Well here we are, friends. Still indoors, still without fun events to attend. Helping each other out by organizing video calls, taking screenshots of said video calls, and posting those screenshots on our Instagram stories as a way to signal to the world that we still have social lives despite our current situation. As we reach the end of the government mandated quarantine period (with confirmation of an extension still pending), many of us are left facing down our own inner demons, compulsively rearranging our furniture, and annoying our pets. Is this what life will be like for the foreseeable future?
Things don’t have to be dark and apocalyptic. This is a good chance to catch up with all the art you’ve been quietly promising yourself you would eventually catch up with. Last week, we gave you a bunch of film recommendations that you can easily stream from home. Are you all caught up with those? Good. This time around, we are turning to another artform; one’s that’s just as entertaining, and probably even more emotionally resonant. We’re talking about music!
The Argentine music scene is brimming with awesomeness, and while most people stick to the tried-and-true combo of Charly, Soda, and Calamaro, we think this is a bit of a waste. There’s so much other stuff out there! So many powerful, genre-defying, and incredibly fun musicians we can check out. And yes, live shows may feel like a distant, rapidly-fading memory, but recorded music continues to exist. So we’re taking a look at ten awesome Argentine albums from recent years that are available for you to stream.
In order to qualify for our list, all that needs to happen is that these albums were somewhat recent (ideally released within the last 2 years) and made by an Argentine artist. We tried to keep things somewhat eclectic while remaining listener-friendly, so we’re not including some of the more off-the-wall stuff out there. We should also point out that this is but a small sampling of the enormously rich and vibrant Argentine music scene, and a good way to find other artists is to go into the “Fans Also Like” section of each musician’s Spotify page and click away!
Remember that all of these albums are easily found on Spotify and other streaming services. Without further ado, here are our selections!
Bandera – 1915
1915 are fun. That seems to be the guiding principle behind the Buenos Aires quartet’s music-making process. They’re a funk band that’s also a pop band that’s also a synth-wave band, and they inject a vibrancy and youthful energy to every song genre they tackle. Their second album Bandera serves as a further refinement of their sound, becoming one of the most widely celebrated releases of 2019 and pushing the band further towards pop superstardom. They have us on the edge of our seats waiting for their follow-up due this year.
Guacalart – Los Reyes del Falsete
Los Reyes del Falsete joins the ranks of bands like Oasis, Stone Temple Pilots, Kings of Leon and many more by being a band started by siblings. The music they make is a take on the desert-inspired indie-rock sound, with desolate yet poppy melodies punctuated by jangly guitars and thick stabs of delay-laden guitar leads. Guacalart is their fourth album, and at a breezy 28 minutes it feels like watching a good episode of one of your favorite TV shows. If you’re into 90s-influenced indie rock with sharp and catchy hooks, you’ll love this album.
Hermafrodita – Francisca y Los Exploradores
Cordoba native Fran Saglietti moved to Buenos Aires in his early 20s and worked his way through the local music scene as part of various bands before branching out on his own project. He has collaborated with Adrian Dargelos from Babasonicos (another band you really need to be checking out if you haven’t already; check out our helpful starter guide!) on previous Francisca y los Exploradores albums, but their most recent work Hermafrodita finds him at his most emotionally bare and vulnerable. Extremely pretty songs with an emotional depth that reveals itself with repeated listens.
Herminia – Silvina Moreno
Silvina Moreno is one of the most impressive and accomplished artists in Argentina’s wide music landscape. Her fourth album, Herminia, coalesces all her various strengths into a 10-song, 32-minute tightly-produced pop package. It’s brimming with catchiness and songs that make you think “hold on a second, that was unexpected”. Lead single “Si Desafino,” in particular, is one of the catchiest and most deftly written radio pop singles in recent memory, and I’ve been singing it in my head nonstop since I first heard it last year.
Lo Que Quedó – Carolina Donati
After debuting with her three-song EP Mes, Carolina Donati’s full-length follow-up Lo Que Quedó delivers on all the promise of that early work; it masterfully navigates several levels of musical and emotional intimacy, applying a more well-rounded production approach that meets each song under its own terms. The tunes range desolate folk numbers to rock songs with roaring guitars and intricately orchestrated layers of synth, all anchored by Donati’s expressive songwriting and emotive vocals.
Luz y Fuego – Connie Isla
Connie Isla has been making music for a few years, but her debut album Luz y Fuego was only released in 2019. It caused a big splash in the music scene, with its impressive blend of folk, pop, and other disparate sounds (track “Apagada” sounds like a classic Broadway want-song, while “Seguis Igual” alternates between a cumbia rhythm with brief tango interruptions). It is a truly eclectic album showcasing Connie Isla’s malleable voice at the center of it, more than worth checking out.
Ochocientos Envolventes al Sol – Juan Mango
This album is one of the best kept secrets of the local music scene. It’s filled with incredible melodies and unusual arrangements that never quite end up exactly as how you imagine they will go. Juan Mango combines elements of trap and synth-pop to make a gorgeously expansive album that feels seductive and vaguely unnerving all at once; the production throughout guides the listener through various layers of hazy soundscapes. A beautiful album that deserves much more attention than it has received.
Pascuas Profanas – Poseidótica
And now for something completely different! We take a sharp left turn here by not only featuring a live album, but also because it’s an album by Poseidótica, an experimental progressive/sludge-metal band that specializes in making music that makes your brain feel like it’s melting. This recording of one of their legendary live sets is a great showcase for their stunning musicianship and unconventional song structures; if you’re into big thick guitar riffs and propulsive drum beats, this is the album for you.
Pensacola Blues – Lucas & The Woods
Ah, Lucas & The Woods — how well do we love thee? We named this album one of our favorite records of 2018, and with good reason; its combination of 80s-inspired production, catchy pop melodies, and giant singalong tunes make it an instant favorite for just about anyone for a high tolerance for sugar in their music (as it turns out, that fits us to a tee). If you’re a big fan of soundtrack albums to John Hughes movies, you’ll love what these guys do.
Seremos Primavera – Eruca Sativa
Widely acclaimed trio Eruca Sativa return to our lives with an album that is mature, complex, multi-faceted, and filled with the kind of sharp songwriting that made them a household name to begin with. The band combines elements of folk, rock and roll, autochthonous Latin rhythms and sundry musical strangeness to create a sound that is utterly theirs. A giant leap forward as well as a continuation of an impressive musical career.