Few sensations are as pleasant as discovering new music. Songs to unravel, to immerse yourself in, to put on repeat, to dance as if nothing else mattered. We hope you enjoy these as much as we do:
Dowdelin – “Simé Love”
If there’s a type of music that can be described as “Creole Afrofuturism”, that’s undoubtedly what Dowdelin cooks up. This band from Lyon, France, puts in “Simé Love” all the necessary ingredients to make us dance in a loop: an R&B piano leading the way to a groovy bass, a crooked beat backed by Caribbean percussions and a kaleidoscope of French electro-pop melodies. The singing voice in patois ends up giving it that tropical and enchanting flavor of Creole. Playing since the end of last year, this single served as a preview of their album Lanmou Lanmou, released in January 2022 by Underdog Records.
Dowdelin accounts for what the English sociologist Paul Gilroy calls “the black Atlantic,” a hybrid culture that’s neither African, nor American, nor Caribbean, nor European, “but all that at the same time.” This collective offers a rich menu of cultural crossovers, in a constant roundtrip of influences, from the rhythmic and linguistic traditions of the Antilles to the avant-garde details of European electronica, passing through the ease of jazz and the expressiveness of soul. One of those bands that knows how to eat a little bit of everything.
Natalia Doco – “Decreto (La Sagrada)”
Myth that is treasured as a secret in the forest and that Natalia Doco whispers almost like a lullaby. Stories of sisterhood, of female goddesses ousted by male gods, of “the freedom that comes like a whirlwind and sweeps you away,” as she mantra-sung, concluding: “I’m sacred.” Fueled by folklore and Afro-Latin rhythms, even with some ranchera vibes, “Decreto” never sounds old thanks to a production that brings it closer to the sounds of urban music. Released just a few weeks ago, this new song comes with a dedication: “It’s my tribute to all the women in this world. So strong, so great, so sacred. To those who are, those who left, those who will come,” she wrote.
Natalia Doco was born in Argentina and used to sing in bars in Buenos Aires. After a bad experience in a TV musical reality, she moved to Mexico to start from scratch. Then, in 2011, she traveled across Europe and ended up settling in Paris. At that time, she also began a relationship with the French singer-songwriter Flo Delavega. In May 2014, she stepped out with the Freezing EP, followed a month later by the release of her first album Mucho Chino. Somewhat dissatisfied with those recordings, she set out to produce a second album that would reflect who she really is as an artist. This is how El Buen Gualicho arrived in 2017, with songs in Spanish and French.
Adrian Quesada (feat. Neal Francis) – “Starry Nights”
It seems that this year the guitarist, producer and co-founder of Black Pumas Adrian Quesada is making all the musical dreams he’s ever had come true. Now, just a few months after having released his acclaimed album Boleros Psicodélicos, he brings us another collection of twelve tracks, this time all instrumental, under the title of Jaguar Sound. Here, the psychedelic soul expands like a movie screen, thanks to an orchestration that refers to the soundtracks of Italian films from the 70s, under the influence of Ennio Morricone. “Starry Nights” is just a sample of this sonic adventure, born from nocturnal bike rides, but also gifted with that unique sensation of being transported to other worlds without moving.
The pandemic stopped the expansion of the Black Pumas, which was in full swing around 2020. It was a brake on live performances. The positive thing, for a music producer as restless as Adrian Quesada, is that those breaks allowed him to finish projects that he’d dreamed of for a long time. And this 2022 we enjoy those fruits already turned into records. First, it was his homage to the psychedelic bolero that emerged between the late 60s and early 70s, led by groups such as Los Pasteles Verdes and Los Terrícolas. Now it’s the turn of this imaginary soundtrack. And all without losing the fusion essence of the Texas-based musician, as a good heir to a border culture.
Keezyporta – “Vértices”
Two nylon string guitars trace soft arpeggios so that Keezyporta – Kike to friends and colleagues – lends his voice. The intimacy achieved is that of a room, the only space where these sorrows are confessed. More layers of the same voice appear: the singing opens and expands. The guitars also unfold, even if only for the end: one draws melodies, and the other strums with flamenco impetus. There, to raise the closure, keyboard textures and an electronic drum beat are added. “Vértices” is a heartfelt song that alludes to unrequited love, but it also talks about recovering, learning from mistakes, falling and getting up.
Born in El Puig de Santa María, a small town 15 minutes from Valencia, Spain, Keezyporta is a 24-year-old singer-songwriter who often amazes with acoustic covers of hip-hop gems. Frank Ocean stands out among his influences, responsible for changing his vision of music and encouraging him to self-produce. In April of this year, he released Bonito, an EP of seven songs that are priceless, including “Vértices”, “Handy” and “Escorial”.
Grupo Tropical Los Gorriones – “Espinas en el Corazón”
There are no mysteries with Los Gorriones: what they do is cumbia, pure and straight. For this reason, to clear up any doubt, they add before their name “Tropical Group”. And what they sing about on this catchy beat is nothing but the hardships of love. Everyone knows this passage from romance to betrayal, from heyday to fall, from feeling butterflies in the stomach to suffering thorns in the heart. And this Mexican band makes the most of it in “Espinas en el Corazón”, their first single released at the end of 2019, produced by Julián Bernal, who had already worked with Esteman and Elsa y Elmar.
Formed in Mexico City, Grupo Tropical Los Gorriones is made up of Gabriel Melgarejo on vocals, Pach Martín del Campo on guitar, Jesús Emiliano Mendoza on keyboards, and Sebastián Lanzagorta on bass. But their lineup increases when they perform live adding drums, percussion, and brasses in order to shake the stage and get the audience dancing. Their influences range from traditional Mexican cumbia and Caribbean salsa to American music such as rock and blues. At the end of 2020, they released their debut album, Sentencias de Amor, on their own.
Estevie – “La Cumbia del Cucuy”
Legend says that children who misbehave and don’t want to sleep are taken away by a creature called Cucuy. There should be no more well-known lullaby in all of Latin America than “Duérmete Niño, Duérmete Ya”. This is what Estevie begins singing with an Iberian tune and a hint of irony in her hit “La Cumbia del Cucuy”. What follows is a wild cumbia over a reggaeton beat. Which is to say: a real infectious dance bombshell. Released two months ago, this song was complemented shortly after by its sister single: “Chiki Bombóm”.
Originally from Beaumont, California, Estevie is a first-generation Mexican-American singer and a proud ambassador of cultural heritage. Formerly known as Sarah Silva, she’s only 19 years old and has a great future ahead of her. The revival of cumbia and regional Mexican music fit perfectly into her project of combining traditional Latin rhythms with modern pop. In August 2021, she self-released her debut single “Canela”. This year, already with a record contract with Nice Life Recording Company, she came out big with these two singles.