A day after summer officially ended, Raúl Querido released El Disco del Verano, an album that feels immediately seminal, immediately under appreciated.
Querido, the enigmatic El Pardo frontman and producer to many a Spanish scene product, is a prolific guy. One look at his Bandcamp page and you’ll see the portfolio of a workaholic, someone who needs to get all of it off his chest. Lucky for us, what’s on his chest tends to be political anxiety, social awareness, dry humor, and a knack for song structure. Take El Disco del Verano’s stand-out second track, “Somos buenos, especiales”–filled with metaphors and allusions to our place in this world in relation to one another: Book clubs where people read in silence, cooking classes where no one talks to one another. Keeping the illusion of community all in an effort to avoid physical loneliness.
Some songs use the album’s temporal marker as theme and thin veil. “El primer sonido del verano” explores the wonders of the start of summer, while “El último gran fin de semana del verano” laments the brevity and end of summer (and perhaps the on set of age). Some of Querido’s chants feel meme ready out the gate (“Ningún verano dura para siempre, fin de semana no es suficiente” or “Fin de semana puede ser la muerte”), but they always feel loaded. These aren’t just warm-n-fuzzy songs about summertime, they’re irony-laced manifestos.
But Querido keeps the album from feeling one note, going from semi-somber, soundtrack-friendly instrumentals (“El Descanso”) to snappy bedroom beats—his usual talk-sing style remaining intact—in a way that reminds me of the at-home impact and introspection of Kathleen Hanna’s post-Bikini Kill alter ego, 1997’s Julie Ruin. Amidst absurdity and playfulness, you knew Hanna was dead fucking serious. So is Querido.
Go name your price over at Querido’s bandcamp to own El Disco del Verano.