(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)
Three years ago I came across an EP with a muzzled dog on the cover and black letters on it that read Torreblanca. It opened up like an accordion and had lyrics artfully laid out over five interesting faces.It was self-produced, roughly mixed, and had a lead vocalist with a slightly strange register that took some getting used to. Despite all that, it was still insanely impressive.The EP, titled “Defensa”, was 19 minutes of carefully constructed art rock with an underlying pop sensibility that you typically would not find coming from Mexico’s Indie rock scene.Listening to this new project by five very talented and possibly classically trained musicians gave me a guttural feeling of excitement. It was an excitement very much similar to the first time I listened to Café Tacvba’s now classic album, ‘Re’.Apparently this unassuming record resonated with others as well, garnering Torreblanca prime slots at Vive Latino, Corona Capital and SXSW prior to the release of their first album.
It also stirred up enough interest that Quique Rangel of Café Tacvba curiously approached the band to produce what would be their highly anticipated full-length album.
“Bella Época“, released on Cosmica Records in the U.S. has 11 beautifully crafted songs. The art rock tendencies remain in their debut, but the subtle pop melodies are now at the forefront along with Andrea Balency’s tender vocals and Tío’s ‘one man band’ woodwinds and brass section. There’s also an almost frantic approach to the percussion provided by Jerson Vázquez and the steadiness of a rhythmic bass executed by ‘El Abuelo’ holds all the pieces together.Give it a listen and see what you think. My guess is you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the musical influences like Roxy Music and Kate Bush that punch through on their record.Download “Roma” for free and stream it below.