Members: Kevin González (vocals), Daniel Muentes (guitar), Danny Bonilla (keys, back up vocals), Kaylin Martínez (drums), Ryan Gordon (bass)
Raíces: Dallas, Texas
Sounds like: Los Retros, Katzú Oso, Victor Internet and your bedroom pop faves
You should listen to Luna Luna because… they are creating the soundtrack for all your indie slow dances.
Throughout its history, Texas has always been a hotbed for Latinx musical talent, breeding stars across a multitude of generations and genres. Texans have a distinct voice and even though beloved favorites like Selena Quintanilla, Bobby Pulido, At The Drive-In and Demi Lovato have wildly different sounds; there is still a sense of warmth and local flavor that connects them. The Texas underground is also perennially thriving, with acts like Piñata Protest, Girl In a Coma / Fea, Santa Muerte and parties such as Bombón in Houston and Peligrosa in Austin providing a constant source of revelry and buzz.
In Dallas, an exciting Latinx indie scene has been flourishing over the past few years. The Bralettes and Sub-Sahara have emerged as fiery garage rock standard bearers bringing light to sexual harassment and the nationwide immigration crisis, while syrupy bedroom pop quintet Luna Luna are adding a much needed dose of romantic levity to the mix. First catching our ear last year with the release of their shimmering debut EP For Lovers Only, Luna Luna combined the innocence of teenage love with dreamy retro synthpop and gave us slow-burning indie pop hits like “80s Tune” and “For You.” The record also cemented them as a crew of hopeless romantics, playing house parties across Texas and building up a fan base eager to turn up, swoon and slow dance.
Over the course of 2019, Luna Luna has remained active and motivated, releasing a string of singles ahead of the release of their new EP Carousel – the heart emoji-soaked follow-up to For Lovers Only. The record continues to explore romantic chasms in songs like “Running,” where singer Kevin González is trying to lock down a relationship while his boo keeps avoiding commitment. On “Feelings In Me” he further builds his case, pouring out his emotions in such a direct, sincere manner that most boys and men would be well advised to take note.
Video by Boy Orange Films, Ashley Rosas and Deisy Rios
“For this EP I wanted to make slightly shorter songs than on our first project,” González tells Remezcla. “I’ve always wanted to make blissful music, and on songs like ‘Girl,’ and ‘Carousel,’ you can hear some of that. This new EP is still about love but this time it wasn’t all bubbly love – there was some turmoil and challenges mixed in.” While Carousel paints a more realistic portrayal of love and relationships, Luna Luna still allowed themselves to don the rose-tinted glasses in their upcoming video for “Feelings In Me,” which he describes as their most optimistic and, “where everything is going right.”
Luna Luna is no doubt one of the buzziest acts in Dallas today, and key players have already started taking notice. Back in March, the band was invited to perform at SXSW, while in August they embarked on Alan Palomo’s Texas-wide Eso Es Tour, which assembled an indie dream team that included Neon Indian, Empress Of, La Goony Chonga, and Bidi Bidi Banda. The tour was a particularly fortuitous twist of fate as Luna Luna was already planning their own Texas tour, and getting to work and learn from seasoned, influential artists proved a deeply enriching experience.
The band has made many astute decisions, chief among them their constant artistic collaborations. Carousel features young firecrackers like Pretty Boy Aaron (“Running”), Tony Tone (“Stop Baby”) and Victor Internet (“Flame”), who bring their own brands of lighthearted vivaciousness to the record. Even at home, when booking shows, Luna Luna has been wise to show love to fellow up-and-comers like A-Wall, Fishing in Japan and The Bralettes, helping to consolidate a burgeoning local indie identity.
Luna Luna’s future is undoubtedly bright, and with ambitions to get back in the studio and tour both coasts in the near future, it seems their delightful sweetheart jams will remain the soundtrack of homecoming dances for years to come. Might as well start picking your corsage now.