Chilean label Quemasucabeza (QSC) are an international powerhouse these days. They’ve got a solid roster that any label the world over would kill to have, nurturing acts that share a common sound, but also bring their own style to the table. With each new release, Quemascucabeza’s artists gain further critical and fan recognition. To build on this success, the label recently opened a branch in Mexico to gain more ground for their artists and to support new hopefuls throughout Latin America. The label’s version of an office-warming party is Festival Neutral, a three-day, multi-venue event that will bring veterans and fan favorites to DF this weekend. The label is also a planning a Chilean edition of the fest in the future.
With that in mind, we decided to compile a list of essential (mostly recent) tracks from each of the artists playing Neutral. For more details, check out the event on Facebook.
Fakuta's "Tormenta Solar"
The singer cites “the space age, sci-fi, and prog rock” as inspirations, but synthpop is the blood that runs through her music. Songs like the irresistible “Tormenta Solar” are dancey, hook-heavy jams with equally fantastic lyrics.
With their folk leanings, Buenos Aires’ Coiffeur is aligned with some of the earlier QSC signees, but like most of their current roster, Coiffeur has a love for everything 80s and an excellent knack for melody. On “Estampita,” kosmische synths sent back from the future take center stage, and the combo fits like a spandex suit.
Ases Falsos' "Pacífico"
Probably the most critically-acclaimed artist of QSC’s current roster, Ases Falsos’ elegant, slightly affected guitars and infectious melodies prance around the room like a suave stud in a pastel suit. The band–once called Fother Muckers–bring on the funk with class.
With his unapologetic love for both classic hip-hop and OTI singers from the 70s, Pedropiedra has built a career as one of Chile’s brightest songwriters. Representing the OG side of Quemasucabeza, his songwriting has been reinvigorated by his time touring with cult TV puppet show 31 Minutos.
Prehistöricos' "Invéntame Un Final"
Jessica Romo and Tomás Preuss might be actors that started their duo Prehistöricos as a side project, but their music is no afterthought. Their folk and nueva canción-inspired music is emotive and full of well-written melodies. They’re the real deal.
Vaya Futuro's "Dinobaby"
The only Mexican band on the festival’s bill, Tijuana’s Vaya Futuro have been quite active since the release of their album Ideas A Medias last year. The band (formerly known as Celofán) play slacker indie rock with 90s aplomb–melodic, askew and rocking, updated for a new generation.
Protistas' "En Mis Genes"
The genre-bending jangle pop band make some of the most forward-thinking music on the label. It’s beautiful, fragile, and highly original, fusing shoegaze and indie rock to create what they call “pop salvaje,” like the track “En Mis Genes.” Nefertiti, their latest record, might be their biggest statement yet: a curveball of sentiment and arpeggios.
Gepe's "Hambre (feat. Wendy Sulca)"
At this point, Gepe doesn’t need an introduction. One of the pillars of Quemasucabeza, the guy practically reinvented folk pop by adding doses of rhythm, synths, and pop melodies. It might be too early to call “Hambre” a classic or an essential track, but it’s one of the best songs in his repertoire. The song is topped off by Wendy Sulca’s banging feature; her powerful voice shines on the guest verse.