Animales Blancos’ Charms With Cumbia-Folk Track “El Aguijón”

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Colombian musical project Andrés Gualdrón y Los Animales Blancos started out as a solo affair, but quickly evolved into a full-fledged band, consolidating their smashing psychedelic sound on their 2013 album, Ciervo de Dos Cabezas. Two albums into their career and with some moderate success in their country, they decided to switch their name up – now, they are simply Animales Blancos.

Along with the streamlined name, comes the release of a new EP called La Vaca, and its first single –which, ironically, was recorded almost entirely by Gualdrón– is a tricky one. In its first few seconds, “El Aguijón” seems like a straightforward, cumbia-inflected folk number. But then it morphs into something else: the vocals speed up, and you realize the melody is actually a single note. It’s littered with dog bark samples, processed vocals, unexpected breaks, and collapsing electronic noises, but they’re all subtle enough not to pull attention from the song’s gorgeousness, particularly the charming hook. The song is a breath of fresh air, maintaining the band’s essence while lightening up the dense sounds we found on their previous album.