Picks of the Week: 12/09/16

As the year draws to a close, so does the quantity of music. This week, however, chooses some gems from the rough. From different sides of the spectrum, these two picks hold their cultural and musical roots while presenting them in astonishing and inventive ways.

Isla Disco by Los Wálters, courtesy of their Bandcamp.

From the depths of Puerto Rico, we have a duo by the name of Los Wálters, a latin synthpop and chillwave duo with two releases on their belts. However, Isla Disco discovers its groove in the light of Puerto Rico’s bomba styling. Not to mention ridiculously catchy synths and choruses, there are strong influences in the singer’s vocal range similar to that of Devo. Lyrically, this is a familiar album about the beach, a romantic connection, and its pleasurable abandon. Instrumentally, if you like new wave bands like New Order (especially from Music Complete), you’ll like what Los Wálters has to offer with tracks like the thumping “Cabaña,” a song filled with metaphors and comparisons to candy and cinnamon to describe the woman the singer is in love with.

“Cabaña ft. Elisita Punto (MKRNI)” by Los Wálters, courtesy of their Bandcamp.

LIBERTAD by Third Root (2016), courtesy of their Bandcamp.

Out from the disaster of today’s political climate comes the black and brown, hip hop trio of Charles Peters, Marco Cervantes, and DJ Chicken George. It’s amazing what a trio consisting of teachers and a musicologist can do to present a unique and refreshing narrative of black culture and discrimination, for this includes a dual narrative with the latinx/brown community struggle. Ranging from the prison system, to the mismanagement of education, and the police brutality in black and brown social camps, LIBERTAD is not afraid to state the thoughts of Third Root in a way that is reminiscent of the recent A Tribe Called Quest album. There’s even a shout-out to Phife Dawg of ATCQ himself on the track “The Messengers” if that doesn’t solidify Third Roots’ influences.

“The Messengers (feat World Trade)” by Third Root, courtesy of their Bandcamp.

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