Chicano Batman had a great 2019. They spent a better part of the year touring around North America, including dates opening for Vampire Weekend and a standout show at Tropicália back in November. And for the rest of it, they went to the studio to record their forthcoming Leon Michels-and-Shawn Everett-produced album that’s due in 2020. Even with all of that, the band’s co-founder and bassist Eduardo Arenas found the time to write and record a new Christmas single just in time for the holidays, and we’re exclusively premiering it today right here on Remezcla.
For the third consecutive year, Arena’s project as É Arenas is filling us with Christmas joy again on “El Perdón.” The track follows 2017’s “Buñuelos a Montón” and 2018’s “Merezco Más,” all songs designed to give what any Latin American and Latinx family needs to survive the holiday festivities: cumbia. This time around, however, he doesn’t sing about stuffing your face with food. “El Perdón” isn’t like last year’s anti-capitalist anthem; instead, he and his co-writer Luis Horacio Pineda make us think about forgiving a loved one and considering one’s faults in a broken relationship. It’s time for wounds to heal — you know, those wounds that won’t even let us enjoy cumbias.
“I always try and make my music accessible to a multi-generational Latino audience. I put myself in the shoes of a 21-year-old who may fall in love with this track and think, ‘Damn… my tía Lola would get down to this cumbia!’ Then tía Lola is bumping it in the kitchen, hypnotized by the familiar rhythm and melodies, taking her days in the rancho,” explains Arenas. “But as she sings along, there’s a ‘wait, what??’ moment where she realizes what the song is about: forgiveness. Not everyone is ready, but posing the question is what it’s really about. Either that or go on pretending that everything is perfect at this year’s Christmas party when it really ain’t.”
Pineda adds: “This track is an opportunity for all of us who have found out about a family secret and have fought with a cousin, sibling, or even parent, and haven’t talked to each other in years. This Christmas, happiness can fix this feeling through something that’s very tough but necessary: forgiveness.”
See, it doesn’t matter whose fault it was. Drop “El Perdón” at the right moment during your family reunion, hug that relative and just make up already.
Listen to “El Perdón” below.