Music

5 Under the Radar Acts You Can’t Miss at This Year’s Vive Latino Festival

Vive Latino boasts one of the most expansive music festival lineups in Latin America, and it’s just around the corner. Since its inception 1998, it has become an essential part of the Spanish-speaking music world.

Granted, Vive is not as forward-thinking as it once was, leading Twitter to drag the lineup earlier this year. But it still has a very impressive bill, and most importantly, it manages to present a healthy selection of new artists for people to check out. Here are five soon-to-be VL alumni.

1

Los Viejos

The skate punk band are just about to release their second album Sociedad del Miedo, but their journey has already fashioned them into a lean rocking machine. The semi-incognito duo of elderly masked miscreants have made a name for themselves with riff-heavy music that invites everybody into the mosh pit, and has paved their way across their native Mexico, as well as Brazil, Argentina, and many other countries.

2

Big Big Love

Probably one of the lesser known names on the bill, Big Big Love‘s dancey take on rock music has been turning heads all over the festival circuit. Their sound is built on opposites: instrumentally complicated, yet simple to dance to, it’s driven by guitars, but offers enough synth action to remain challenging. This ambitious band promises to become one of the surprise highlights of the fest.

3

Ampersan

At a time when modern folk bands are all the rage, it’s rare to find artists who have real commitments to the songs of yore without sounding dated. Ampersan is a Mexican outfit that dabbles in canción campesina, huayna, and son with modern elements, an expanded library of sounds, and above all, deep emotional impact. Watching the traditional and the new collide will make for a standout moment during the festival.

4

Easy Easy

Though Easy Easy have become a buzzworthy outfit, they’ve got plenty of reasons to sustain their slowly building hype. Although the Guatemalan band started as rap rock group, they are far from the questionable territory  of nü metal. Instead, they blend an elegant and smoky brand of guitar and synth music to give way to Jesse Baez’s impressive vocal skills, which weave methodical rhymes with R&B vocals. We know Baez from his solo work and collaborations with Costa Rica’s Raido, but it’s with Easy Easy where he exploits his gift, matched organically by his stellar bandmates.

5

Silva de Alegría

Sergio Silva is one of those quiet acts that invites you to the front of the stage, first to listen, then to clap and sing along with him. Under the Silva de Alegría moniker, he makes humble folk music with a joyful bent. Through his music, he airs what’s troubling him and even sneaks in political messages without getting too heavy.