Best & Brightest: Peru Edition

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Since we’re always on the look out for new talent and new countries to spotlight, who better to give us the local rundown than the dwellers themselves. In this installation of Best & Brightest, we turn to Perú, where Katia de la Cruz and her band Moldes are helping shape the scene alongside other noteworthy bands. Here’s her top 10.

The topic of protopunk and the birth of punk in Peru toward the end of the 1960s has been heavily discussed around the world. However, there’s currently a lot of music in different styles being birthed in the country, consolidating sounds of a unique identity within the local and national scenes.

These are 10 bands that, according to my criteria, merit one, two, three, or all the eyes on them. Even though I could probably include 30 more.


This is the first late ’90s band that’s given me fresh noise pop, with surrealist lyrics, tiny games of sonic explorations, and Limeña/o identity. Around the corners of their songs you’d find that bizarre density you observe in your everyday life.

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It’s like a caramel made of lemon; sweet, acidic, sarcastic, in love, enchanting, painful, sad-but-funny. The best sweet-but-hurtful folk pop I’ve ever heard around here. And her lyrics…

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The title of this band parodies the name of a well-known criolla singer. They make a shoegaze style of noise rock, with embracing, loud guitars, and the kinds of melodic riffs that make you bob your head left to right. All of this in a container infused with lo-fi. They’re exceptional live.

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It started out as the solo project of Juan Diego Capurro. It had many lineups, a few albums, but I think that many of us who listened to them for years understand that the current sound and lineup is the one this noise-rock project was waiting for, veering toward dance, thank God.

I love them. They make you burst, smile, shout, electrocute yourself, dance, dance, dance, and dance with noise.

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Every element of El Hombre Misterioso is indispensable to the plan. The overwhelming percussion, the rock-n-roll-bordering strings and synths, the psychedelia, the drum ‘n’ bass, and now the psychobilly flirting make the semi-spoken singing cadenced. They incorporate you into the stories being told by this mysterious man.

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Gomas is one of the freshest local pop acts, unique, charming with their melodies, dreamy reverbs, pure, with a bass-playing vedette, comprised of three good-looking ladies and one cute dude.

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Beastly and intellectual rock ‘n’ roll, that’s it.

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Listening to Los Castigos live is to immerse yourself in a Western with buses and unceasing traffic. It’s impeccable in its stubbornness.


This band is pop Trujillana, music that sounds like Trujillo, even though, lucky for us, they listened to a LOT of pop en español. I love this band. We need more good pop over here and Ciudad Gragea and Gomas are delivering.

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Delinquent cumbia all the way from Arequipa, ’70s sonido cumbiero loyalists but with the punk fury they grew up with. These Chapillacs will make you dance, freak, and mosh the second you hear them.

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Photo Credit: Carlos del Aguila