Festival Season 2k15 (we should probably hashtag it) continues and this time we head to the beautiful land of Costa Rica for Epicentro 2015. Our own Joel Moya went there last year and had such mind-blowingly fun experience that he almost died of joy. The festival hosted its own showcase at SXSW last week and teased Gringolandia with some artists scheduled to perform at Epicentro this week. You can expect not just progressive music, but progressive environmental policy – in case you haven’t heard, Costa Rica has been running on renewable fuel for over 75 straight days.
There will be plenty of music to choose from, which you can listen to on Epicentro’s Spotify playlist, but here are five must-listen recommendations straight out of Costa Rica.
Do you like bands with a bajillion members on stage?! Then Passiflora is right for you! The Folk/Pop group includes a lead singer/guitarist, three backup singers, a bassist, a guitarist, and a drummer/percussionist in its ranks. Together, they create a wonderful combination of sounds from various cultures. The band is currently working on a new album and will probably debut a few numbers at the fest.
You don’t name a country Costa Rica unless it has some hella beautiful beaches. And where there are beaches, there’s going to be surfing and where there’s surfing there’s probably also Surf Rock. Los Cuchillos are that Surf Rock band burning up the sand (as if it weren’t hot enough there already) with sweet, jangled guitar riffs and such.
Why do bands do this? What’s with the naming themselves after fragmented sentences, and thereby complicating how we write about them? For instance: Do listen to Do Not. Ha! Anyway, Do Not are Ernesto Bolaños and Hubert Watson, two artists who want to remind you that tropical regions breed more than just tropical music. These dudes are quite darks thanks to some night club industrial-techno.
A band that names itself after a painting by Francisco De Goya is likely to be a trippy and epic affair. Saturno Devorando, a.k.a. Ronald Bustamante & Fiamma Aleotti, takes its name from Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Children,” which is one wild and creepy piece of work. The band’s music is nowhere near as creepy, however, and sounds more like Costa Rica’s response to Mogwai.
Meet a member of the old guard. SEKA have been together for nearly two decades and show no signs of slowing down. The group has a Clash-esque combination of Rock, Ska, Reggae, and Punk with lyrics based on socio-political issues within Latin America.