424 are on a mission to take over the Latin American music circuit, and they’ve hatched their plan with the release of their sophomore album Siempre Mar. The Costa Rican quartet took a few years off to craft the meticulous follow-up to their 2013 album Oro. The 11-song collection showcases the strengths of their songwriting and makes them sound tremendously focused, with subtle proggy tendencies and occasional electronic blips.
But how did they develop the style that ended up dominating Siempre Mar? We asked singer Felipe Pérez to curate an Apple Music playlist featuring some of the songs the band couldn’t stop listening to while they were writing and recording the album.
For a band that nailed a cover of Emmanuel’s “La Chica de Humo,” the inclusion of pop en español giant Miguel Bosé comes as no surprise. His 1992 ballad “Si tú no vuelves” actually resembles the most velvety vocal melodies found on Siempre Mar, but in a lower, sexier range. Also from Spain and the early 90s, José Luis Perales makes it on to the list with “América,” his cheesy-but-totally-serious take on Latin music.
There’s a fair share of electronic tracks, from the danceable (Jon Hopkins’ “Open Eye Signal”) to the pop-oriented (Braids’ “Letting Go”) to the quintessential (Boards of Canada). Xenia Rubinos’ epic, organ-driven track “Hair Receding” and Carla Morrison’s “Un Beso” also make an appearance – two songs that ooze with intensity and emotion, something that tends to characterize the singers’ styles these days.
Siempre Mar is out now, so go ahead and see if it has any Billy Ocean vibes.