Meet Young Tender, Monterrey’s Retro Cool Crusaders of 80s Pop

Members: Abel (guitar), Chris (keyboards), Jamaica (vocals), Dany (bass), Sixto (drums)
Raíces: Monterrey
Sounds like: Clubz, Little Jesus, and a Casio keyboard thrown in a blender.
You should listen to Young Tender because…These are your future drunk singalong anthems for nursing a broken heart.

As one of the largest and wealthiest cities in Mexico, Monterrey has a long history of birthing iconic musicians. It’s exported notable regios like Kinky, Gloria Trevi, Ely Guerra, and Control Machete. The city is also home to major music festivals like Hellow, Pal’ Norte, and the birthplace of NRMAL. With its top-notch musical pedigree established, recent years have seen an exciting new wave of musicians take over the northern city, where artists like Clubz and Selma Oxor started making danceable indie with echoes of post-punk. The newest act to make a splash in this young crop of buzzy musicians is Young Tender, crusaders of retro cool and swoon-friendly pop.

Though they’ve been around since 2012, Young Tender are considered relative newcomers to Mexico’s ever-evolving underground. The band dropped their first EP Massachusetts back in May 2015; it’s named after the rehearsal space where they workshopped and eventually recorded their first collection of songs. Their sound is a mixture of bouncy 80s cheese and disaffected vocals, evoking prom nights and goth dance parties. Where they are deliberately lo-fi, the production is polished, bouncing between throwback feels and modern luster to create a funky duality woven into the band’s DNA.

Young Tender are currently promoting their new EP Necios, where the band gave themselves more space to experiment. In a departure from the all-English Massachusetts, they chose to write and structure Necios in Spanish. The songs are fun and often deal in heartbreak, like latest single and video “No Me Hables de Amor,” an exploration of love in the Tinder age. In it, the protagonist tries and fails to meet his online love interest.

Visuals play a huge part in Young Tender’s appeal, as every single off Necios has been accompanied by a striking video. For example, the imagery of low riders and skate parks in their “Playera Negra” video perfectly sums up the lazy coolness of the band’s aesthetic. And “Si No Vas a Ser Tú,” perhaps their most recognizable song to date, plays up the 80s nostalgia at the same time that it draws inspiration from 1950s soda fountains and hootenannies. This video was conceived by students of the Centro de Estudios Superiores de Diseño de Monterrey and supervised by Virgili Jubero of Barcelona-based production studio Canada.

In a brief interview, keyboardist Christian Abrego revealed 2017 is bright and full of possibilities for the band. “All of February we’ll be playing dates around the country,” he says, “starting in Monterrey and leading to Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez, and Reynosa, plus a few dates we can’t reveal just yet.” He adds, “Even though we’ll be rolling all over the country, we’ll also be working on what’s going to be our first LP, putting together singles and getting the concept together. We hope to release it around the second half of the year.”

With a full-length album to look forward to, plus an upcoming single and video release for title track “Necios,” 2017 promises to be a big year for Young Tender. We can’t wait to be swept off our feet.