The indie rock scene in Lima has been threatening to take us by storm for a while, churning out great musicians like the exiled limeño Francois Peglau, Camilo Vega, Tourista, and a host of other bands. Now it’s Chico Unicornio’s turn to shine with his Bahía EP, a record full of melodic punk anthems, new folk, experimental electronica, and a great deal of charango. This makes for interesting music that swiftly navigates that intersection between the traditional and avant-garde.
Chico Unicornio has created one multifaceted project, with a complex array of sounds and influences that prevent his music from being pushed into one box or the other. On songs like the EP opener, “Volver,” he leans more toward traditional pop rock with a flair for drama, aided by time changes that take the track from low-key melodies to ethereal psychedelics. “Desayuno” and “MG” offer up some Replacements-style nostalgic punk, as both songs are about the end of relationships and bitter goodbyes.
But, staying true to his roots, Chico Unicornio shows off best with his more experimental stuff, like the instrumental “Luxor,” with its hopeful, happy-go-lucky whistling on loop. It also features a great guitar solo underscored by a Peruvian charango. They’re all good tracks, but the one to look out for is the closer, “Yoshi.” With its toy pianos, xylophones, and synthesizers, the track sounds like a more innocent, organic take on 8-bit that inspires a flashback to simpler times. It’s an uplifting ending to a beautiful record where Chico Unicornio excels at translating a seesaw of emotions into sound.
You can listen to the Bahía EP below and download “Volver” for free.