2017 is coming to a close, and our communities are still healing from the devastating effects of multiple natural disasters and immigration-related political upheaval. The work isn’t done yet, but we’re definitely ready for a little bit of Christmastime joy.
Luckily, Buscabulla is here to help; today, they unveil a cover of “Cantares,” a Puerto Rican Christmas standard by El Gran Combo premiering exclusively here at Remezcla. “Our version is inspired in the passing of Hurricane María and what that would mean for the holidays on the island,” the duo tells Remezcla over email. “Puerto Rican Christmas is particularly epic, bombastic and warm. It’s one of the times you miss home the most if you’re away and it was hard to imagine what it would be like under these new, trying circumstances.”
Singer Raquel Berrios’ vocals take center stage, piling up in layers, almost resembling a Christmas choir. She’s accompanied by little more than supporting bass notes and flavorful filtered percussion to get you through the winter. “We were remembering what it was like as kids when hurricanes hit, the power out for months and everyone had to find new (but old) ways of connecting with each other and keeping spirits up – hence the humble instrumentation, acappella vibe,” they explain.
Buscabulla have been relentless in their fundraising efforts following Hurricane María, and the release of “Cantares” is no different. Royalties will be donated to the PRIMA Fund, an emergency grant for independent Boricua artists affected by the natural disaster. “We hoped we could offer an uplifting addition to the canon of Puerto Rican Christmas and help in lighting things up even if just a bit.”
“Cantares” appears on Amazon Music’s holiday playlist titled Christmas Soul, which includes new music from Jungle Fire and Open Mike Eagle. The playlist will be available for streaming on Friday, November 24.