September 15 marks the 196th anniversary of the independence of Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the day the province was declared free of Spanish rule. To mark the occasion, we’re highlighting some of the best and brightest talent of the region, artists who often get overlooked in the Latin American indie world. Even though you might recognize some names here, we’ve assembled a playlist with promising new talent, featuring everything from delicate dancehall to booming techno. Consider this a handy guide to Central America’s oft-overlooked music scenes.
From Nicaragua, we have Téléviser, a trio of multi-instrumentalists who play bright and beautiful post-rock. Guatemalan Monterrey transplants Aguacate glide between house and four-on-the-floor techno with effortless charm. Hailing from Honduras, Big Nango‘s sugary-sweet dancehall and R&B nods to Central America’s longstanding reggae en español roots. Central American indie music is thriving, even if these bands rarely get shine in Latino media.
Elsewhere on the playlist, you’ll find reggaeton, rock, synth pop, and beyond. Dig deep, let loose, and explore. Stream the playlist via Apple Music, and check out each artist’s country of origin below.
Banton & Ghetto
JCP el Especialista