After the pandemic forced the festival to go online in the past few editions, Festival Marvin is back on the streets of Mexico City’s Roma-Condesa neighborhoods. As has been customary for the past 10-plus years, Festival Marvin will showcase a slew of national talent, along with cult legends and new favorites on various stages in the hippest places the city has to offer. While diehards will head over to hear Dean Wareham play songs from his former band Galaxie 500’s catalog, folk-leaning audiences will catch Devendra Banhart, and those looking to slam dance most likely have Gilla Band in their checklist of things to catch. We’re, of course, the most excited about the Latine talent that will be performing at the festival on October 27 through 29.
Here are some of our favorite Latine acts playing Festival Marvin.
With her stunning voice, experimental approach to the cello, and adventurous spirit, Mabe Fratti has become an international favorite that keeps gathering fans all over the world. Hailing from Guatemala, Fratti played in rock outfits before moving to Mexico City on a scholarship, where she found a home in the budding free improv scene. There, she found like-minded musicians and collaborators. In 2019, she released Pies Sobre La Tierra, which showcased her ability to blend experimentation with traditional songwriting, something she continued to pursue on her next album Será Que Ahora Podremos Entendernos, giving us more minimalistic sad bangers. Her latest album, Se Ve Desde Aquí, represents a new evolution of her already established sound, which has since garnered praise from top music publications like BBC Radio and post-rockers Efterklang, who invited Fratti to tour with her in 2021.
Post punk has gained a lot of fans in the past few years thanks to its popularity in social media, the “doomer” aesthetic, and its malleability to be sad and meme-able at the same time. To the surprise of no one, a project that blends goth-adjacent rock with norteño has become a thing. What’s amazing is that said project is no laughing matter. La Texana has plenty of darkness and accordion licks to its songs, yet its layered sound and lo-fi production values make for a compelling as well as a fun listen. Created by 19-years-old Josué Ramírez, La Texana takes inspiration from Joy Division and The Cure, as well as Depresión Sonora and a slew of regional mexicano acts from classics to current trailblazers. Ramírez has released a number of songs to YouTube and Spotify, like “Siempre Me Cuesta Regresar” and “No Me Quites Tu Calor,” which have generated hundreds of thousands of streams. The future is bright for this project.
Mexico City has a long tradition of bands that play high-octane music where excitement takes charge and riffs feed into an audience’s need to circle pit itself into oblivion. Pájaros Vampiro are proud carriers of this tradition playing stompy rhythms and catchy guitar lines over shouted choruses, giving us their own take on garage rock that gets audiences going to have some good, clean, violent fun. Their first EP, Buscando Rebeldía, was produced by Toño Montes of Los Románticos de Zacatecas and they have been playing to sweat-drenched audiences throughout Mexico City and other places in the country, gaining a steady fanbase. They are now preparing their debut album, having already shared tracks like “Algo Bien” and “Amarres De Amor Reales,” which show a slight refinement to their raw power. Expect their show at Marvin to be quite physical.
There’s no one quite like Luisa Almaguer in the world, let alone the Mexico City indie scene. This singer channels her being into propulsive, melodic, melancholic, and earth-shattering songs that speak of her desire, fear, anger, and melancholy. A trans woman, Almaguer is often seen uplifting artists such as Zemmoa and La Bruja De Texcoco, as well as speaking out against those opposed to her existence, being at home behind the mic of her successful podcast La Hora Trans or acting as La Virgen Del Sexo in a popular recurring sketch on YouTube. Musically, she got her start in the duo Lowboy before embarking on a solo career that has produced two amazing albums, 2016’s Miljillo and 2019’s Mataronomatar, bringing her emotional baritone and minimalistic electronics to the fore in catchy yet intense songs like “Básica” or “Hacernos Así.” Almaguer’s charisma in a live setting is an amazing experience.
One of the best reggaeton parties in Mexico City will host a massive sandungueo at this year’s Festival Marvin. Founded by Patricia “Sugarmami” Castellanos and Jesús Daniel “Mucha Onda” Hernández, Perreo Millennial began as a modest party that soon took a life of its own, hosting events and sharing bills with such acts as Ms. Nina, Bad Gyal, Princesa Alba, and many more. In the process, they have helped diversify the reggaeton scene in Mexico City, showcasing a new alternative to other perreo-centric parties. Taking their cues from their DIY roots, Perreo Millennial often collaborates with other promoters to bring international acts, while their occasional standalone parties remain great events. The collective’s DJs are famous for soundtracking outrageous and fun parties that regularly go down in history, and their set at Festival Marvin is sure to be no exception.