An edgy crooner with a stuttery heart, a guitar-driven soul, and the capacity to make an unexpected amount of noise.
“Los Polacos” is an idiosyncratic winner—an edgy crooner with a stuttery heart, a guitar-driven soul, and the capacity to make an unexpected amount of noise. There is no doubt a bass player in here too, and obviously a drummer, but everything I hear works in support of the guitars and the singing, and centers around the pining drive of the cycling melody.
Similarly to “Rivers” (see previous post) but in an entirely different-feeling song, the melody here offers a long hesitant journey through an unresolved chord progression. When we finally end up on solid ground, we don’t really get to rest there—listen, for example, at 0:40, to how the melody resolves but then instantly resets itself back to the beginning. Or, in another case, we arrive at resolution only to have our minds are scrubbed clean by a wall of guitars (1:17). And if the ongoing lack of resolution leads the ear on, the earnest playing is what engages the soul. No doubt there are cultural influences at work that go beyond my understanding, but I get such a strong sense of a group of actual musicians interacting in real space, with their instruments and their voices, in a way that feels ancient and true, transcending the rock’n’roll setting entirely. Musicians making music, as they always have and always will, long past the time anyone remembers what a laptop was.
Orquesta de Perros (“Dog Orchestra”) is a five-piece band from Buenos Aires. “Los Polacos” is the lead track from Roles y Oficios, the band’s first full-length album, released this month on Buenos Aires-based Uf Caruf! Records. MP3 via the band. The entire album, worth a listen, is available for free, from Bandcamp.
Crisp and crunchy Spanish-language, Latin-spiked rock’n’roll from…Kansas City, somehow. Get this one going and check out how easily your body wants to keep the beat even as the music itself seems to snake and sway in and around but never, it seems, directly on that same beat.
<"La Marcha" – Making Movies
Crisp and crunchy Spanish-language, Latin-spiked rock’n’roll from…Kansas City, somehow. I’ll take it from wherever; to my ears, Latin rhythms are a natural for rock’n’roll–we haven’t over the years heard nearly enough of them in any sort of mainstream way (whether mainstream mainstream or, as it were, indie mainstream).
“La Marcha” vigorously exploits the dynamics of a style of music called cumbia, which is known for melding a lopsided rhythm to a steady 4/4 beat. Get this one going and check out how easily your body wants to keep the beat even as the music itself seems to snake and sway in and around but never, it seems, directly on that same beat. One of the delights of that group-sung grunt (first heard at 0:10) is how precisely on the beat it is, compared to almost everything else that emerges from the drums and guitars. I also like how effectively the band works a slightly distorted rhythm guitar sound, straight from the rock’n’roll textbook, into the chorus, and how it leads with the Latino chord changes in a gratifying way. Don’t miss, also, when the band drifts seamlessly into a salsa montuno (you may not know what that is but you’ll hear it) for an instrumental rave-up at 1:56.
“La Marcha” can be found on the album In Dea Speramus, which the quartet self-released last month. The album, by the way, was pretty much recorded live, vocals and instruments together in real time–yet another reason this song has so much energetic allure.
I suggest giving yourself some time and space to take this one in. Being in an altered state might help, although this song, if you open yourself to it, might help you achieve one.
A long-time Fingertips favorite, Molina returns with a crazy, churning, ecstatic daze of a song. The Argentinian former sitcom star has, as a musician, pioneered an alluring if evasive sort of folktronica, with lots of loops and repetition. “Un Día” is some of that, but also something else entirely. Despite how rigorously plotted out and worked over this sort of song construction probably is, Molina here sounds almost nuttily spontaneous and expansive, both musically and vocally. Ecstatic, yes: there seems something nearly spiritual in the air as Molina all but chants–her voice sounds freer, more unrestrained than in the past–against a marvelously textured and continually varying undercurrent of voice, electronics, horns, sounds, and percussion. As usual, for English-speaking listeners, the language adds another element of incomprehensibility, but she appears to be aiming in that direction in any case; one of the lyrics here, translated, reads: “One day I will sing the songs with no lyrics and everyone can imagine for themselves if it’s about love, disappointment, banalities or about Plato.”
“Un Día” is the title track from Molina’s forthcoming album, her fifth, due out next month on Domino Records. Can’t wait to hear the whole thing. MP3 via Stereogum.