MP3: Teacher Teacher - "Campamento de Verano"

September is already upon us and we can see the heat of summer vanishing. But, before we start knitting scarves in anticipation of the great cold, let us be nostalgic and longing to relive summer adventures. “Campamento de Verano,” first single from the newly established Teacher Teacher, draws directly from this youthful vigor and with humor recalls those horseback rides, canoe trips, campfire sing-alongs, and friendship bracelet-making. Teacher Teacher (probably named after’s Rockpile 1980s hit) is composed of three Madrid household names: Guillermo Farré (Wild Honey, The Mittens), María Hernández (Mittens, Charades and Las Señoras) and Cristina Gómez (Las Señoras). Embracing all at once lo-fi, fast pace, and distortion to create a juvenile pop punk, this new musical offspring is truly his parents’ child. Download "Campamento de Verano" + B-track" via Bandcamp.

El mató a un policía motorizado - Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes

Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes,  
El mató a un policía motorizado
Capital Federal / La Plata, Argentina
Rating: 75
by Carlos Reyes

“Let’s be real, half of its merit is in its title.” That’s an unforgettable tweet by Peruvian blog 69 regarding Claudia Lloza’s worldly acclaimed film La Teta Asustada. I used to think the same about La Plata’s rock institution, El mató a un policía motorizado. Despite the memorable name and the intercontinental success of their 2006 hit “Amigo Piedra,” El mató sounded so intimidatingly grounded that it was easier to place them in “respect mode” than to invest time in their actual content. The years have gone by, and that plain respect has turned into deep admiration. Nothing drastic has happened to the band’s themes or aesthetics, the change of heart comes from a generation of indie rock newbies that have finally exchanged the provisional use of handclaps for the stewardship of string progressions.

It’s been four long years since an official release by El mató, and it comes in the form of the two-sided single release Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes. Very few bands sound as bold as El mató, and these two tracks are outcomes of a deep sublimity, one that needs no thematic magnifications or technological extensions to be meaningful. Composer Santiago Barrionuevo has approached domestic violence (title track) and the coming together of two galaxies (“Dos Galaxias”) in ways that strike universal emotional chords. “Screams all night, the neighbor, and a dead body,” sighs the bone-deep track. Eclipsing any more screen time for the abusive husbands, the band goes on to lament and esteem the fallen victims through gorgeous melody alignment. Social discourse (especially on domestic violence) has rarely been accompanied by good music, and never with this much thoughtful restraint. El mató a un policía motorizado never had a more attentive audience. As they put the final touches on a full-length album, we also make preparations for an abiding affair.

Video: Mujercitas Terror - "Excavaciones"

Punk hits often turn into anthems but are rarely part of the zeitgeist. This doesn’t seem to be the case for “Excavaciones,” the title track from Mujercitas Terror’s terrific 2011 album. This flesh-carving hit broke through just a little too late for best-of-the-year consideration but has turned into one of the few rock hits blooming across Iberoamerica this year. Not that they’re anywhere near the success of Napoléon Solo or Hello Seahorse!, but it sure is a favorite among music curators and tastemakers. The Argentine band keeps the momentum going with a seemingly minimalistic black & white clip that is anything but a minimal effort. Director Peko Docimo employed Hitchcockian cinematic elements (crane shots, swish pans, and low-key lighting) to track down the three subjects and their instruments–everything as part of a deeply pronounced diegetic sound that is pointing toward the transcendental.

Los Punsetes - Una montaña es una montaña

Una montaña es una montaña, Los Punsetes
Everlasting Records, Spain
Rating: 80
by Pierre Lestruhaut

If you happen to be very familiar with the bands that this blog has tended to laud over the past few years, then chances are you already have a pretty decent understanding of what made Los Punsetes’ excellent one-two punch of oddball indie rock that were LP and LP2. If you’re not, and hopefully haven’t been living under a rock, then at least maybe you've heard about a certain lowbrow song with an opening lyric that goes something like “Que le den por culo a tus amigos,” which, for better or worse, continues to be both the main reference and entrance point into the Madrilenian quintet’s discography as it moves towards their third LP Una montaña es una montaña.

For better, “Tus Amigos” still remains the most effective incarnation of what has made Los Punsetes such a fun band to listen to: crudely humorous and nihilistic me-against-the-world lyrics, the sister-in-the-shower singing/yelling style of Ariadna, and a muscled backing band comprising a pair of great interweaving guitars and a tight rhythm section. But for worse, it often seems to reduce the whole extension of the band's framework to a single line (albeit a piercingly good one), thus failing to represent them as the glaring antithesis to the more common self-conscious and hyper-referential record collector rock that seems to attracts the attention of most indie fans—sitting oppositely from Piyama Party’s indie fan witticism while somehow standing on the same funny-as-shit indie rock sidewalk.

“Alférez Provisional,” first single from Una montaña es una montaña, seemed like the sort of safe roundup to follow the tour de force that was LP2: sticking to the more conspicuous elements of your aesthetic that have been key to your success (Planetas and Movida Madrileña-infused sounds with a heavy dose of FUCK EVERYONE), while bringing along a couple of recent local powerhouses (Pablo Díaz-Reixa as producer, CANADA as video directors). For most of the record, though, instead of the in-studio friction between band members portrayed in the video for “Alférez Provisional,” Los Punsetes seem to have settled for finding a comfortable groove. Lyrical repetition and steady progressions to the point of utter stagnation (“Un corte limpio,” “Malas tierras”), breathing from an absence of easily digestible melodies and occasionally diverging towards rockist grandeur (epic keyboard-led outro in “Malas Tierras,” apocalyptical contemplation in “Los glaciares”).

As opposed to what we were used to in LP and LP2, Los Punsetes seem decided to progress within the confines of well executed clean guitar rock more often than making us feel uncomfortably delighted with their enfant-terrible approach. The latter is obviously the kind of aesthetic that led to all kinds of knee-jerk reactions about the band being simultaneously unique, refreshing, lowbrow and provocative. But the former, even though it has made them overall less interesting and certainly a lot less fun to listen to, is the forthcoming breeze of a band that’s entering maturity. In “John Cage,” Ariadna sings with nihilistic apathy (“Noy hay mejor propósito que no tener ningún propósito”), about a certain acceptance for the certainties of life (“Un hombre es un hombre y una montaña es una montaña"), which makes for a closing number that leaves us to face the fact that every enfant-terrible must inevitably enter adulthood at some point.

Video: Alexico - "Arañas"

There’s so much going on inside Alexico’s mind–uncertainty, ghosts, and insecurities–and that can be disturbing but, in a certain morbid way, enjoyable. “Arañas,” first taste of the bizarre crafter’s upcoming EP, is a song seeking new meaning, a bright trail channeled through holy yet deplorable renaissance, and an ultra-vigorous teaser that encounters the Monterrey native in a new metamorphosis of glowing landscapes blackened by pessimistic life analysis (“Crees tener muchos amigos, pero son trolls comiendo rivo”). Besides those wasted,
carrilleros junkie buddies, Alexico pours an unstable observation of a creator's crisis where distrust to the work achieved is evident, even painful (“Tu sentido de estética está perdido/Báñate en gasolina y cerillos”). This anxiety has overflowed in the agitated "Arañas," where he enters Cut Copy territory while maintaining a particular gloomy aesthetic. The video, directed by Cargo Collective’s Joshua Cox, was originally recorded for a take from Alexico's last release. The shots found in this celestial sci-fi clip, where Alexico goes for an Aladdin Sane cover look, position him as an angelic ascending figure, evoking rebirth and clicking with this newly found form of freedom.

Los Wendys - Cumbia Nacar

Cumbia Nacar, Los Wendys
Caballito, Mexico
Rating: 67
by Carlos Reyes

With cultural appropriation comes a great amount of responsibility. How disappointed were you when you found out Gaby Kerpel was behind this video? Gimmicks are quick to spot, easy to sell, and difficult to grasp. For the introspective listener, trying to dissect an act’s intentions beyond what’s presented can be particularly frustrating. Conservative pessimists would throw everything that smells campy to the pit of kitsch music, but that’s no way of dealing with something so complex and sensitive. And so we take the assignment one band at a time. Conceived in New Mexico nearly seven years ago, Los Wendys is a good example of something that might have started as half a joke and has now developed into something promising.

Breakthrough cumbia/bass imprint Caballito (not to be confused with The Poni Republic) has released Los Wendys’ Cumbia Nacar, a groovy three-track EP that serves as a sustainable bridge toward the band’s anticipated full-length debut. These songs are hardly new for the attentive fans, but with the rising success of indie-gruperos Agrupación Cariño, the creative resurgence of Afrodita, and the viral spread of Chip Torres, the timing for this ad hoc release seems amply appropriate. Los Wendys’ big distinction from similar acts (Kumbia Queers, Los Labios) is their proposal/mystifying of a country-cumbia synthesis. The premise sounds like too much of a stretch (just like the fact they're named after the fast food restaurant chain), but their execution does add up to something.

Opening track “Caballito” is essentially a pop number riddled with cacophonous pipes, upbeat percussion, and horse sounds. As following tracks “Cumbia Nacar” and “Corvette” continue with that structure, one can’t help but wonder if Los Wendys are making costumes or actual songs. Cumbia music however, is an open, non-discriminatory genre that allows almost any slanting into its populism. No matter how discretely it is approached, it’s pretty hard to dislike Cumbia Nacar. Paulina Lasa (of Pau y Amigos) is great at enouncing/masquerading a voice that blurs the line of what’s province and what’s fresa. Other elements of the method need plenty of polishing, though (and will hopefully resolve with the promised LP). At such a short length (not even 15-minutes long), Cumbia Nacar serves Los Wendys well, an EP that breathes promise and momentum.

♫♫♫ "Caballito" Download EP Facebook

Fonocast #12: Flash in the Pan

Fonocast #12: Flash in the Pan
by Blanca Méndez, Andrew Casillas, and Enrique Coyotzi
  • Gerardo - "Rico Suave"
  • Lisette Melendez - "Together Forever"
  • La Factoria ft. Eddy Lover - "Perdoname"
  • Pilar Montenegro - "Quitame Ese Hombre"
  • Son by Four - "A Puro Dolor"
  • Pambo - "Tras Nubes"
  • Naty Botero - "Te Quiero Mucho"
  • Climax - "Mesa Que Mas Aplauda"
  • Los Del Rio - "Macarena"
  • Las Ketchup - "Asereje"

Tego Calderón - The Original Gallo del País (O.G. El Mixtape)

The Original Gallo del País, Tego Calderón 
Jiggiri Records, Puerto Rico
Rating: 77
by Carlos Reyes

Heavy metal drummer turned rap star legend Tego Calderón should be headlining every music festival in Latin America. Unfortunately, our “cultural” fests aren’t nearly as progressive or diversified as they're made out to be. But enough with the whining. That is the last thing Tego would want us to do. It’s been five long years since El Abayarde Contra-Ataca hit the shelves, and it seems unlikely El Que Sabe, Sabe will see the commercial light this year. Lucky for us, Calderon is a provider, one who has not forgotten his anxious followers. The Original Gallo del País (O.G. El Mixtape) is a transfixing 10-track mixtape that’s restrained of a linear narrative but is more than just an appetizer of what’s to come.

A euphoric rooster scream opens the mixtape at an alarming pace. Calderón’s introspective rhymes quickly blossom into the frame and, when you least expect it, the maverick pours as much multi-dimensional gestures and actions as Breaking Bad’s Walter White. Whether speaking of himself as a devoted family man or a modern “Robin Hood,” El Abayarde reinstates his class as a narrator and storyteller. On his recent appearance as a guest DJ at NPR’s Alt.Latino, Calderón pitched this set of songs as the most sincere of his career. There’s a structural freedom granted by the (often budget-less) mixtape format. Whereas most abuse that freedom, Tego approaches it with his heart on his sleeve. He won’t settle for anything nonchalant, and it shows. Promotional cut “El Sitio” is a boiling political track about the physical similarity of the “suffering face” across the globe. There’s no room for baroque fixing or traditional slanting, this is Calderón confronting the need for a macro-regimented discourse.

Not every track in O.G. El Mixtape is linked to budgets or foreclosures. Catchy track “Hablan de Mi” features Fonograma favorite Arcangel, who once again proves to be a rhythmic prodigy. The promising collaboration is only flawed by the artists’ avoidable need to make a tiraera piece (by now, neither Calderon nor Arcangel should sound as territorial). Closing track “Muralla,” featuring Puya (Puerto Rico’s heavy metal salseros) is a pantheon. Whatever fusion Omar Rodríguez-López and Calle 13 failed to craft in “Calma Pueblo” is accomplished here. The Original Gallo del País still sounds like a mixtape (a great mixtape). It struggles to find cohesion from track to track and has an overall pitchy production, but yet again, this is Calderón at his rawest–less about the goce and more about the mantra.

Los Blenders - Ah Oh

Ah Oh, Los Blenders
Independiente, México
by Carlos Reyes

“Los Blenders le robaron el peinado a tu papá, los calzones a tu mamá y el corazón a tu hermana.” That is the ass-kicking premise (which I won’t bother to translate) of D.F. newcomers, Los Blenders. They have one of those quirky appliance band names that are found all throughout the Vive Latino lineup, but they are far from the baffled surfers that occupy Foro Sol every year. Unattached to any of Mexico’s indie scenes (and unlike their compatriots Las Licuadoras) these youngsters might just bring the right amount of lo-fi saccharine (which they call “proto porn pop”) that Mexican rock has been craving for years.

Ah Oh is a two-track release that follows their criminally overlooked debut Oye EP. Los Blenders have an affair with surf music the same way you would expect a middle schooler to experience a first love–hyperbolized responses to the emotionally-wrenched flowering of the gonads. Truth is, Los Blenders are a lot of fun. “Ah Oh” is the steamrolling hit missing on our summer break playlists. Their delivery is nothing short of euphoric, blasting instruments and vocals devoid of generational connotations. B-side “Vacaciones” rides shotgun with little preoccupation with flashing back to any pop surf ensemble from their parents’ youth.

As a discovery of thrilling Spaniard blog Zumo en la Nevera, Los Blenders do sound more like the rising Spaniard tropi-punk acts (Kana Kapila, Los Claveles, Piñata) than any other act of this hemisphere (though it's perfectly ok to think of a noisier Dávila 666 at any time). They have very little invested and yet so much to offer. With the rise of like-minded bands Ave Negra or Hypnomango, the coming of tropical shoegazing seems to be rolling at a full throttle. Ah Oh is not even five minutes long, and it might be unfair to attempt to give it a rating, yet it's such a revelatory release that proves that, like Tajín Seasoning and Queso Cotija, pleasure does come from the little things in life.

Video: Los Animales Superforros - "Chacabit"

Hi, Club! My name is Ricardo Reyes (Richi). I'm Carlos' twin brother, and I'm guest writing about a clip my brother has zero credentials to write about. Yes, I am a scientist. It is estimated that there are roughly 8.7 million species in the world with 18,000 new species newly-described every year. This year’s top newcomers include a snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri), the devil’s worm, living almost a mile underground (Halicephalobus mephisto), a psychedelic jelly (Tamoya ohboya), a beautiful blue tarantula in the Amazon, and a mushroom named after one of your favorite cartoon characters (Spongiforma squarepantsii). Now Jorge Jaramillo (better known as Koke), member of Los Animales Superforros, has captured never before seen footage of a Patagonian furry beast named Chacabit (Autenticus superforrous) in its natural habitat on a migratory adventure across Argentinean biomes toward the ocean. It’s impossible not to anthropomorphize the beast’s behaviors as at times it seems to be dancing and even trying to hitch a ride. Los Animales Superforros' primitive vocals and wooden melodies complement this magical voyage, outlining their grand potential and leaving an attentive audience for the discoveries ahead.

MP3: Franny & Zooey - "Remember (Being Fake)"

Move over Las Robertas, move over Banda de Turistas. The crown for the most handsome band of our region has a new holder: Dominican newcomers Franny & Zooey. Of course, we wouldn’t be mentioning looks if it wasn’t for the fact they also happen to be pretty talented. Recorded in Santo Domingo, “Remember (Being Fake)” is the engaging first offering of Juan Julio Peña, Victoria Linares, and Brian Senior, “three pop friends” who borrow J.D. Salinger’s book title as their band name. Franny & Zooey sounds as mellow and dramatic as the characters it’s named after. They bring a sound that’s unlikely of the Dominican Republic's music scenery and are more in tune with the pop beach uprise of Cults and Tennis. As Linares’ engaging vocals sigh, “love is like an ice cream, it always melts me down,” a seafaring guitar riff contemplates its renaissance. The rest is a whispered yearning turned into melodic bloom. Watch Franny & Zooey perform the still unreleased track "Like in movies" HERE.

Album - All-Stars

All-Stars, Album
ARRCO, México
Rating: 60
by Carlos Reyes

“Album has not died (because to some extent, it never existed)” states the website of the ceaselessly divisive electro rock band from Monterrey. Earlier this year, and prior to the band’s self-proclaimed (and ultra romanticized) piece of perpetual history, they released All-Stars, a full-length record that is loyal to the act’s career-long juxtaposition of sound texture and musical space. Although not conceived as a career-concluding album, All-Stars suffers as an episode that neither carves the band six feet under nor brings Album afloat.

Throughout the years, Album became Monterrey’s eternal up-and-coming band. Whether it was an outcome of egocentrism or them just sticking to their guns, the band never really broke through. They came pretty close though. Their pristine 2008 album Cancer Baby showed a band capable of critical and popular absorption, but as lead vocalist Roger Cámara confessed, it was their attempt at an experimental record—“because pop is always more popular than whatever we make.” All-Stars carries hits and misses from Album’s extensive catalog of LPs and EPs. Dreamy tracks “This is not working” and “Nunca Morir” carry the Album fandom to mindlessly acquainted moods. Other tracks (“Spoken Word” and “The Road Warrior”) inherit the indigestible voice decoding that, to this day, comes off as a plain Album-ism rather than a beneficial narrative tool. Not that this is a polarizing record by design–these are tracks that venture through hedonism.

Standout track “The Artist” bursts stormy waves, beeping, and emotional swelling. This degree of symphonic bleeding is what I’ll choose to remember Album for. As they sing “thanks for watching us, we’re everywhere now,” you can’t help but to recognize the value of their undefeated hobby. All-Stars leaves many blank spaces on its sleeve. While occasionally bright, it puts its anxiety in front of its accompanying melody, making up for an almost impenetrable experience. Since its formation, Album never made itself available for a potential viral exposure, exhausting its chances for continuous recognition. Yet, as All-Stars proves to be, their work asks for a thorough and intimate contemplation, perhaps the biggest bequest of the pop-estranged, ungoogleable act.

Video: Javiera Mena - "Luz de Piedra de Luna"

It was about time the Best Song of 2010 received the audiovisual treatment. We won’t shy away from calling “Luz de Piedra de Luna” Javiera Mena’s career-best moment, and it’s great news to know it’s finally an official single. Although not terribly conceived, all of Mena’s videoclips have left us a bit underwhelmed. Our expectations rocketed very high when we heard the news CANADA was helming this particular clip, but as the clip comes to light, we’re once again left a bit thirsty. The clip, recognized by CANADA as an “animated gif” is flashy enough, yet contained of narrative possibilities. The cutting of silhouettes and peeling of wallpapers don't do much for an overachiever like Mena. But when the camera confronts her, straight to the eyes, it’s when the clip really proves itself to be somewhat worthy. Mena has never looked prettier in a clip–every single time she sings “cuando bailo contigo, no me preocupo mas” with those penetrating eyes, she reclaims her status as the one and only girlfriend of our dreams.

Napoléon Solo - Chica Disco

Chica Disco, Napoléon Solo
El Volcan, Spain
Rating: 78
by Carlos Reyes

In the best of cases, hipsters aren’t just music geeks. We are devotees (often turned connoisseurs) of multiple platforms, even if we frequently come off as plain cynics of the seemingly unfashionable. I have a favorite piece in my wardrobe, a vintage pre-Marvel Studios T-shirt with a grid of superheroes. It’s an eye-catcher and a conversation piece–every time I wear it, random people of all ages approach, point, and touch with no consideration or concern for who’s wearing it. Napoléon Solo’s sophomore album Chica Disco is very much like that T-shirt. It’s unreservedly approachable and nostalgic, with spots of superhuman nature and an auditory moral fiber that gravitates toward public deed.

Sheltered by the production of Emmanuel del Real (Café Tacvba), these Spaniard rockers are on a firm path toward glory. They may lack superhero blood but would acknowledge pills as the ideal supplements. This second set of songs finds the band focused on structure and swinging toward genre variation. There’s very little of Disco on the album, but a spreadsheet of sounds to be found in Chica Disco. Being the goofballs they often sound like, it’s no surprise they open the album with something titled “Adios,” a somber ballad that might just be a pupil of Raphael’s “Balada de la Trompeta.” They follow with the leading single “Antes de que ocurriera,” a sequence-based track that is a dream opportunity to show off the band’s expertise at flourishing and carrying out progressions. As these tracks set the tone of the album, one comes to embrace Napoléon Solo’s intercontinental success as something fascinating and unlikely, and that includes everything from major Vive Latino triumphs to landing commercial deals on broadcast television.

Chica Disco feels less specific than its predecessor, but that doesn’t necessarily make it less enthusiastic. Main composer and vocalist Alonso Díaz is, more often than not, an unpredictable goldmine. Catchy tracks “Ramira” and “Sentido y Orden” feel like self-resolved revival pieces, but Díaz pitches them having none other than José Alfredo Jiménez in mind. And, although the outcomes are quite absurd, you can’t help but root for the inevitable loopy successes. Closing track “Historias” is a robust harmonized ending that bursts with as much melody and '50s glamour as Carla Morrison’s “Compartir” and The Morning Benders’ “Excuses.” There’s very little Napoléon Solo won’t do, and they make it clear that they won’t settle for anything that sounds less than towering. As the group extends its grid of content, they open a door toward uncertainty. Yet, this time around, the amount of deficit has been well covered by Napoléon's antiheroic thirst for fundamental knowledge.

MP3: Los Jardines de Bruselas - "Why Are We Here?"

Accurately described by Blanca Méndez as “an overall pleasant album,” Floating in Dreams has had us excited about Los Jardines de Bruselas since its release. On his comeback single “Why Are We Here?” (released via Bad Pop), Argentinian musician Ezequiel de la Parra raises common existential questions in a blissful manner. Breathtaking, spacey production, buoyant arrangements, colorful hooks, and De la Parra’s whimsical singing culminate in an enrapturing song that’s bound to get stuck in your brain. Improving in his songwriting skills, the artist denotes an ample self-confidence in this new single. We just hope he doesn’t remain so silent from now on.

Why Are We Here? by Los Jardines de Bruselas

Ave Negra - Sensaciones Juveniles

Sensaciones Juveniles, Ave Negra
Independiente, Costa Rica
Rating: 75
by Andrew Casillas

To (poorly) paraphrase Jon Landau, I have seen the future of Costa Rican low-fi surf-inspired rock and roll, and its name is Ave Negra. This two-piece rawkact ain’t ever going to be confused with Bruce Springsteen, but dammit if they don’t seem capable of melting a stack of Chrysalis records from time to time.

Razor-thin sounding, white noise-laden rock has made a big comeback over the past five years, but not many of these acts quite grasp the concept of thermodynamicsSensaciones Juveniles, the band’s latest EP, sustains a breakneck pace for 10 full minutes without coming up for air because air is ostensibly for pussies. Not that this is rock and roll filtered through machismo—I mean, we already have one Davila 666. Instead, Ave Negra plays pure garage rock with the liberation of a thousand teenagers. This ain’t no place for the real world or anything.

Of course, these two aren’t The Hives either. Instead of using lo-fi techniques to sound like 2,000 men, Ave Negra disappointingly sounds like two. The sound quality lacks in spaces, and none of the songs really HIT. There’s certainly potential that they’re bound for a Nuggets-worthy gem one day, but none of these exactly match up with The Remains’ “Don’t Look Back.” But, for now, “Quita Penas” and “Tatatata Yayaya” will make for great block party cookout jams. The future, however, may be all theirs for the taking. 

Tatatata Yayaya by avenegra

Video: Violeta Castillo - "Mi Cárcel"

Colored by beautiful pastel tones and with gratifying, attentive direction, Violeta Castillo’s video for Otro highlight "Mi Cárcel" (from her double release, Uno & Otro), fulfilled by director Macarena Fatne, finally gets the proper visual treatment it deserves. With those nervous, schizophrenic, extreme close-ups of her friends, no wonder Castillo, whose character might encounter herself trapped in a routine lifestyle, wants to escape, running as fast as she can when these scary visions inhabit her brain. The Argentinian songstress looks gorgeous throughout the entire clip and even delivers some modestly sensuous dance moves in the final shots.

Husky - "Even in Summer"

Scorching sidewalks, buses and subways reeking of sweat…Yes, summer in the city can be oppressive. Luckily for us city dwellers there is a moment of respite, right between sundown and sunrise, when we finally emerge from a certain comatose state and triumphantly retake these once deserted streets. Loaded with a breezy, late-night summer bliss, “Even in Summer” is the proper tune to those improvised evening ventures. While Husky is easily compared to other “soft” indie rock bands (Mazarin, The Walkmen, Hot Hot Heat, The Drums), their self-proclaimed bubblegum rock made in Monterrey conjugates solid vocal harmonies with 1990s Brit pop guitar riffs and a catchy hook, leaving an indisputable feel-good vibe all around. “Even in Summer,” first track off their upcoming LP, Bambino, makes us want to make the most of these few fresher hours by throwing a wild party on a rooftop, finding a honey, and dancing all night.

Even In Summer (L.P Bambino 2012) by Husky (Promo 2012)

MP3: Tony Gallardo II - "Tormento"

We can’t help but wonder how gigantic Antonio Jiménez Gallardo’s career will grow from now on. With his spectacular current projects, María y José and Tony Gallardo II, Tijuana’s humble genius continues to become one of Mexico’s most important electronic acts, impressing with each of his adventurous productions. And with his recent inclusion in the lineup of this year’s edition of Mexico's hippest festival, Corona Capital, Gallardo’s desires of reaching a wider audience appear to finally be coming true.

Like something out of the Drive soundtrack, “Tormento,” lead single off Tony Gallardo II's upcoming second EP under the same title, is, hands down, one of the year’s best songs. Finding Gallardo polishing his artistry and taking it to the next level of greatness, it just takes the initial synth lines to become stupidly attached. Tijuana’s líder juvenil crushes the heart with this poisonous, aching and, self-reflective confession of a deeply-wounded relationship. “Es un tormento estar aquí. Eres veneno para mí,” he repeatedly croons in the song’s chilling mantra, where the artist expertly reserves his vocal participation for the middle section. And what to say about the spellbinding final part, where rhythm sporadically changes, turns everything light speed-like and pushes you to the highest limits of bliss ever imagined? Absolute grandiosity. It takes guts, wisdom, and unique creativity to craft such a compelling, titillating smasher. Tony Gallardo’s got it; that’s why he never ceases to impress us. And with his soon to be released sophomore LP as María y José, Rey de Reyes (still Club Fonograma's most anticipated record of 2012), out in September and this new Tony Gallardo II EP, we couldn't be more thrilled about his future.

♫♫♫ "Tormento"

Cut Your Hair - Utah in Pictures

Utah in Pictures, Cut Your Hair
Mushroom Pillow, Spain
Rating: 77
by Enrique Coyotzi

They may have already denied any kind of relation regarding it, but every time I read the band name Cut Your Hair, I can’t help but think of Pavement’s 1994 classic. And just like it made a great a song title, it also makes an amazing stage name. Barcelona’s three-piece breezy guitar pop ensemble enchants and provokes giggles with their short, playful EP, Utah in Pictures. If you are a fan of chill, buena onda, addictive melodies, full of sing-along vocals and catchy hooks in the vein of Beach Fossils and Real Estate, then chances are you’ll fall in love with this three-song EP.

Just like indie pop compatriots Delorean, Cut Your Hair opts to present their playful tunes sung in English, with memorable results. The three tracks offered here won’t have a problem latching onto your brain and putting your mind into a good times, happy mood. Lead single “Utah in Pictures” is the wisest selection for a promo cut. Smashing percussion, lighthearted guitar riffs, enthralling harmonies, and an unforgettable chorus places it as one of this year’s most on-repeat tunes. The other two songs, “I Wish I Was Stoned” and “I Just Need Another Friend,” are both equally great. The first is an exploding garage pop cut that will get your body moving. Seriously, not nodding your head to it is almost impossible (I’ve tried). The latter, a longing, rocking, bittersweet chant, closes with probably the finest guitar delivery of the whole thing.

Rapidly conquering our hearts and ears, Cut Your Hair quickly has become a promising band out of the countless groups that sound alike. But there’s such an exquisite cool and originality surrounding them, they stand out among other similar acts. And Utah in Pictures, a fleeting yet divine EP, suggests we should expect bolder things coming from them.

Cut Your Hair - Utah In Pictures by MushroomPillow

Video: Los Mundos - "No me grites"

Like this year’s solid EP Mi Propia Banda Quiero Ver (an intimate session of the duo with new versions of four of their previous songs + a new track), the new video for “No me grites” serves as another documentary piece for Los Mundos. Director Horacio Flores compiles diverse footage of the group's performances with vintage imagery and dynamic editing. Definitely one of the most rejoicing tunes off Los Mundos, the dreamy opener “No me grites” is the perfect next single choice in an album with such a homogenous, white sound and confirms why the pairing up of Luis Ángel Martinez’s and Alejandro “Chivo” Elizondo’s quirky minds was so promising to begin with.

yiLet - "Mi Verano de Invierno"

Argentinian three-piece band yiLet recently became one of our artists to watch this year. After catching our attention with their cool “ENA” video, the ladies are back with powerful dance-rock cut “Mi Verano de Invierno,” a taste of their upcoming sophomore record. With one of the most killer basslines of the year, yiLet awaken the rebellion of shameless dancing, where music and body become one, and nothing else matters but the joy of sweating through your shirt in uncontrollable dance floor devotion. “Si no te conociera, me encantaría te acercaras a hablarme,” invites lead singer Marina La Grasta in the song’s opening line, her non-spectacular yet energetic vocals lifting the spirits of this hot, addictive summer banger.

YiLet - Mi Verano de Invierno by yiLet