Let’s have a bit of summery pop for this sunny Friday afternoon.
For Uruguay we have pop duo Olvidate! (the exclamation point is part of the name). Now, when I’ve been researching Uruguayan chart pop I’ve noticed that the basic reggaeton rhythm has mutated in all sorts of directions. The one you’ll hear in Qué Calor is at the same time closer to a Euro dance rhythm but also contains some jarring moments that would be challenging on the dancefloor.
For France, Therapy TAXI are very interesting indeed. They’ve launched their new album Hit Sale with a sequence of three videos telling a weird and troubling exploitation story, but for today I’ve got you ADENA from their first album.
The weather continues to be utterly fantastic in the UK, so here’s two evocations of the louche pastel poolside vibe.
For Uruguay, A.M.I.G.A give us the adorable Verano 2020, containing fabulously useful summer vocab training and Uruguayan Daphne & Celeste vibes.
For Portugal, we revisit an older single from Listen Outside faves The Gift who give us glamorous drag and unicorn pool party vibes, which is very Summer 2018 even though it’s last summer’s song.
Poland are represented by the fabulously wonky pop of Ramona Rey. This song, Euvi works just as well in the full gaga-esque production of the single version but also as a low-key jazz version. I can only assume she’s too famous/cool to give the Eurovision a go, but I bet she’d be a right laugh.
Representing Colombia we have musical space/time traveller Bleepolar with a selection of irresistible basslines and a worldwide collage of sounds.
As we enter the last day of the first round of group matches, I realise that we’ve not been nearly noisy or anarchic enough.
So for Colombia I present to you Bestiärio who channel punk energy through accordions, shouting, and clattering percussion. Yes, this song is about severely disrespecting police officers who murder and frame civilians.
For Japan we bring the joyful noise of Electric Eel Shock. I adore their cover of Minnie Riperton’s Loving You, but here’s their latest single ‘So Much 80s’
Ooof, here we go. Are Germany going to win their 5th World Cup as defending champions or is someone else somehow going to manage to get past them?
Representing Germany, we’ve got Cold Leather, a group of excitingly noisy punks who absolutely get the job done and in a quite entertaining and aesthetic manner to boot. Their album Smart Moves is well under 30 minutes long but contains 100% of your RDA of grit, yelling and frantic guitars.
Representing Mexico, we take a long draught from the well of doom metal witchcraft with Spacegoat. They’ve got my favourite combination of heavy riffing, huge female vocals and esoteric lyrical themes. I recommend you start with Transmuta to experience a bit of doom metal en español.
Tonight, some music from beautiful, vital, excellent Barcelona. Cuzo are an experimental prog band with an expansive, groovy approach to including psych and world music into their sound. Noches de Sol (Sunny Nights) combines poundingly heavy drums with sunshine laden guitars and shifts rhythmically away from you every time you think you’ve worked out where it’s going.
Cuzo are on Bandcamp
Cuzo are on
Facebook Myspace, apparently
I’ll hold my hands up, this one isn’t European but Juanes sings in Spanish so I’m going to for it ‘Drops of Fresh Water’ as the title translates is just too wonderfully relevant to today’s weather.
This song is from 2007 by Juanes a Colombian singer/songwriter and activist who has been very successful in the two stages of his career. Firstly in a thrash metal band Ekhymosis and from the turn of the millennium as a solo artist.
I don’t think this song sounds 9 years old, it has a pretty tune and Juanes voice sits well, it took time to select a good song that didn’t have a video that made me cringe but this ‘in studio’ style is usually interesting to watch. The lyric is sweet and simple a love song that (hopefully) will offend no one.
Now then you lot, listen up. Ellie has gone on holiday and has left me in charge. Be prepared. Love Milly x
Getting straight to it we have a bouncy pop track by Álvaro Soler, it’s fun and there’s a bit that you’re definitely going to catch yourself whistling along to in the introduction. It’s all about how he wasn’t particularly nice to his ex girlfriend and now he regrets it because she’s happy with someone else. Funny how that happens.
The video was filmed in Havana, Cuba and it’s good to see a music video with an (almost) equal mixture of men and women doing the dancing.
I love songs with this sort of sound because it’s so summery and given that Álvaro had a hit across Europe last summer featuring Jennifer Lopez it could be something he does well, we’ll keep listening out for him.
And we’re on Day 2 of sport in Rio, but we’ve still yet to see the opening ceremony. There are six games of football on tonight – the most intriguing of which is Fiji vs South Korea at midnight (imagine!) but the most Listen Outside match is Mexico vs Germany. I’ve developed a real soft spot for Mexico after doing an extended business trip there (it was the food that got me) and I’m really glad to have an excuse to listen to some Mexican indie.
For Mexico we have Natalia Lafourcade, who is a huge Grammy winning star and wonderful songwriter. Hasta la Raíz is her latest single, which is beloved enough to have a 1300 word wikipedia entry and is just absolutely gorgeous acoustic pop.
For Germany we have Sebastian Block, who is a former indie band member turned solo artist. I don’t think he’s the guy trying to attend the totally Pinteresty birthday party in the video, but I think he might be one of the chaps playing the guitar at the end. Either way, this is super cute and one of the nicest German language indie-pop songs I’ve heard in age
Hasta la Ráis – Natalia Lafourcade [Dreamy acoustic pop]
Halb so schlimm – Sebastian Block [Adorable folk pop]
Anarquía en España! It’s Friday night so we’re having some totally daft, thoroughly ridiculous and wonderfully sincere punk. Nave Nodriza (which means ‘mothership’) are from A Coruña and they make a bloody racket. Their album opens with a song called Teletubbies and contains a song called ‘No hay nada’. Nihilism sounds a lot better in Spanish.
They’ve put their whole album Apesta (‘stink’) on youtube. It’s the kind of album that has 13 tracks and is about 25 minutes long. Make some space for it and enjoy while wearing a black leather jacket, dousing yourself with the nastiest Spanish lager you can get your hands on.
Please come to the UK and do some shows, lads.
Nave Nodriza are on bandcamp
Nave Nodriza are on Facebook