Lianna – Trabajo Sucio

January 1

After the success achieved with her latest album ‘Como el Agua’, which loosely translates to ‘Like the Water’ and marks the emotional liquidity of her creative process Colombian artist Lianna strikes back with the same authenticity, but with much more strength, security and power with her latest single ‘Trabajo Sucio’. Over elaborate beats, the singer showcases her harmonic yet powerful voice as she incorporates metric rhymes over a solid beat penned by El Arkeólogo.

Weste – Razones

February 18

Weste was born after the encounter of two great exponents of the Latin American music scene. On one hand, Clara Truco, Argentine member of Femina, and on the other, Igna Perez, from the neighbouring country of Uruguay, member of Mushi Mushi Orchestra. What began as a simple game involving folkloric instruments of the world with electronic experimentation, ended up consolidating in 2014, after the addition of three musicians from several of the best Latin-American music projects: Gonzalo Garcia from Budha Sound on the bass, Pedro Bulgakov from Diego Frekel and La Cosa Mostra on the drums, and Fermin Echeveste from Morbo and Mambo on the winds.

Weste rounded off 2018 with the release of their latest single titled ‘Razones’, a peak into their third and soon to be released LP. Exploring a more jazzy sound with remnants of hip hop, slow tempo and a light groove which generate a chill atmosphere, where the trumpet appears as the key player, the pair have delivered an absolute gem.

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Churupaca – Antes de Mañana

October 31

In the Aymara language, “Churupaca” is a giant adaptable, multi-talented insect that can swim, fly, jump and hunt, amongst other skills; thus, the Buenos Aires neo-orchestra found the perfect name for their project. Formed by a diverse group of musicians of various disciplines, Churupaca stand out for their acoustic sentimentality and the romanticism of their lyrics. Together, members Juana, Fefo, Ricardo, Darío, Joaquín and Pablo gave birth to their second record this year, entitled “Antes de Mañana” (“Before Tomorrow” in English). The fifteen-track masterpiece guides us on a journey through countless textures and styles from across Latin America and the world, with folk and soul influences alongside classic elements of the tango, burlesque and waltz. The album’s instrumental exuberance is defined by the dramatic qualities of the wind and string sections, the sumptuous accordion melodies and Juana’s emotive, longing vocals, creating a rich, multi-layered body of work to be savoured.

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Carne Doce – Amor Distrai (Durin)

August 16

One of the most talked about bands to appear on Brazil’s indie rock scene, Carne Doce hail from Goiás, a state traditionally famous for country musical acts but that has been breathing new life into the indie rock landscape in recent years with the emergence of bands like Boogarin. Carne Doce were founded 5 years ago by the couple Salma Jô (singer) and Macloys Aquino (guitar), creating an outlet where they could talk about their love and relationship in a frank and straightforward way with a refreshingly naturalistic perspective on sex, love and other drugs. The single ‘Amor Distrai (Durin)’, from the band’s newly released third album ‘Tônus’, is a perfect example of a passionate night between two lovers; a smooth, steady tune with honest lyrics that go straight to the point of the singer’s desires and wishes.

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Tomás Justo – Ronco y Bruxo

July 31

Tomás Justo delighted listeners this year with his debut solo album ‘Ronco y Bruxo’. A former member of successful acts Onda Vada and Michael Mike, the composer and vocalist moved away from constant touring life to create his most sincere and romantic work to date. In addition to taking care of the bulk of the composition and production of the album’s 11 songs, Justo also handles most of the instrumentation, playing guitar, bass, synthesisers and a range of analog and digital percussion, resulting in a unique blend of electronic folk and progressive pop.

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Huaira – Semilla Solar

June 29

In Andean culture the most important festivity in the calendar corresponds to the summer solstice of June 21st, and it was on this day that Ecuadorian singer Huaira chose to release her first solo EP ‘Ñuka Shunku’ (“I am pure heart”). From the centre of the planet Quito on the day dedicated to the sun, Huaira (meaning “wind” in the Quechua language), the project opens with ‘Semilla Solar’ (“Solar Seed”), a song loaded with timeless Andean elements and beautiful vocals that seems to bring a message from the earth itself.

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Los Espíritus – Ruso Blanco

June 24

Last year, Buenos Aires psychedelic rock/blues band Los Espíritus released their third album ‘Agua Ardiente’. A few months later, while still touring the album, they released a three track EP called ‘Guayabo de Agua Ardiente’. The group describes this extension as containing the songs that were “too spaced out to be inserted in the official album but also too good not to be shared”. This EP ends with the aching guitars and deep, rasping vocals of ‘Ruso Blanco’.

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Gui Amabis – Contravento

June 18

Though perhaps better known in Brazil as a producer and composer for new MPB indie artists such as Céu and Lucas Santtana, Gui Amabis is no newcomer to the microphone himself. His latest album, ‘Miopia’, is the fourth in a series which began back in 2011 with ‘Memórias Luso-Africanas’, followed by 2012’s ‘Trabalhos Carnívoros’ and ‘Ruivo em Sangue’ in 2015. ‘Contravento’ is actually a song that was originally recorded by Céu on her album ‘Caravana Sereia Bloom’, but here Amabis crafts a new version that completely reworks the genre and mood of the song: where before there were notes of tropical cumbia, Amabis spins a smooth, melancholic take, adding a philosophical and reflective depth to the lyrics. Amabis handles vocal duties, enlisting instrumental assistance from a band of four; Dustan Gallas (electric guitar), Regis Damasceno (bass), Samuel Fraga (drums) and Richard Ribeiro (vibraphone).

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