Mexico City’s Festival Marvin is just around the corner, giving fans plenty of new music to discover. It’s impossible for one person to see every band on the fest’s massive bill, so we decided to give you the low down on the best under-the-radar acts playing this year.
Press play on our Before You Go playlist below, and start your Festival Marvin planning stat.
Festival Marvin takes place May 18-20 in Mexico City. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.
Pablo Ramirez didn’t consider rapping a vocation – until he turned to music as an outlet after a difficult emotional episode. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that Ramirez calls Drake one of his biggest influences. P.FLXWS has released a steady stream of tracks on his SoundCloud page; his most accomplished track “No Sleep and Hard Work” illustrates the roll-up-your-sleeves attitude he takes towards his craft, while the recent “Birthday Boy” takes a turn for the celebratory, maintaining a lyrical dynamism all the way through. Ramirez is an affiliate of Mexican music and arts collective NWLA, bringing his laid-back flows to the crew’s roster. Other 23-year-old rappers would kill to have his style and sense of definition.
Mexico City quartet Falsa Fortuna‘s garage rock conjures the melodies of 60s girl groups like The Ronettes and Mexican interpreters like Angélica María. But it’s not just a derivative take on 60s girl group bliss; there’s more than a hint of 80s pop, so much so that Falsa Fortuna famously cover Yuri’s “Yo Te Amo, Te Amo” to open their shows. Their organ-infused compositions earned them an Indie-O Music Award for their debut EP Cuatro, and has them playing all over their city. Their romantic pop runs like the soundtracks of gooey prom scenes in 80s teen dramas, and we’re here for it.
Few can match the ferocious work ethic of Puebla’s Joliette. The band spent most of their year touring Mexico, the U.S., and Europe, bringing their high-octane sound to mosh-friendly audiences across the world. Indeed, the only thing harder than their touring schedule is their music, a no-holds-barred, post-hardcore kick in the face. They found their ground with 2013’s Principia, but last year’s Atáxico has offered them a chance to demonstrate that they are far more than a perpetual moshing machine.
The Bela Lugossips
What is it about horror and stripped-down rock that makes such a good combination? Whatever has fueled the legendary Cramps or Bauhaus in their rockiest moments has also propelled The Bela Lugossips to make their mark on the Mexico City underground. Sixties spy movie soundtrack riffs and baritone vocals come together for songs of lost love, regret, and desire. It’s lugubrious yet fun, energetic and dreadful at the same time. Although there’s plenty of goth influences here, your smeared mascara is more likely from sweating it off on the dance floor, rather than crying.
The Bela Lugossips’ self-titled EP, released last year, helped them break out of the scene and has garnered them an audience looking for a frightfully good time.
You won’t be able to sit still listening to the flavorful cumbia of Bogotá’s La Perla. The all-woman crew formed in 2014 and soon got busy playing shows almost every weekend, to audiences looking for sweaty bullerengue, merengue dominicano, gaita, and champeta criolla. La Perla has made their mark mostly on the live circuit, though they released their first EP earlier this year on Mambo Negro Records. Their reputation as a never-ending party has garnered them a solid fan base, and now they’re spreading their gospel beyond their home turf.