With a strategy that puts its bet on social networks and “people-to-people comments”, Latin American indie bands are growing in numbers and international and regional visibility by means of such festivals as Vive Latino or Lollapalooza.
Without any boldface company linked to the musical industry, these bands attract fans with their talent and efforts, and their influence is spreading in the region and overseas.
A psychedelic style marked by fun and a frenetic blend of sounds and lyrics that highlight the value of introspection, animals and ecology; that’s how many critics define the music played by the Chilean band, which has been on the rise since its debut back in 2008.
Octavio Cavieres, Nicolás Arancibia, Daniel Varas and Andrés Nusser conquered the independent music segment in their country with their first album entitled “Le disc de Astrou” and produced in Mexico and Chile. The success, higher than expected, led them to their second production “Astro”, which went farther and got a position on the international indie scene, with presence in Spain, Argentina and the United States.
The band is set to participate in the Chilean Lollapalooza festival this month and it has also shown its talent in Lollapalooza Chicago, Lollapalooza Chile, Vive Latino, Primavera Sound, Misteryland Santiago and Amsterdam, among others. Last year, they launched single “Hawaii” and they are presently working on their next studio album.
Remark: their entertaining video clips back up such singles as “Manglares”, “Ciervos” and “Colombo”.
I CAN CHASE DRAGONS (MÉXICO)
Mexican indie scene is pretty-well assorted and acclaimed. The soloist work developed by Julio Gudiño –vocalist of The Plastics Revolution band – is described as an interesting mix of electronic rhythms, pop, loops, Caribbean elements, vintage sounds of vinyl records and synthesizers.
The debut album “Expansión” was rolled out in 2012 with great repercussion in cities like Amsterdam, Milan, London, New York and Boston, as well as Mexican DF, of course. While Julio Gudiño is working on his next album, he launched “Primo” in collaboration with Colombian artist Mateo Lewis, a musical project different from his style and linked to experimental R&B. According to the critics it was different to what’s traditionally played in Latin America.
Remark: Gudiño’s style has a soothing effect. It leaves routine behind and stands as a passport to the calm of the sea. It’s recommended for those who try to run away from stress.
MONSIEUR PERINÉ (COLOMBIA)
“Hecho a mano”, the Colombian band’s debut album in 2012 was enough to be praised by critics and led to the success of its “Huracán” tour throughout Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Chile), as well as the United States, France, Italy, Belgium, Japan and Germany.
According to the experts, the success was brought about by a peculiar pop boom with elements of rock and swing, but it also included gipsy jazz, pop and boleros from the 1950s. Supported by the critics and followed by fans, the band made up of Catalina García, Santiago Prieto, Camilo Parra, Nicolás Junca, Fabián Peñaranda, Miguel Guerra and Daniel Chebair, was given a national Gold Disc because of such hits as “Cou-Cou”, “La playa” or “Suín Romanticón”. A new studio production is expected in 2015.
Remark: A party in each live performance with the special charisma of the vocalist, Catalina García.
JAZZ THE ROOTS (ECUADOR)
It’s based in Quito, but its members are both Ecuadorian and Chilean musicians. The blend of Caribbean melodies with jazz and reggae is the most enchanting characteristic of this band, which is mainly instrumental and has had an interesting presence in the regional indie scene since the launch of its first album that was baptized “Jazz The Roots”. Precisely, the idea of Ismael Villarroel (bassist) and Gabriel Jofré (guitarist) was a project that could mix reggae’s groove with the language of jazz, and they did it by gathering eminent academy musicians like Luis Sigüenza, Miguel Gallardo and Raúl Molina. It’s important to highlight that their debut album was practically recorded in live.
The popularity and spreading obtained by the band led it to participate in “Reggae al Sol” Quito’s First Reggae Festival, “Ecuador Jazz” International Jazz Festival (2013 – 2014), “Fiesta de la Música” (Cuenca), “Cota 70” Festival (Portoviejo) and “Grito Rock” International Festival in 2014, as well as give concerts in Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Ambato, Portoviejo, Ibarra, Montañita and Santiago de Chile.
Remark: When buying an album, the package includes a card, watercolor and paintbrush so the buyer can design the cover.
LAS LIEBRES (ARGENTINA)
“Reverberaciones”, the fourth album of Argentinean duet – Iñaki Zubieta and Federico Delbon – was eagerly awaited by fans of this band, which came up in 2008 with experimental rock, following the concept of “sonorous art”.
In spite of this fact, the latest production of the band seems to have stepped away from this line, thus getting closer to rock. Its first album – “El Arroyo de la miel” – entailed several live performances as a duet, and they were later joined by friends with other musical projects, who included keyboards, bass and guitars. The critics described their works as powerful “spatial and psychedelic folk rock”.
It’s important to underline that the duet was created in Corrientes province, but it didn’t stop them from gaining fans from the whole country, Buenos Aires and their sound was listened to in Spain, Mexico and the United States.
Remark: They improvise in live performances, a characteristic their fans love. During the first recitals they used to improvise the whole show, even the lyrics.