Elandh is a Chilean trio that's been steadily teasing their debut LP, Ficción, for some time now. Promo cuts “Estrellándonos” and “Como nunca” eluded us in their original run, but have gained some heavy rotation thanks to the official release just days ago. Early impressions generally concede that Ficción is a sleek pop record with some notable features (Fakuta on "El frío entre los dos") and house cuts. "Fiesta House", the album's opener, is so straightforward as a dance track that one could almost miss it. Then again, you could just be overthinking it. Pre-chorus we hear the words: "Seré mi propia estrella..." and there its function is made clear. This is a warm-up track, when the dance floor is looking empty and social inhibitions are still lingering. Fear not. By the time you hear the reprise of those vocal samples, you'll know exactly what to do.
Piyama Party’s fourth full-length, Álbum De Oro, is finally set to arrive tomorrow (10/5) through a Panamérika premiere. First single “Vampiros y plantas tropicales” showcases a florid and hypnotic side to Luis Angel Martínez’s project, injecting dusty atmospherics and some genuine mystique. Here the titular “tropical plants” exist more as poetic mirages, adjacent to guitars and noise samples that howl through a western landscape. It’s intense, but never too harsh. Like magic hour in the desert. If the rest of Álbum De Oro supplies anything half as engrossing, we will surely have another essential record on what is shaping up to be a great year.
There’s an Instagram video somewhere of Mariana Montenegro dancing in a hotel room to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s “み” (“Mi”). The song is from a 2013 album titled Nanda Collection and might be the most extreme example of Kyary’s weirdness. It’s J-pop frenzy gone too far. The kind of “girly” track bordering on parody and made for white dudes to gawk at through a YouTube screen. At the end of the day, Kyary’s discography deserves better analysis than just kawaii desu. They are expertly produced pop songs with entertaining often profound lyrics on innocence, adolescent longing, even rejection. Always adding something extra that could easily be missed on first glance.
Dënver can relate to the above statement. After three studio albums they’ve excelled at a formula that sneaks immiscible ideas (disco, camp, women) into indie-rock. Now that success has followed them through it all they finally can stop holding back on whatever was left. On “Mai Lov”, the newest tease from Sangre cita, the duo are through playing games. Mariana sings as if she’s cloned herself and formed her own girl group. The beats are mindlessly simple, promoting instant gratification to an almost unsettling degree. If listeners were shocked by the Europop indulgence of “Los Vampiros”, then “Mai Lov” will surely send them running. We can sit here and throw out names of everything from PC Music to Perfume but it’s still a Dënver production. A song to get lost in with images of high speed adrenaline (“Vamos acelera / Va- vamos acelera / Mai lov...”) while tempting fate (“Que la muerte nos espera”). Who Needs Guitars Anyway?
Odio, Planeta No
Sello Azul, Chile
by Pablo Acuña
"Odio sentirme bien, odio sentarme acá, odio mirarte a ti, odio tener que hablar". There are no words. You just have to hear it. I’m talking about the initial seconds of "Odio", the opener on Planeta No‘s debut album. Describing something so personal would reduce its significance, rendering it a preamble or "entertainment". Some experiences need to be sat with, to be felt upon reflection when finding yourself back in the day-to-day humdrum rather than the excitable moment of confrontation. Naturally, though, we have no choice but to sit with it, and it’s in these moments where the true power of the display is felt. It’s a question that often rears its head whenever a piece of music moves us so supremely – perhaps the consistent intrigue comes from the fact that there isn’t ever a solid answer. Perhaps it’s too much of a personal question to ever really be concluded.
Led by Gonzalo Garcia (vocals/ synth/ guitar), Camilo Molina (bass) and Juan Pablo Garin (drums), Planeta No has been working around the clock for many months. Though having to cope with changing climates and limited resources to every day survival, they've always been surrounded by empeñosos companions that provide purpose to their work. An example of this was Matucana, an EP that proved that the band could be exported to Latin American countries along with other exporters of Chilean music.
On the band's debut LP, Planeta No gravitates towards a young teenager moment in which you do not take in the weight of that word and spontaneity dictates the course of it, because it simply makes you feel good. Opening track ‘Odio’ is brave in many senses, as we absorb the array of emotions and succumb to the empathy, regardless of whether you are a teenager or in you're in the late twenties or thirties. A more joyful ‘Sol a Sol’ comes next, summoning the spirit of love and happiness, but only to see it turn to vapors and leave us empty, bitter and regretful: “Para alejarte, no debo verte/ No quiero estar de pie, no quiero estar mejor”. "El Campo", "Ser y Deshacer" and "Ami el Niño de las Estrellas" reveal that in their upbeat nature there hides a nervous self-awareness that things are not how they should be. This theme continues into stand-out track "64", a neurotic, paranoid reflection on a failing relationship, in which desperation and the need to make meaning of it all ultimately precipitates the end.
On a personal note, I’ve always worried that music means too much to me that I get too lost in the worlds created by song to bother exploring the less successful traits of my own psyche. This happens with the rest of the songs in Odio. There are flashes of teenage memories that blurs from appreciating the quality of the album as a whole and that when explored, some of these songs end up screwing the magic that the album started to build, and so, instead, we categorise them as simply that: small pieces of magic that just are.
In some sense it is like these songs existed before us and here’s that proof, quietly embedding itself in to our memories like thoughts half-forgotten or dreams that quietly remain. However, most of he memories are about anger, that anger to see how you unwittingly transform in this adult, ridiculous, aggressive, idiot system.
Depresión unites two beloved punk acts (Los Blenders and O Tortuga) along with third member Héctor Escajadillo for a sound influenced by alternative rock and all things dark. The six-minute, aggressively brooding single “Inexistencia” contemplates existence with eyes closed. Guitars come in at all points, building a wall of sound to save the singer from himself. It’s a breakup song that combats heavy feelings with heavier music. Sound comparisons from other sources have been varied: Joy Division, Smashing Pumpkins, Nothing, (Title Fight should get a mention as well), and still there’s really no telling where it could go. Suffice it to say that since Chavos Bien and O Tortuga accompanied us during the warm months, we can assume that Depresión will be there to get us through the cold.