Alex Anwandter, one of the most crucial voices in Chilean indie pop, is back in the limelight with “Locura,” a new disco-flavored song that bemoans a “world going to shit.” “Locura” is the lead single from Anwandter’s forthcoming album Latinoamericana, out October 12, which he describes via a press release as “a song cycle exploring gender, sexuality, and Latinx identity in dark times.” The highly anticipated record comes two years after the roaring and wildly acclaimed release of Amiga, Anwandter’s powerful homage to classic protest songwriters like Victor Jara and Violeta Parra, proving Chile’s prince of pop hasn’t lost his touch for stirring the social justice pot.
“Locura” plays out like a collage of vintage sounds, clanging through cowbell percussion and evocative string arrangements reminiscent of a smoky basement dive where the lights are dim and the drinks come from bottles with no label. Anwandter’s vocals fuel the scene, and he casts himself as a sort of queer lounge lizard who laments a world rampant with conflict and injustice – like a less aloof Sally Bowles in the WWII-era musical Cabaret. The track also finds Anwandter using feminine adjectives, since he refers to himself as “loca” throughout. It’s the kind of cheeky double entendre Anwandter often employs, though in this case he says it’s because, “[“Locura”] refuses to align with masculine aggressiveness by singing the song as a woman.”
The solo period of Alex Anwandter’s career has been marked by his incisive commentary in impassioned and often biting releases, like “Como Puedes Vivir Contigo Mismo?” and “Siempre es Viernes en Mi Corazón.” However, “Locura” is a bit vague on the Anwandter scale, despite his use of a clip of Donald Trump’s presidential bid speech as part of the promotional teaser. We’ve certainly come to expect and even crave this perspective from Anwandter and his music, and as buzz grows around Latinoamericana’s impending release, we hope the haze lifts and the album is as vibrant as its title promises.