Alternative Songs: Juana Molina, Aterciopelados, Zoe & Calle 13 feat. Cafe Tacvba

We don’t usually post info about new single releases, but this week has been truly amazing. It seems like some of my favorite artists wanted to uplift my spirit this week. The startling lineup of new songs is simply jaw-dropping, most of these artists will release their albums in October, let’s start saving some cash for what seems to be the best month for Latin alternative this year.

“Un dia”, Juana Molina
I was convinced Juana Molina would change Latin American music, and the new emerge of acts influenced by her music can’t prove me wrong. Careful, I’m not talking about innovations, it’s Molina’s deep-felt emotional approach to music; the power of music lies not in what’s hidden in between lyrics, treasure is found behind lyrics. Just like cinema is a visual media, music’s ultimate command is its sound resonance. “One day I will be a somebody else, I’m going to do things I didn’t do, I won’t care about what others say, neither if they will work out, I will travel, I will dance, dance dance, I want to dance!…” Starts with truly poetic lyrics, the entrance to a world of its own, one that reunites abstract vocals, sweet fairies and factories of sound loops creating new beginnings. My friends know I go nuts about her; again I can’t handle myself when taking about the single most visionary artist of Latin America. "Un dia" is available for free at Juana Molina's official website.

“Rio”, Aterciopelados
It only took me one listen to decide that this had to be the track welcoming readers to our MySpace (replacing “El Reloj” by Jovenes y Sexys). Aterciopelados is along with Café Tacvba the best rock band Latin America has ever had (you had read this statement before, I agree). Rio asks us to send our rivers some oxygen, to send prayers and hope for the fish to comeback. The song humanizes our rivers and seals a connection between nature and our bodies, both in need of clean waters. The backgrounds are particularly outstanding; Andrea Echeverri and Hector Buitrago are true mavericks of atmospheric sensibility. “Vienen las aguas del rio, corriendo, cantando!, por la ciudad van soñando ser limpias, ser claras.” One of the very best songs of the year.

“Reptilectric”, Zoe
Zoe went from the small and shy band that would replace Zurdok, to having the all-time best selling EP in Mexico to finally becoming the most popular band in Mexico nowadays. The band has yet to fully internationalize itself, but their long titled Grammy nominated Memo Rex Commander y el Corazon Atomico de la Via Lactea earned them enough recognition for their new album to travel new territories. The title of the song didn’t make any sense to me, I tried to google it and it seems Zoe has invented a word/species/new god? : reptile + electric. “Reptilectric, welcome to earth”, the song goes from confusion to illusion, seems like Zoe is waiting for the arrival of a prophet from another galaxy. Seems like they run out of patience with other gods and have transported themselves to a new cosmos; they ask for more love and less pain, to make them forget about everything that makes suffering. I like this new messiah, this “messenger of light”.

“No hay nadie como tu”, Calle 13 feat. Café Tacvba
Some months ago Calle 13 had asked its fans at their blog for suggestions on future collaborations. Calle 13 is a very appealing act that is mainly acclaimed by alternative music followers, so it came as no surprise that Los Tacubos ended as a favorite. The bad boys for the first time have overlooked reggaeton for a first single. “No hay nadie como tu” is a catchy song about so many things, about so many people and that special individual that connects them all. Here is hoping Calle 13 doesn’t loose its delicious explicit lyrics and political commentary. The song is simply triumphant and only makes us think that we’ll be getting another jewel with Los de atras vienen conmigo.