Meet Trementina, the Chilean Band Whose Dream Pop Sounds Like Sunshine After Rain

Members: Vanessa Cea (vocals), Cristobal Ortiz (guitar), Lucas Martinic (bass), Andrés Fischer (drums)
Raíces: Valdivia, Chile
Sounds like: A sunnier, less noisy incarnation of Black Tambourine.
You should listen to Trementina because…Their third album 810 bears the Burger Records seal of quality.

Chilean quartet Trementina were all set to play a series of showcases at SXSW this year, and then do a mini-tour in the U.S., when their ESTA visas were unexpectedly revoked. What gives? Was their lo-fi indie pop deemed a threat to the national security of los Estados Unidos? (More likely, the other shows they intended to play violated the terms of the visa waiver program they were traveling under.) The band was disappointed, but it’s the attendees of SXSW who missed out.

Their first releases, such as 2013’s Brilliant Noise, were colorful snarl balls of familiar shoegaze tropes, with plenty fuzzed-out glide guitar and spacey, half-submerged vocals. On 810, out now via Burger Records, they’ve found a fresh (but still fuzzy) sound that’s all their own. There’s still something teasingly nostalgic about the nine wistful melodies on the album, but the band wield their influences with a more personal voice this time.

A happy/sad, sunshine-after-rain mood infuses the record, giving it a unique poignancy. Partly, the feeling comes from the way the bright but fragile tones of Vanessa Cea’s voice and Cristobal Ortiz’s guitar fight their way through fields of reverb like sun rays breaking through clouds. The feeling is augmented by carefully deployed effects on every instrument, vocals included, that make the most melancholy of their songs seem sprinkled in dew. Haunting single “Please, Let’s Go Away” makes an especially compelling case for this kind of second-wave-gaze staying relevant for quite a while longer. Taken as a whole, 810 is a must-listen for fans of dream pop, Slumberland Records, and all things pleasantly indistinct.

The band members’ hometown of Valdivia is located a full day’s drive south of Santiago, easily Chile’s indie music capital, but that hasn’t prevented them from getting heard around the world. They received early international blog recognition as part of the shoegaze revival in South America and beyond, and their song “Hazy Youth” opened the delightful and influential Revolution compilation curated by Welsh label Ear to Ear and Indonesia’s Gerpfast Kolektif. Japanese label Vinyl Junkies put out Brilliant Noise well before the purveyors of fine psychedelia at Chile’s BYM Records released Almost Reach the Sun, which contains many of the same songs, in 2015 (Trementina would open for U.S. psych rock standard bearers The Black Angels that same year). Last year, the group took their righteous reverberations over to Brazil to play Picnik no Calçadão and rocked Festival en Órbita in Santiago.

Even more recently, they nabbed a shout-out in Brooklyn Vegan, appeared at this year’s installment of Festival NRMAL in Mexico City and, obviously, were invited to SXSW. These are all warning signs of a band about to pop off, and 810 can only boost their profile. Hopefully, they’ll make another attempt at touring in the States soon. We’re dying of noise pop-fueled FOMO over here.

Trementina’s third album 810 is out now on Burger Records.