On April 12, 2019 ELJURI released her latest album, "RESISTE: La Colección de ELJURI. Very powerful messages radiate through her newest album. ELJURI, "declares that the root of our problems is the amoral behavior of people in power. She encourages us to persist against the fear and hatred being spewed by corruption." ELJURI's message is stronger than ever and it's evident through her songs "Resiste" and "BangBang". She's got the soul and force of artists like Bob Barley, Santana, and John Lennon. I love that ELJURI is an activists and she speaks her truth through her music, we need more people like her in this chaotic world.
I recently had a conversation with ELJURI in which she talked about her single BangBang and she said that, "the incentive for BangBang is the crisis of gun violence and people dying involuntarily. We protest without weapons in order to incite change. We are bearing witness to this violence and we need to shine a light. We see fifteen year olds speaking out on this. It's important to support your neighbor's when there is trouble, speak out." All words of wisdom. I admire ELJURI for standing her ground in music while weaving her messages through the nice rhythms of reggae.
To follow up that question, I asked her why she thinks it is important to combine activism with music and she said, "Music unites people. Music is a unifier. I have been socially conscience since I was fifteen. It is about creating a dialogue." It's true, it's all about creating a dialogue and after all, music is a unifier. I always stress that when I talk about the website being focused on the border and that music, art, and food has no borders. "Music is so powerful."
As we were continuing the conversation, I asked ELJURI what her favorite part of being a musician was and she mentioned that, "it's inspiring. I feel inspired by people that played before me. The biggest gift I get is when I inspire others. Life is about creating open mindedness and arming your self with important knowledge." I hope that when people listen to ELJURI they are openminded. She is wonderful.
Below are ELJURI's top four musicians she has at the moment.
ELJURI's Top 4 (at the moment):
1. Bob Marley
2. Courtney Barnett
4. Tedeschi Trucks Band
For tour dates click on link below!
Austin-based Grupo Fantasma is no stranger to the music scene and has been around for nineteen years. They are currently promoting their seventh album, American Music, Vol. VII (Blue Corn Music) after not being in the studio together in five years. "The very record takes issue with these definitions of identity, border, who is illegal or "other.""
If you are listening to them for the first time, you won't regret it. The great news is that they are making their way to the Sun City to play at The District Pub in central El Paso. Great way to spend an evening if one does not have any major plans going on May 5th and want to check out the Cinco District de Mayo-A 5 Points Fest.
I recently caught up with Beto Martinez of the band to talk about the new album and their stop in El Paso. I started off by asking him about Cinco de Mayo and how he felt about it to which he replied, "I'm from Laredo, Texas and it wasn't a big holiday. Cinco de Mayo is a "holiday" that has turned into a farce like St. Patrick's day. The reason for it is lost and it's an excuse to drink. On the positive side, there is music and people get together." I know for many people Cinco de Mayo has turned into "Drink-o de Mayo" and I wanted got know Beto's take on it since the band is no stranger to their Latinx roots. Beto also mentioned that they are excited to come to El Paso. "The food is great and feels like home."
As for the new album and the process of making it, "the seventh album came out on March 29th. Previous to the five-six years, we were playing in other bands and our focus shifted, but we re-grouped to focus on this album for the band (Grupo Fantasma)." I asked about how the process of this album differed from the others and Beto said that one of the things that is different is that it was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, which has a "mythical status". The process of making an album for Grupo varies. Beto said, "I don't write lyrics, I write music. I'll work on something and take it to another member." They all contribute to each song in a different way, after all, they are a large band.
As a last question, I asked Beto how he would describe Grupo Fantasma to a new fan. He said, "we are a large band. Out sound is diverse and rooted in music Latina. It's not pigeon-holed in any particular style and we do that deliberately. Cumbia is our heart and soul, but we have expanded."
Zenith is a band from the border city of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Their sound is best described as "pop bailable" and the band is currently comprised of four members: Eddy Flores (vocals and guitar), Adrián Cobos (bass), Julián Ibarra (drums), and Carlos Ibarra (synths and keyboard).
This band who has drawn comparison to acts like Odisseo, Wet Baes, and Lawall, has resurfaced with their latest single, "Estelas". Immediately, one will notice the difference between Zenith's older more "rock" sound and this new sound as reflected on their new single.
I recently caught up with Julián and he told me that this transition in the band's sound felt natural for them. "It's the same Zenith just more pop. Less serious and more color" and that comment made sense when Julián mentioned recent influences like Toro and Moi, Wet Baes, and Clubz. He mentioned that, "this single was planned a while ago, but we felt like it was right to release it now. "Estelas" is a conceptual song." After listening to the song, it left me with a nice feeling of wanting to chill and dance to the song while reflecting on my day. It's truly a must listen.
Julián also hinted that Zenith might release more material throughout the year, but for now they are excited to open for the Mexican band, Clubz. It's great to see local bands opening up for other groovy acts and not only that, but also receive support from the community.
Before ending the interview, I asked Julian what Zenith's top bands of the moment were and this was his response:
"Zenith's Top 5 artists of the moment"
1. Men I Trust
2. Black Marble
3. Midnight Generation
4. Jean Loup
May 3, 2019 w/ Clubz - Anexo Centenario, Ciudad Juárez
August 31, 2019 - Festival Sin Fronteras, Ciudad Juárez
Links for more information on Zenith:
As a follow up and reminder of the last post, Spanish singer, songwriter, and composer, Leiva, recently released his newest album, "Nuclear". For those that are not familiar with Leiva, he has been playing since the nineties with a previous band, but decided to embarked on a solo journey in 2012 and ever since, has received several recognitions ever since including the Rolling Stone Award (Spain) for best album of the year.
The new twelve track album includes songs like "Nuclear", "No Te Preocupes for Mi", "Lobos" and "Godzilla" featuring Bunbury and Ximena Sariñana. This album is very deep and the songs have an interesting dynamic between them. If you are looking for a nice dance track, this might not be the album for you, but if you are like me and love to feel the melody of the song and deep-dive into the lyrics and meanings, then this might be the album for you.
As mentioned in the previous article, "Nuclear" is a melancholic Beatle-esque song that describes a somewhat "nuclear" love. "Godzilla", my favorite song on the album, featuring Bunbury and Ximena Sariñana is a fantastic slow song with such lyrics like, "Puedo convertirme en Godzilla y luchar contra el mal. Pero nunca, nunca te llego a olvidar," which translates to: "I could turn into Godzilla and fight against evil, but I would never forget you." A lot of us have experienced a kind of love that one is willing to fight for, but it does not work out and no matter what, one will never forget that person. That is exactly what this song is about, which makes it so great. Ximena's and Bunbury's vocals just add to the mood of this song in the best way possible. In addition, the video (below) of the song ,"No te Preocupes Por Mi" is marvelous. It depicts a different and almost forbidden type of love. A young love that is just a ticking time bomb.
All songs relate to some type of love whether it is obvious or not. "Nuclear" is truly a representation of Leiva throughout the years and his abilities as an artist now. Simply mature and wonderful. I really recommend it.
Not only are the the songs magnificent, but the physical album as well. The physical album, and only the physical album has, "thirteen pages; each of them a concrete layer of the heart of the artist from Madrid, corresponding to the cover and each of the 12 songs on "Nuclear". Additionally, Leiva wanted to reward those "romantic record buyers" with a deluxe edition in which he included the "Voice Notes" from his phone." It is truly worth the purchase.
For more information and Leiva and the album visit his website:
About a week ago, Spanish singer, songwriter, and composer, Leiva, released his latest single "Nuclear" off of his new album, "Nuclear". Although he has been playing since the nineties, Leiva embarked on a solo journey in 2012 and has received several recognitions ever since including the Rolling Stone Award (Spain) for best album of the year. Now 2019, "Nuclear" just demonstrates the powerhouse that Leiva continues to be.
"Nuclear", a single revolving around a "nuclear" kind of love, whose metaphor continues throughout the song with circus visuals. The great thing about that juxtaposition is that it gives the songs two perspectives, whether done on purpose or not. From the beginning, the song starts on a strong note and it slowly progresses until it reached the full body of the song almost peaking in a Beatle-esque sound. Along side the great melody, are great lyrics.
"Dame un instant para pensar
Lo que soñamos ahora da igual
Abandonaste como las águilas
La zona nuclear"
Translated that says:
"Give me a moment to think
what we used to dream of is now whatever
leaving like eagles,
the nuclear zone"
It really is a song that can be interpreted in ways of a bittersweet kind of love. Leiva always delivers when it comes to sounds and topics like this. I urge everyone to check out the single below!
Album out now!
Banner by: dotodotjulio
Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.