Since The Chamanas‘ inception, the band’s identity has been defined in part by the place from which they hail. One of their missions is shedding light on the duality of Ciudad Juárez and El Paso. For their latest video, they make that mission their overarching artistic statement.
“Dulce Mal” is one of the most representative tracks from the band’s debut full-length Once Once; it features modern, electronic-tinged arrangements of 70s Festival OTI-worthy ballads that demand your attention and emotion. It’s a little sad and totally breathtaking without having to break a sweat.
Like the song itself, the video doesn’t need to shake its chill to make a powerful point. The band has stated that they’re a “metaphorical bridge” between the Mexican and American cities they call home, and that has never been clearer than in this video. Here we see a typical day on both sides of the border: families walk down streets lined with shops, street art plasters walls in underpasses, a couple playfully puts sunglasses on an Elvis sculpture. It’s hard not to think of the hardships that have plagued Ciudad Juárez for so many years, but The Chamanas manage to bring a powerful truth to light in this simple video: underneath a history of tragedy, there’s a place many people call home, separated by little more than an imaginary line.
2016 will be a big year for The Chamanas, and they’re starting by playing select dates at SXSW between March 15-20. If you’re in Austin this year, be sure to check them out.