Para leer la versión en español de este artículo, hacé clic acá.
Another month, another installment of La La Lista’s Monthly Music Roundup. This is, of course, the only column on the entire internet where you can find a culturally insulated and myopic list riddled with subjective appreciations masquerading as fact about some of our favorite cultural products of recent vintage. And even better: we specialize in the Argentinian music scene which — if you don’t know — is an embarrassment of riches.
So here’s a list, carefully selected from the many wonderful local productions that caught our ear over the course of the last month. As always, this doesn’t mean the song was necessarily released in the last month, but it is a recent release that we personally stumbled upon in the last month. Our cutoff is more or less 5 months, which assures you’re always getting fresh content while also making sure we’re not missing stuff we really loved but found late.
So read on, click play, and enjoy our favorite recent songs from the Argentine independent music scene. And remember, we do this fairly often, so don’t hesitate to explore our past roundups for even more auditory gems.
If you’re an artist with a hot-off-the-press release that you believe deserves our ears, reach out to us on Instagram or shoot an email to email@example.com. While we can’t guarantee your track will make the cut, rest assured we’ll give it a listen with eager ears and open hearts.
Emily And – “En El Invierno Las Cosas Se Complican”
Singer-songwriter and longtime La La Lista fav Emily And returns with the first single from her upcoming album La Manija. And it’s a song that’s as unusual and idiosyncratic as we’ve learned to expect from her. “En El Invierno Las Cosas Se Complican” kicks off with a mellow, gently plucked acoustic guitar that gradually transitions into a flurry of evocative chimes and entrancing sounds, a full and lush production with swooping strings that provide a vibrant soundstage. Evocative pizzicate strings place us clearly in the song’s setting, the Argentine wintertime. As the song gathers momentum, the pace spikes with urgency before collapsing and building up again.
Emily And’s voice, vulnerable and expressive as ever, serves as a beacon guiding us through these changes. It’s a love song, but one that’s far from the form’s much-treated clichés. Instead, the song explores the topic with an air of intimacy and warmth. Emily And’s poetic lyricism envelopes listeners in a captivating narrative about love, comfort, and the reluctance to venture outside. A gorgeous and unique entry from the ever-reliable Emily And’s promising new project.
Nina Suárez – “Chinos Ojos Rojos”
Nina Suárez, a fresh face to the music scene and offspring of the revered Argentine actress and musician Rosario Bléfari, delivers a compelling debut in the form of “Chinos Ojos Rojos”, a standout track from her first studio album Algo Para Decirte. Shaped by rumbling, distorted guitars and a jagged, overdriven lead that cuts through the musical arrangement like a sharp knife, the track paints a vivid picture of conflict, both musically and lyrically.
On this track, Suárez is joined by an ensemble cast of distinguished musicians, including Chicho Guisolfi and Marcos Canosa from Bestia Bebé, and Manolo Lamothe from Cabeza Flotante. Their combined effort adds depth and dynamism to the song’s overall texture. “Chinos Ojos Rojos” is a potent blend of heavy guitars and stirring emotions, all brewed together by Suárez’s delivery, which oscillates between deadpan and impassioned, conveying the song’s inherent conflict with equal parts raw passion and refined craft.
Barbi Recanati – “Esta Noche”
Former Utopians frontwoman turned luminary of the Argentine music scene Barbi Recanati released one of our favorite albums of 2020 with her solo debut Ubicación en Tiempo Real. It makes perfect sense, then, that we’ve been enthusiastically anticipating her new material. Thankfully, Recanati’s new album El Final de Las Cosas more than delivers on the promise of her previous album, delivering a collection of sharply-written, catchy pop songs decorated with equal parts loud guitars and dreamy synths. “Esta Noche” was the song that most caught our ear, but truthfully the entire album is chock-full of hooks and memorable moments.
With its rolling waves of crashing guitars and sweeping emotional range, “Esta Noche” captures the anticipation, anxiety, and excitement of an evening rendezvous with a lover — the promise of it, the terror of it, the endless possibility of it. It’s a highlight on an album already filled with compelling songs. Recanati’s talent for combining pop sensibility with an authentic emotional expression demonstrates her staying power in the ever-evolving independent Argentine scene.
Misi – “Cinturón”
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of getting lost in misi‘s latest album Slagbaai, do yourself a favor and dive in — it’s easily one of our top picks for this year. The standout track “Cinturón” serves as a perfect gateway into her mesmerizing sonic universe. Opening with fractured, choppy guitar chords, the song soon blossoms into a dreamy, somewhat psychedelic landscape flush with reverby beats and ethereal backing vocals. The mood is both melodic and mysterious, with synth lines weaving their way in post-chorus to add another layer of enigma over the haze. What sets this song apart, though, are its cryptic lyrics that explore the intriguing possibilities of existing in various forms — kind of like a cerebral daydream set to music.
misi is the solo project of Mireya Andrenacci, a Buenos Aires-based singer, songwriter, and producer. With an eclectic upbringing in the world of classical music, operas, and choirs, she’s certainly put her eclectic music formation into her brilliant new album. In “Cinturón,” you can hear that rich tapestry of experience coalesce into something truly unique. The song, and the album as a whole, is a conceptual journey through an imaginary island that represents misi’s thoughts, concerns, and memories. One of the most interesting musical projects we’ve come across recently.
Modem – “Universo de Princesas”
We can’t stop listening to Modem‘s single “Universo de Princesas.” The first single from their upcoming album Hogar, this track delivers something both familiar and excitingly new. On the surface, you’re treated to a chill, mid-tempo pop-rock vibe, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a fascinating tapestry of electronic and synth-pop elements. These sometimes clash against the easygoing nature of the song with choppy instrumental breaks, but never disrupt the overall groove — instead, they add just the right amount of spice. The instrumental arrangement is a sweet spot between synthetic and organic, driven by synth, an upright bass, and peppered with jolts of loud guitar leads. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, the track throws you a curveball with an intriguing instrumental coda that leaves you wanting more.
The indie duo from Zona Norte is making their 2023 comeback with a freshly minted sound that’s oozing nostalgia while embracing a contemporary indie atmosphere. Think Pulp and Blur meeting in a modern-day soundscape where synths and guitars share the limelight. Self-produced and mixed by Guillermo Porro, “Universo de Princesas” explores the complex emotional tapestry of a character entangled in romantic visions of human relations while confronting everyday modern melancholy. A sonic journey worth taking.
Mariana Michi, Ezequiel Kronenberg, Nicolas Btesh – “Admiración”
Mugre – “Ni Tu Perra”
Mariana Michi makes another appearance on this month’s list, this time as part of her power-trio Mugre, sharing the stage with Jazmín Esquivel and Sofía Naara. Off their brilliant new EP La Santísima Trinidad, the song “Ni Tu Perra” stands as a scalding testament to a relationship gone sour. A departure from their usually raucous tone, the track takes a more post-punk route, anchored by Michi’s addictive bassline and Sofía Naara’s emotive singing. This is the band at their defiant best, harmonizing in a chorus that’s as vindictive as it’s memorable. Accompanying the vocals, the jagged guitar pieces practically chart an emotional journey, crescendoing into a cathartic chorus that’s a satisfying release of pent-up energy and bitterness.
“Ni Tu Perra” is a simple song, but also a lyrical tour-de-force. Employing everyday objects as metaphors — referencing neglected potted plants and unused matches — the song paints a vivid picture of resentment and neglect in a crumbling relationship. It’s like a short film of heartbreak, with the repeated line “ni tu casa, ni tu perra, ni tu ropa, ni tu olor,” driving the final nails into the coffin of what used to be. Just like how a plant wilts without sunlight and water, the lyrics reflect the decline of a relationship lacking care and attention. When she sings “a mi casa nunca más te dejo entrar,” you feel that door slamming shut, both literally and metaphorically. This is breakup music for the disillusioned, the mistreated, and anyone who’s ever wanted to reclaim their space — both physical and emotional.
If you want to read our interview with Mugre about their new EP, click here.
Lucas Martí – “Ser Del Otro”
Lucas Martí‘s latest track, “Ser Del Otro,” is an auditory delight for anyone with an affinity for nuanced emotional storytelling. Martí has a gift for crafting songs that dive into the depths of emotional intimacy, pulling listeners into a web of sentiments that feel at once universal and deeply personal. His arrangements, a blend of rhythmic complexities and subtle instrumental touches — like the barely-there saxophone that demands a headphone listen — keep the experience intriguingly off-balance. Think Prince-like falsettos sprinkled throughout, and stop-stutter drumming that flips what could have been an ordinary romantic tune into an emotional powerhouse.
The song’s lyrics delve into the complexities of emotional symbiosis in a relationship: “Esto es mucho más que un día / es casi como ser del otro” (This is much more than a day / it’s almost like being of the other). They explore the entanglement of identities, questioning the boundaries between self and other. Alongside these evocative lyrics, the song features a stunning vocal melody that creates an atmosphere of vulnerability and reflection. Even the music itself feels intimately constructed, with sparse sounds punctuated by surprising synth spasms, inviting you to listen closely to catch all its intricacies. Martí’s “Ser Del Otro” is an emotional narrative that masterfully marries lyrical depth with musical sophistication.
Juan Pérez, Mielgabriela – “Se Lleva el Río”
Juan Pérez‘s “Se Lleva el Río” is a sonic experience that brilliantly blends the past with the present. Bringing together the talents of Chilean singer Mielgabriela with traditional Latin American instruments, the track elegantly melds genres like zamba and chacarera while simultaneously venturing into the contemporary with synthetic beats and electric guitar — a first for Pérez. It’s a musical experience that feels deeply rooted in cultural heritage while also pushing forward into modern soundscapes.
But beyond its instrumental innovations, “Se Lleva el Río” presents a narrative that is poignant and resonant. It tackles the power and inevitability of nature, a force that can easily wash away all human constructs, leaving behind only fleeting memories. This theme is masterfully conveyed through the song’s rhythm and tempo changes, introducing a tangible sense of unease. Listening to it, one can almost feel the undercurrents of a mighty river, reminding us of nature’s dominance over man’s fleeting endeavors. This song is an evocative journey through time, culture, and the eternal dance between nature and humanity.