Every month, she recommends albums by different artists from the thriving independent music scene in Buenos Aires. This month, she looks at the debut albums of some of the most representative singer-songwriters of Argentina’s Indie scene.
Mauricio Mayer – Pop Criollo
Mauricio Mayer released Pop Criollo back in 2009, which today seems like a long time ago. With just eight songs, his first full album manages to construct colourful and artisanal scenes in a climate that fluctuates with the intimacy of acoustic sounds and noble wood and wind instruments. The album artwork is more than interesting: ‘Criollita’ biscuits spell out the album title and contrast with the Wild West font used for the name of this pianist, singer, instrumentalist and producer. Mayer recorded the material with ‘Los wifis’: Martin Longoni on bass, Santiago Castellani on the tuba, Andrés Reboratti on flute, clarinet, glokenspiel, and Jew’s harp, Maximiliano Padin on charangos and ronrocos, Colo Belmonte on drums and percussion, and Diego Frenkel as a special guest for the song ‘Pensando’. Mayer timidly teachers us his vision of the world, where the Latin and criollo rhythms take over in arrangements that are carefully constructed without being pretentious.
Tomás Amante – El Hueco
“This album is transferable. It is made with, and for, the soul. If you think of someone who may like it, send it to them. From you, and from me.” This is how Tomás Amante presents ‘El hueco’, his 2012 debut as a solo artist. Born and raised in a family of musicians, Amante always know that music was his destiny. He was the lead singer with Vento, which whom he released two albums (in 2007 and 2010), but in 2011 began a solo career. A year later he released this album, his only one to date, though he is working hard on a second, which is due to be released soon. The title – ‘The Hole’ in English – carries the weight of a word meticulously chosen. In my ears and heart I can only connect this ‘hole’ with the depth of poetry in his lyrics and, inevitably, his voice. Five original songs and a cover of Miguel Abuelo are enough for this singer-songwriter to show his potential using just a guitar and the deep beauty of his vocal chords. Listening to this album feels like diving into calm waters that are nonetheless deep and murky.
Lucio Mantel – Nictógrafo
There is not much that hasn’t already be said about ‘Nictógrafo’, the album that in 2008 marked the debut for Lucio Mantel. Certainly, I couldn’t choose better words that those already circulating on the internet. Even six years after it was released, the impact of this album remains strong, the first record from one of the biggest exponents of rioplatense music. This year, Mantel released his fourth studio album, ‘Confín’, a masterpiece where each song is a gem. But ‘Nictógrafo’ provides the opportunity to go back and celebrate his beginnings. The album’s artwork, to which the title (‘Pictograph’) refers, and its 31.22 minutes of pure intensity are reason enough to be taken in. And if I had to choose a top hit, it would be ‘Nadie en el espejo’.