving beat in the verses that builds up to a fun, sing-songy chorus. The song is a perfect example of De Marcos’ ability to seamlessly blend different genres and create something entirely unique. “La Sorpresa” is another gem on the album, featuring a Motown beat supporting a gorgeous, poppy song with charming keyboard flourishes (and even a harpsichord!). The layers of backing vocals provide the song with a dreamy quality that is both captivating and uplifting.
But perhaps the most stunning track on the album is “Las Cosas Simples”, a ballad with an irresistible slide guitar solo that showcases De Marcos’ emotive abilities as a performer and emotional depth as a songwriter. The song is a perfect example of the power of simplicity and the beauty of stripped-down arrangements.
Finally, the album closes with “Mirar Las Nubes”, a track that features off-kilter production touches, including vocal samples, chopped-up guitar, and sudden unexpected musical flourishes throughout. A dynamic and impactful ending, leaving a lasting impression and serving as a perfect bookend to this powerhouse of an album.
Diciembre de 2001 – Deshacer
Diciembre de 2001‘s album Deshacer is a testament to the longevity of shoegaze, a niche genre that has been going strong for almost four decades since its inception in the late ’80s. The album very clearly features the influence of shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine, employing all the trademark elements of the genre and injecting it with their own idiosyncrasies to create an explosive piece of music. From the reverb-drenched vocals buried deep in the mix to the brutal sway of guitar textures, propulsive drumming, and minimal lyrics, the album conveys a sense of romantic frustration and disappointment that is a hallmark of this style.
Diciembre de 2001 is the personal project of drummer Jano Castro, and they have been steadily releasing music via their Bandcamp since July 2020. Tracks like “Azul” harken back to the early 90s, while more experimental pieces such as tracks “(I)”, “(II)”, and “(III)” feel like alien transmissions crackling in from distant galaxies. This only adds to the album’s charm, creating a sound that is both raw and beautiful. “Sensible,” one of the standout tracks on the album, injects a raw punk aggression that recalls the more chaotic days of Sonic Youth.
The album’s sonics are blissfully washed-out, in the best possible way, and the deliberately gritty production sound blends the individual color and detail of every musical element with the bleed-through of amplifiers and drums to create a continuous wall of sound. It’s a very satisfying listening experience from beginning to end.
Diente de Madera – Sand
A lot has changed for Diente de Madera since he wrote his last EP (Nadadura, 2016). Previously deep in the rough of Appalachian Drone, this latest release finds New Jersey transplant Jonah Schwartz in a softer place. We could attribute this mellowing to the birth of 2 beloved daughters, a world-shaking pandemic, or maybe just time – but regardless of the cause, it’s a gorgeous record that’s ideal for the mornings we’re slow to shake off. Take album opener “When I Was Just A Girl”: a lilting folk ditty, lovingly warmed with the 2-part harmonies of Betty Blight, reverb-heavy guitar, and a mournful saxophone swinging in an out of earshot. It’s hard to imagine a better song to greet the day – but there’s sadness here too.
In August 2022, singer-songwriter Karina Vismara passed away. A truly gifted songwriter with an unearthly, gorgeous voice that paired perfectly with her impeccable guitar playing, her untimely passing was and is an immeasurable loss to both the local scene and folk music in general. One of her last collaborations finds its home here in “Ventana.” Sonically, “Ventana” is a soft balm for this loss. With lilting three-part harmonies and guitar finger-picking that mutates into the kazoo-like buzzing of the chorus, it’s a lullaby for a moment now lost to time.
The second half of the EP returns to more familiar territory for Schwartz – the instrumental meditation of “Le Mat” clears the way for the drone of “Blood Red Roses,” a cathartic and wild 8 minute dirge – too heavy to hold, too painful to let go. We know the feeling.
El Féral – Quemalo
El Féral, the artistic persona of musician Fernando De Marco, has unleashed an auditory odyssey with his latest album, Quemalo. Seamlessly blending a wide variety of styles, this musical adventure serves up an eclectic yet harmonious listening experience.
Standout track “Olas de Amor” is a perfect example of De Marco’s ability to synthesize disparate sounds. It starts with a spacey heavy reverb guitar line, evoking jangle pop vibes, before taking a surprising detour into a sultry, slow-paced beat. Delicate key stabs and a lush string section accompany Marco’s soulful voice, resulting in a jazzy, funky pop concoction infused with psychedelic undertones.
Throughout its duration, the album masterfully melds programmed beats and synthesizers with organic elements like acoustic guitar and live drums. El Féral’s distinctive voice is sometimes autotuned to create an otherworldly effect, adding another layer of intrigue to the sonic landscape. Album opener “Siempre Algo” is a mid-tempo number that expertly straddles the line between smooth and menacing. In contrast, “Cómo y Cuándo” is a tender ballad that showcases the talents of singer-songwriter Carolina Donati. This track is built around a twinkling acoustic guitar hook, morphing from intimate to expansive as it progresses.
On “Bien Conmigo,” El Féral dives into the realm of confessional pop songwriting, exploring romantic longing through relatable lyrics and a laid-back melody. Meanwhile, “Ya Está Bien” serves up a soulful slow-burn reminiscent of Prince, complete with a blistering electric guitar solo. Finally, the title track, “Quemalo,” brings the album to a thrilling conclusion as the most energetic song on the record. This intense finale leaves listeners eager for more of El Féral’s unique, genre-defying sound.
Fin del Mundo – La Ciudad Que Dejamos
Fin del Mundo‘s latest EP, La Ciudad Que Dejamos, is a tour de force that showcases the band’s exceptional talent and creativity. The album features four tracks that blend dream pop with post-rock, resulting in an ethereal and atmospheric sound that will leave you breathless. “Hacia Los Bosques,” the opener, sets the tone for the rest of the EP, with its peppy yet deeply nostalgic sound. The reverb-drenched ambient sounds create a dreamlike atmosphere that envelops the listener. The way the dynamics change from a soothing dark melody to a propelling distorted guitar line from one movement to the other is awe-inspiring.
The EP’s second track, “El Próximo Verano,” feels hopeful and vibrant, with a shimmering lead guitar and subtle synth touches that complement the song’s sense of romanticism. The track is a great showcase for the band’s versatility, as they effortlessly switch between dreamy, atmospheric soundscapes and upbeat, poppy melodies. “Desvelo,” on the other hand, is a haunting waltz with the grandeur and building intensity of a post-rock track. The melody is gorgeous and ethereal, gliding over the music like a shooting star flying over the aurora borealis. The EP’s final track, “El Incendio,” is an epic that changes tempo and feel several times, culminating in an explosive climax that ends the album on an awe-inspiring note.
Overall, La Ciudad Que Dejamos is a stunning achievement from Fin del Mundo, a sophomore effort that manages to sound both ethereal and powerful. Texture and production-wise, it’s a huge step forward for this talented young group, and we strongly encourage everybody to give this brand new release a spin.
Gente Conversando – Gente Conversando vs. La Industria Musical
From the opening track “La Intimidad,” it’s clear that Gente Conversando is not interested in conforming to any particular genre or sound. The track starts with a few flute stabs and a Yo La Tengo-esque rhythm section before transitioning into a heady instrumental section that locks in with the initial groove. The use of dialogue throughout the album adds a feeling of surrealism that is very appealing and helps to create a unique listening experience.
The track “Borracho en el Babyshower” stands out with its bassy, groovy sound that features a menacing feel and even some dub influence. The use of spacey guitar tones and the overall production make the song feel like it could fit perfectly on a David Lynch soundtrack. “La Diva” is another standout track that features a fun, sardonic sound with a cinematic feel. The track has a great sense of humor and features a catchy chorus that will stick in your head long after the song has ended.
“Los Psicópatas” is a track that manages to sound emotional and affecting while also feeling like a slam poetry session over a shoegaze band practice two rooms over. The song’s unique sound is a testament to the band’s willingness to experiment with different sounds and styles. Meanwhile, “La Exposición” builds like a Happy Mondays song while maintaining a fun groove throughout. The song features some great textural work and feels like a perfect encapsulation of the band’s sound, before ending with a startling abruptness.
Overall, Gente Conversando Vs La Industria Musical is a humorous, bizarre, and extremely compelling journey. The use of dialogue and the overall production add to the surreal feel of the album, and the band’s willingness to experiment with different sounds and styles makes each track feel like a unique listening experience while also being part of a (very unique) whole.
Haien – Olas
Olas, the captivating sophomore album by singer-songwriter Haien, takes listeners on a delightful and unexpected journey. Following her tenure as the lead singer of legendary Argentine synth-pop group Adicta, Haien has crafted an album brimming with rich melodies and idiosyncratic tunes that showcase her evolution as a pop songwriter.
The opening track, “Adrenalina y Corazón,” sets the tone for the album with its lush, ethereal intro that swiftly transitions into a shimmering 1980s-inspired pop sound. Waves of synths and vibrant guitar leads punctuate this tale of entwined emotion and excitement. “Un Diamante” offers a sparkling blend of effervescence and nostalgia, drawing comparisons to Los Besos. “Cables,” a standout track on the album, masterfully weaves together influences from 1990s trip-hop and French melodicism. The verses lure you in before bursting into a more assertive chorus featuring sudden jabs of brass.
“Estrella Fugaz,” a more intimate and introspective song, revolves around an acoustic guitar and explores the joy of infatuation. Subtle sounds peppered throughout the mix create a truly immersive experience for the listener. As you venture further into Olas, “Nuevos Paradigmas” presents a sonic landscape reminiscent of Air‘s Talkie Walkie. Haien’s expressive vocals act as a beacon, guiding listeners through the song’s turbulent yet intriguing terrain. Olas is a beautifully crafted and engaging album that showcases Haien’s growth as an artist; a must-listen for anyone seeking a fresh and immersive pop experience.
Santi Grandone – M.A.L.A.
M.A.L.A., the latest album by Santi Grandone, is a masterful exploration of the strange and the familiar, effortlessly blending both elements into a captivating collection of bedroom pop tunes, a bewitching collection of songs that delve into the quirky and the introspective. The album’s production is intentionally sparse, with Grandone’s voice so high up in the mix that it feels like he’s singing right into your ear. This intimate quality adds to the album’s unique charm and allure.
Kicking off the album, “Gato Negro” presents a dark, claustrophobic atmosphere reminiscent of a mutant version of 60s garage rock. In contrast, “Matar a la Araña” manages to be both unsettling and fun to listen to, further demonstrating Grandone’s range as an artist. “Durmiendo Mal,” a standout track on the album, encapsulates the all-too-relatable experience of sleepless nights filled with restless thoughts. Grandone’s ability to convey this feeling both lyrically and musically, while still crafting an irresistibly catchy tune, is a testament to his songwriting prowess.
“Frutilla” teeters on the edge of blues territory but takes a detour into wonderfully weird terrain, echoing the bluesy collaborations between Tom Waits and Marc Ribot. Meanwhile, “Lago de Tus Ojos” entrances listeners with its slinky bassline and soothing synth backdrop, showcasing Grandone’s ability to create an alluring sonic experience.
The album concludes with “Que Linda Mañana,” which appears to be the thematic follow-up to “Durmiendo Mal.” This closing track signifies the arrival of morning light and the end of sleepless torment, providing a fitting resolution to the album’s narrative arc.
Isla Mujeres – Correr Adentro
La Plata-based trio Isla Mujeres has made a triumphant return with their album Correr Adentro, a beautifully crafted collection of silky-smooth nighttime jams. Kicking off the album with the feverish and obsessive “Esperándote,” the band transports us into a world of romantic longing, complete with echoey guitar chords, deep basslines, and distorted human voices that seem to hover just on the edge of recognition.
The entire album is an emotional rollercoaster, with intriguing and relatable lyrics that draw listeners in. “Lento,” for example, is a danceable pop anthem packed with sudden stabs of synths and an infectious driving rhythm that dares you to keep still. The collaboration with fellow musician Anyi on “Acuario” adds an extra dimension to the album, as an acoustic guitar track blossoms into a beautiful arrangement of bubbly synths.
Correr Adentro‘s title track is a simmering dance tune that weaves together distorted vocals and playful bleep-bloop keyboard sounds to create an irresistible groove. Meanwhile, tracks like “Poder” and “Esta Noche” bring a touch of intensity to the album, leaning more towards the rock side with their driving basslines, pounding drums, and an overarching sense of nervous excitement.
The band isn’t afraid to experiment with different rhythms and styles, as evidenced by “Asfalto,” which takes the dembo rhythm and slows it down, crafting a dreamy and dark soundscape. Finally, “¿Hace Falta Que Te Lo Diga?” serves as an off-kilter instrumental jam that brings the album to a satisfying close, leaving listeners with a sense of having traveled through the varied and intricate soundscapes of Isla Mujeres’ world.
Los Subtitulos – Espectador Entra a Escena
Los Subtitulos are an indie noir band known for their ability to infiltrate our psyche and leave a lasting impression, and they’ve outdone themselves with their full-length album Espectador Entra a Escena. This musical gem is a masterful blend of haunting melodies, evocative lyrics, and hypnotic rhythms that will lead you on a journey of existential exploration.
The album opener, “Domingo Negro,” is a prime example of the band’s prowess, as it teems with dread and anxiety, while gracefully unfolding into an elegant, lilting chorus that belies the darkness beneath. As you continue to delve into the album, you’ll find yourself drawn into the desert-rock territory of tracks like “Burocracia” and “Pulmón de Manzana,” where hazy chords and distant keyboards create an atmosphere of eerie tranquility.
But don’t let the slower tracks lull you into a false sense of security, as the album picks up the pace with tense, kinetic, and upbeat songs like “Muerto” and “Cinturón y Cordones.” These tracks inject a touch of psychedelia into the mix, adding another layer of complexity to an already rich tapestry of sound. Meanwhile, tracks like “Futuro,” invite listeners to dance their way into a bleaker age with an irresistible beat and captivating melody.
In short, Los Subtitulos have crafted a truly exceptional album with Espectador Entra a Escena. It’s a musical journey that will pull you in with its multifaceted soundscapes, engage your emotions with its compelling themes, and leave you wanting more.
Maca Mona Mu – KELP
Maca Mona Mu is one of our favorite singers and songwriters around right now, and her new album KELP points towards a continuation (and refinement) of her characteristic style, steeped in drama and pathos. Throughout the album, Mona Mu sounds like she feels the emotion of each song profoundly, inhabiting every lyric, which often comes across as monologues brimming with unbridled emotion. It’s a very layered and lushly produced album that explores a wide range of sounds and emotions.
“La Cobardía” is both the first single from the album and the opening track. Maca Mona Mu throws out a quick succession of rich and interesting musical ideas within its unusually short runtime (the track is only a minute and a half long, as if making a point about conciseness). While it opens as a gently plucked acoustic-guitar-and-vocals folk song, any notion of minimalism is immediately thrown out the window when the song’s tribal drum beat and lush strings come crashing in, with the singer’s vocals quickly turning more confrontational and urgent.
The album’s other tracks continue to showcase Mona Mu’s talent for crafting emotional, intricately arranged songs. The arrangements are all extraordiary: “Estoy Enojada” features a subtle horn that colors the song just right, without overpowering the sound. “Lo Sabe Mi Mamá” has absolutely gorgeous orchestration, with some of the most beautiful string arrangements we’ve heard in recent memory, and a dramatic wind section masterfully moving the song along. “Riachuelo” brings some elements of digital distortion that take the song to a whole new emotional space, and “Qué Es Irse” features guest vocals by Agustina Paz and brings the album to a beautiful, emotional close.
Overall, KELP is a stunning album that showcases Maca Mona Mu’s strengths as an artist. From the opening notes of “La Cobardía” to the final moments of “Qué Es Irse,” it’s an album that demands your attention and rewards repeated listens.
Lucas Martí – La Memoria de un Kiss
Lucas Martí’s La Memoria de Un Kiss is a delightful concoction of off-kilter musical arrangements, witty lyrics, and innovative sounds . When we first encountered the track with the provocative title translating to “we all know how to f**k,” we hoped it would meet our high standards for musical excellence. Thankfully, it exceeded our expectations with its dreamy synths, snappy beats, and sudden blasts of distorted power chords. Now we only needed the rest of the album to be just as good.
And thankfully, the album delivers. It opens with the ingenious and instantly gripping sort-of-title-track “La Memoria de un Beso,” a sparse tune featuring Lucas Martí’s breathless falsetto harmonizing with Manuela Mantero. It’s hard not to compare this great song with the pop group Miranda!. As the song progresses, the sonic landscape fills out with dreamy synth and a captivating guitar lead.
“Tiki Tiki Constante” offers a delightfully off-kilter and energetic pop track about clinging to the person who brings you comfort in a chaotic and unforgiving world. La Memoria de Un Kiss never loses its sense of humor, as evidenced by the bawdy and hilarious lyrics in songs like “Pegados Como Perros,” which draws a parallel between romantic attachment and the knotting between dogs after sex. “Con Vos y Ahora” is an intriguing track that at times sounds like a chopped-up and deeply disfigured reggaeton – and that’s definitely a good thing. The hushed and intimate “Ángel” stands out as a potential favorite on the album, with its layers of vocal harmonies and a zigzaggy yet deeply melodic and enjoyable melody.
In summary, La Memoria de Un Kiss is a wildly creative, fun, and at times surprisingly poignant and romantic album. Give it a listen and let yourself be grabbed by its oddball charms.
Mi Amigo Invencible – Isla de Oro
Isla de Oro, the latest release from Mendoza-based indie rockers Mi Amigo Invencible, is a delightful blend of carefully crafted arrangements, fun vibes, and captivating lyrics. Drawing inspiration from the pop-rock of the 1960s, Isla de Oro is a more upbeat and sunny offering compared to the band’s previous release, the much-lauded Dutsiland. Despite being recorded in just eight days, the songs feel fully fleshed-out and lived-in, though they also display an undeniable sense of spontaneity and fun permeating the performances.
A standout track, “Impecable,” showcases the band’s attention to detail and off-kilter sensibilities, with its choppy piano, slide guitar, unexpected percussion, and dramatic string samples. Combining themes of hesitation, yearning, and concealed emotions, “Impecable” achieves a delicate balance between being tightly wound and remarkably laid back.
The album’s backbone is the exceptional bass playing by Lucila Pivetta (of the band Ruiseñora), which anchors the music throughout. Additionally, Isla de Oro features collaborations with prominent members of the local scene, such as Diosque on “Mapa” and Paula Trama (of Los Besos) on “Accidentes Geográficos.” Isla de Oro is a testament to Mi Amigo Invencible’s ability to create an album that is both fun and artistically rich.
Sofía Naara – Las Torpezas
Las Torpezas, the latest offering from multifaceted musician Sofía Naara, is a meticulously crafted work of art that showcases her impressive range and melodic sophistication. Diverging from the fun-first power-pop of her project MUGRE, Las Torpezas stands as a testament to Naara’s unique artistic vision.
The album, which has been carefully constructed over several years, features intricate designs and compositions that work together harmoniously. Throughout Las Torpezas, percussion plays a significant role, with a variety of unexpected sounds augmenting the songs. The title track starts with a slow burn, eventually morphing into an uptempo showcase for Sofía’s rhythmic and fast-paced lyrics.
“Duna,” a piano-based track, hypnotizes listeners, while “Reto” is a dark and sultry exploration of the thrills and horrors of infatuation. The contrabass and well-placed strings heighten the drama and tension, as Sofía sings “Me gustas, me das curiosidad” (“I like you, I’m curious about you”). “Poeta” is an emotional ballad adorned with harps and sweeping strings, and the album also features moments of bold experimentation. “La Certeza” is a dissonant, jazzy number with a spoken-word section in German, while “Derrames” showcases stunning minimalism. The lead single “Bucón” features syncopated palm-muted power chords that transition into a harmonically rich and intriguing track, both welcoming and slightly unnerving.
The album closes with the incredible “La Transformación del Mar (Ltdm),” a masterpiece that ties together various sonic elements for a triumphant climax. Overall, Las Torpezas is a rich and captivating album that demonstrates Sofía Naara’s immense talent and creativity, solidifying her place as one of the local scene’s most compelling artists. Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview with Sofía, where we discussed the recording of the album as well as her upcoming shows.
Perro Segovia – Cangrejo
One of my favorite things about music is its ability to paint vivid, emotive pictures in our minds. It’s this ability to evoke sensations and emotions that make certain albums stand out from the crowd. A recent example from the local scene is Cangrejo, the latest release from local artist Leandro Segovia, better known by his nom-de-plume Perro Segovia. This delightful blend of lo-fi hip-hop, jazzy tunes, and soothing melodies is perfect for both traveling and intimate moments, transporting listeners to a dreamy, sun-kissed world of their own.
The album opens with the lovely “Mate,” immersing the listener in a beachy ambiance, followed by a melancholic yet charming melody. As the song gains momentum, it never loses its focus on celebrating small, intimate moments, such as sharing yerba mate with a special someone. The standout track, “Antes de Despertar,” showcases lush chord progressions, sparse guitar lines, and soft synth pad effects, all complemented by Segovia’s sweet and airy vocals.
From the sun-kissed, hazy vibe of “Cartas: con Brendi” to the dreamy atmosphere created by the trap beat and vocoder in “Reset,” Cangrejo is a mostly placid and easygoing experience. While the album is soothing and relaxing, it never feels lightweight or disposable. Packed with interesting sounds and emotionally poignant songwriting, the album is a concise, cohesive listening experience that vividly paints a serene picture in the mind of the listener.
Los Peyotes – Vírgenes
If you’ve ever seen Los Peyotes live, you’ll fully understand what we mean when we describe them as barely-controlled chaos. The group has been one of the most exciting live acts in the Buenos Aires music scene for over twenty years, and their latest album, Vírgenes, is a testament to their unwavering commitment to delivering high-octane, unapologetically fun 60s garage proto-punk with a decidedly South American twist. While the band’s signature sound is still very much intact on this release, there’s a sense of renewed energy and playfulness that permeates every track.
One of the standout cuts on Vírgenes is “El Hombre de Dos Cabezas,” a rollicking track that embodies everything that makes Los Peyotes so irresistible. From the opening guitar riff to the infectious chorus, there’s a feeling of unbridled and joyous weirdness throughout. And album opener “La Gente Es Una Mierda” lays out the band’s mission statement pretty clearly. The mutated surf-rock lead guitar of “No Puedo Aguantar Más” is absolutely addictive, and the band even delves into the sounds of cumbia in the track “Cumbia del Dolor.” The lyrics throughout remain as off-kilter and irreverent as ever, celebrating the weird and wonderful characters who populate the band’s universe.
In fact, that’s one of the things that makes Vírgenes such a joy to listen to – Los Peyotes are never afraid to embrace the absurd and the unconventional, whether it’s through their lyrics, their visuals, or their sound. Vírgenes is a testament to the enduring power of Los Peyotes and their status as scene pioneers that are as vital as ever.
Shu – Shu
Shu’s self-titled debut is a testament to the band’s ability to create intricate sonic landscapes that draw the listener into their world. From the evocative soundscapes to vaguely unnerving layers of hazy synths, the album showcases Shu’s penchant for creating music that defies traditional song structures. Instead, the band uses a combination of sweltering synthesizers, jazzy electric piano, oblique lyrics, expressive drumming, and silky basslines to guide the listener through their music.
The album is a mostly placid journey, with each track exploring the corners of its harmonic contours, and even the moments where the pace and intensity pick up (such as the driving intensity of “Ebelanta”) feel appropriately dreamy. However, there is a vague feeling of disquieting foreboding that pervades throughout, creating a sense of intrigue and mystery. Shu’s ability to craft labyrinthian soundscapes is evident in tracks like “Portia,” which features multiple basslines, layers of synths, and jazz-influenced drumming. The lyrics, consisting of a collection of evocative images, add to the dreamy and unnerving feeling of the track. The lyrics are obscure, more concerned with sketching out an emotional landscape than in being forthright. That’s just as well. The ambiguity adds to the allure of the album.
Overall, Shu’s self-titled debut album is an excellent showcase of the band’s ability to create intricate and evocative soundscapes that draw the listener into their world. With each track exploring different sonic contours, the album is a journey of discovery and intrigue. The combination of jazz-influenced drumming, silky basslines, and sweltering synthesizers creates a unique and captivating listening experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Natalia Spiner – Axis
Natalia Spiner’s Axis is an impressive follow-up to her 2019 album La Boya. It’s a masterful blend of digital and organic sounds, weaving together microbeats, vocal effects, and glitchy production flourishes with organic sounds such as strings, piano, and other acoustic instruments, with Spiner’s songwriting tying it all together. The result is a truly unique sonic atmosphere that is rich with textures and endlessly fascinating.
The title track “Axis” features a kind of sped-up lo-fi chillhop sound with a cooler-than-cool bassline. The vaguely unnerving reversed vocals add an extra layer of intrigue, making for a captivating listening experience. “Veneno,” featuring the participation of Moreu, is another standout track that showcases Spiner’s confessional songwriting and the album’s deliciously ornate production. It’s a truly unique piece of music that is both sonically interesting and emotionally resonant.
At points in the album, Spiner delivers moments of abrasive intensity that break up the more mellow tracks and inspire listeners to dance along to the frenetic beat. “Nkaed” is a prime example of this, with its pulsing rhythm and aggressive sounds. But even in its scattered moments of intensity, Axis never loses its sense of musicality and sophistication. Ultimately, Natalia Spiner delivers an absolutely gorgeous album with Axis. It’s rich, nuanced, and extremely compelling on every level.
Superpapilas – Miércoles de Siluetas
If there’s one things we’re fans of when it comes to EPs, it’s cohesiveness. Indie rock band Superpapilas delivers a delightful and inventive EP with Miércoles de Siluetas. Clocking in at just 16 minutes, the EP feels like one seamless, interconnected song, taking listeners on a whirlwind journey through a myriad of styles and genres.
Kicking off the EP is the undeniably fun “Sale el Sol,” a cleverly constructed track that weaves together various distinct sections, from choppy and distorted guitar to Beatles-esque psychedelia and a dreamy keyboard coda. The group’s vocal arrangements hold it all together, creating a cohesive pocket symphony of Argentinian indie that’s as enjoyable as it is impressive.
The album flows effortlessly into “A1 As1,” an eerie ambient soundscape that serves as a bridge to the placid guitar-based number, “Aun Así.” This track is adorned with a beautiful melody and reverb-drenched instrumentation, building into a captivating piece of 1970s-inspired soft rock.
Superpapilas keeps the energy up with “Parálisis,” which returns to the upbeat vibes of the opener. The off-kilter slide guitar and pleasing vocal harmonies, complete with “chip chip chip”s, “ooh”s, and “aah”s, set the stage for one of the best-employed fuzz distortion solos you’ll ever hear.
“Días Nuevos” brings a unique fusion of soul balladry and psychedelia, rounding out the EP with an intriguing blend of sounds. While the highlight of Miércoles de Siluetas is undoubtedly “Sale el Sol,” the entire EP shines brightest when experienced as a whole, with each track expertly woven into the next.