Marley Muerto: Sad and Weird Songs for the Club
I’m a little late to Ecuador’s Marley Muerto, but I’m glad I got here. A towering yellow suited man with a disco skull writes sad songs for the clubs. The music, especially “Dorado Salmón Violeta (feat. Frances Possieri),” also sounds good in the morning-after light after a night of bad or even meh decisions. My favorite release of his so far is 2012’s Pararmar; Not quite freak folk, and in 2017 this can qualify for legitimate mainstream pop music, but it’s definitely a far-out take on traditional Latin songwriting. The weirder, the better. And what a great website.
Biorn Borg: not the tennis player
It’s a shame that we haven’t had any new music from Biorn Borg since 2012 – this Ecuadorian band writes some killer riffs and has fantastic energy. Positive, weird alternative guitar rock, please come back!
“Biorn Borg takes its name from the six-time French Open champion tennis player. The band was born with the idea of rocking forward with a straight face. Their lyrics are direct, provocative and full of urban poetry. Their live act emphasizes a powerful and polished sound with an electrifying feel.”
Sexores is an Ecuadorian darkwave duo made up of vocalist and guitarist Emilia Bahamonde and drummer David Yépez. Its latest release, Red Rooms, is a sort of concept album that’s as sinister as its dreamy and shoegazey sound that reminds me of Portishead, early ’90s Björk, Beach House, Interpol, and other bands that sound best at night.
The songs are inspired by themes of abuse and murder, both in how the culprits commit abuse and murder and how they learn to carry on with the guilt of causing harm to another person. Sometimes the culprit is also the victim, or at least the culprit sees itself as a victim of circumstances. But Bahamonde and Yépez do not want you to read too much into the lyrics – the music’s blood-red imagery and sense of space do the pondering for you.
Here’s a statement from the band about the album’s dark theme: “We had the idea of creating a song for every murder committed by a child. Boys and girls corrupted by the environment, they had a bumpy childhood, much of them were victims of some kind of abuse. Red Rooms is for them. We don’t want to leave a message with this; it’s just our interpretation of the events. Here, the music is telling stories about killing and losing. Sometimes we can find a bit of love beyond blood, there are some clues in Reed Rooms about that. At the end, it’s like each character tries to find a kind of joy through death.”
Photo: Daniela Vásconez
Some of the best guitar bands I’ve heard in the past year are from Latin America, and Quito, Ecuador’s alternativo group Da Pawn now joins the ranks with its latest single, “Años.” Moving away from its more folky past, I now hear The Strokes in the melodic guitars, bouncing bass, and raw vocals.
The band is set to release a new album this August called Summer in a Coma, so be on the lookout while you replay “Años” over and over in your car stereo, because this is the perfect outdoor summer song.