Looking for a new music fix? The answer could come in the form of four indie music-playing Uruguayans — Cascabeles. Headed by singer-songwriter Cam Gadola, the outfit delivers an eclectic sound that is as versatile as it is nice to listen to. From relaxed afternoons spent basking in the suns, to an environment appropriate for the rock-boogie enthusiasts amongst us. Part of the Montevideo independent record label, La Órbita Irresistible, the band feature as one of ten bands.
Forming a few years back the group released their debut, self-titled album, Cascabeles late last year. The album features eight tracks resulting in a 22 minute indie-experimental burst. It draws on a variety of influences and soundbites, one relatively constant noise picked up by the group was that of a Rattlesnake, hence the band’s name.
The album’s lyrics showcase Cam’s bilingual skills, as she dabbles in both Spanish and English, all with a meaningful touch. An example? “Las Olas” (The Waves) in which Cam demonstrates her love for the Uruguayan tide. Genre-wise the tracks meander from the faced paced, stripped back, foot-tapping drums and vocals of the first track, “Say My Name” to the slower melodic numbers like “Cold Cold Reggae”, to the country-esc chimings of “No-One” being finally dusted off with the more rock centred “Way Blues”. There is quite the variation; coined as “suave blues-rock” by Billboard Argentina at this years’ Music Wins Festival.
Speaking to Cam, I discover some ins and outs on the group and the album:
When and how did you form?
Well, the band formed about 2 years ago, we were friends before this though. I had some songs of my own and two of band members (Paul Higgs and Sebastian Rodriguez) are both musicians and producers. They listened to my ideas and then proposed to me to record the songs, as they loved them and wanted to be part of it as a band. All contributing with their own sound, under their own label, La Órbita Irresistible. They have multiple bands, and they are part of most of them.
Was there an overall theme of the album or message you wanted to convey?
Yes, to show honesty through our music, as humans with imperfections, that’s the beauty. With raw cuts, with things that happened that maybe no-one can erase or avoid. To take things as they come.
Where do your influences come from?
We left influences outside the studio, we never talked about that, like: ‘Oh man listen to that sound, I want something similar, nah!’ That was the rule — just let it flow.
The album features a mixture of sounds, some tracks (“Say My Name”) are largely based on percussion and vocals, others have a more acoustic feel (“Mira”) and others (“Way Blues”) have more of a rock-feel. What were you aiming to show with this mixture?
That I don’t have a unique love for one type of style. I can’t define myself yet. I don’t know if I ever want to.
Where do you base you songs from? How are they influenced?
Some of the ideas or songs came while I was sleeping so it’s a super unconscious thing. Most of them are related to love and fear.
At the end of a few tracks there is often talking or shouting. What was the reason behind having this at the end of these tracks?
Experimental shit? Having fun? Making you feel like it’s a bad dream?
Why sing in both Spanish and English, do you think it’s important? Is this a common theme in Uruguay?
I don’t think, the lyrics just come. My whole life I’ve been listening to English music because of my parents and older brother, so maybe it has to do with that and the teen desire to live in other places. I don’t think it’s a thing in Uruguay, few bands sing in both languages.
How would you compare the Argentine indie-rock scene to that of Uruguay, are the two particularly similar? Do you think the scene is big here?
The Argentine scene is way bigger than the Uruguayan one but really similar. Argentina has more of a spectrum, more scales, like more shades of color to it. But with the same influences I think.
Have you played much in Argentina, have you travelled around a lot?
I am a constant traveller, everywhere I can, I go. With this album in particular, no I haven’t played it much yet. We’re on it though. The rest of the band have a lot of things happening in Uruguay, (jobs, projects, girls), so it’s not easy to move them everywhere. Sometimes I play by myself, just me and my guitar, solo.
Any new albums on the way soon? What’s the future look like?
We have some danceable songs that I made as part of an electro weird duo with a friend in New York, like a year ago but we don’t know if we are ever gonna release that. Who knows! And yes I’m always writing new songs, I hope to play in every place I can get to, while I can.
The best bet to catch Cascabeles is to hop on the ferry to Uruguay. They will be playing throughout the summer in Punte Del Este, with dates coming soon.