(Writer Jose Galvan will be previewing a handful of bands in anticipation of the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) taking place in NYC July 9 – 13)
In the 10 years that I’ve produced radio shows focusing on indie music in Spanish, no other single band has impacted me as much as this young outfit from Chile.
It’s a very basic electro-indie-rock sound, but it’s mixed with a feverish enthusiasm, playful songwriting, and immaculate production that elevates it above the rest of the fervent Chilean music scene.
Imagine Axl Rose’s singing range (1990’s Axl). Now imagine it coupled with fierce synth sounds and drums you might find of any NIN record. Then put those two together and add the quirky songwriting of a They Might be Giants record.
What you get are loud, ethereal songs about Mayan space monkeys, dancing bunnies, the cosmos… and all in SPANISH!
Let me explain briefly why I get so enthused at the mere fact that good music is in Spanish. For a good part of a decade, veiled Pop and poorly imitated ‘flavor of the day’ genres (hair metal, rap-rock, etc.) were being produced in Spanish and marketed as avant-garde. So it’s refreshing to hear genuine prog-rock being made in Spanish speaking countries.
Bands like Astro, Suave as Hell, and Austin TV are changing the way we think about Latin American rock.
Astro are scheduled to play Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer and I wouldn’t be surprised if next year you see them at Coachella, Outside Lands or Bonnaroo.
Basically… if you’re at any festival and you see them billed… SEE THIS BAND!
They are even better live than their records and definitely one of the loudest bands I’ve ever heard.
In case you’re skeptical about hearing songs about Mayan space monkeys in Spanish, walk away with this: you will definitely appreciate the music Astro is making if at any point you’ve had Foster the People, Junior Boys, MGMT, Yacth, or Passion Pit on your playlists.
– Jose Galvan