Meet Niña Lobo, Uruguay Power Pop’s Best Kept Secret

Lead Photo: Photo by Mer Cosco. Courtesy of the artist
Photo by Mer Cosco. Courtesy of the artist
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The first track from Migrar, the debut EP from Montevideo, Uruguay’s Niña Lobo, is a plea to express every emotion to another person, to be completely sincere and without inhibition. Perhaps it was written with a specific person in mind, but listening to the first track from this short collection of picture-perfect guitar pop songs, one has to wonder if it’s a warning or an invitation for what the listener is about to hear. Perhaps it’s both.

Uruguay is going through an amazing power pop moment, considering bands such as Eté & Los Problems, La Mujer Pájaro and Julen y La Gente Sola and extending to lesser-known outfits like NewCastle. While not as big, prolific, and established as the scene in Argentina, Uruguay is fast becoming a destination for melodic music that’s fresh and to the point; Niña Lobo themselves are at an exact crossroads of the new music from their country and the Argentine scene, since they count artists like Las Ligas Menores and Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado as influences. With Migrar, NL are kicking off a new era for themselves.

Niña Lobo formed in 2018 by Camila Rodríguez (vocals), Camila Bustillo (guitar), Julia Guerriero (drums), Isabel Palomeque (bass) and Andrea Pérez (keyboards). After a self-titled maxi-single, they are debuting with this five-song EP. According to the band, their songs are inspired by their lives, especially their life together as a band. “Becoming a band has been a process of learning and growing up together really fast,” they tell Remezcla via email.

Migrar concerns itself with distances, having been inspired by Rodíguez and Pérez living in Barcelona for a seven-month period. On “Japón,” the singer confesses to missing a person whether they decide to move to Japan or if they were to die in a car crash; in “Barcelona,” she hopes the other person would go back to Uruguay with her since the Catalan city is far away from there. “Migrar” finds the protagonist like a stranger at home due to the yearning of a loved one. The last track, the lead-off single “Decís Que No,” breaks from the concept of the preceding songs; this time, it focuses on the last stages of a relationship gone sour, with both persons avoiding each other. If this was a concept album, one could follow a story of a confession of earnest feelings, a chase around the world that ends in a breakup.

Niña Lobo is a guitar pop outfit that reaches to the stars but stares at its feet, and they sound like they mean each one of their lyrics without much artifice. There’s nothing fancy in the way the music is put together, everything revolves around the irresistible melodies and the sorrow at the core of every song of their oeuvre. The members of the band wouldn’t want it any other way. “We write ‘simple’ music with an emotional charge that can be appreciated through our melodies,” they tell us. “We’re at peace with the idea that saying less is better if we’re sincere.”

While the brief Migrar might leave you wanting more, it’s a hell of a strong start for such a heart-on-sleeve band, and we can be safe to say that the future of melodic guitar music is in good hands.

Stream ‘Migrar’ here: