Canciones Para Mis Amigxs (EP), Las Olas
Piloto Records, Chile
by Giovanni Guillén
Las Olas is a four-piece noise-pop band based in Santiago de Chile. They actually stylize the “noispop” part into the name, in case there were any doubts. Over the last few months the group has become the new darlings within Santiago’s indie scene. These youngsters represent a fresh face in Chilean alternative, leading a wave of similar punk and noise-inclined bands that remain decidedly friendly and supportive and fun.
Canciones para mis amigxs puts together a cohesive product from previously existing songs that just needed to be collected in the studio. The six tracks that make up this cassette EP are just as charming as the pink cover art and doodles might suggest. Here is a reminder of how guitars can still transmit the essence of teen and young adult extremes, and how life’s difficulties can be sustained or made lighter through them. “Un Gato” materializes under the sappiness of twee. The band rolls out angular notes drowned in cymbals while the singer comes in punch-drunk by it all. Cami’s voice even borders on the nya-nya of this cat she alludes to. But the most memorable bit comes from her ferocity at the end, in which she bellows to hold her own. They might be Chile’s darlings, but Las Olas have not yet been declawed.
“Para no irme lejos” is infused in Saddle Creek Records folk. Thankfully, the one-minute runtime doesn’t allow the listener to absorb or wallow in too much nostalgia. “Brilla lo que tenemos” and “Desobedecer” mark the EP’s existential core. The words first come at us in a sinister tone from a male voice: “Puedo desobedecer sin intentarlo tanto...” The teenage fantasies of rebellion are betrayed by the restraint from the slow-burning and tense guitars. “Desobedecer,” already a single and video, acts on those feelings and launches forward, underlining the best that Las Olas have to have offer: unbridled force and energy.
The end credits, scored by the bonus track “Me dices que es fácil,” is an epic conclusion of Dënver - “Lo que quieras” dimensions. Perhaps Las Olas were attempting to already outsize their humble beginnings. Or better yet, they just wanted to reach the same emotional heights without compromising their scraggly diminutive punk. Whatever the case, the song is proof that Las Olas know exactly what they’re doing.