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These bands harken back to the days of vinyls, but are all digital. Photo: Getty Images.
These bands harken back to the days of vinyls, but are all digital. Photo: Getty Images.

Exploring the world of underground Latinx rock

Independent and underground music can be found in abundance worldwide. Here are 10 underground, DIY, or independent bands to check out from the Latinx music…

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The landscape of underground, do-it-yourself (DIY) music is thriving. 

Since the long-established advent of social media and the explosion of music-sharing platforms such as Bandcamp, a career in music is possible wherever the technology is available.

Under rock, a collection of genres have spawned that often attract underground artists. They are namely: lo-fi, bedroom pop, or math rock, among others under an all-encompassing “indie” label. 

There are a host of Latinx musicians and groups that fit these categories, and AL DÍA has 10 to check out across various sounds and genres.

tortuganónima are an instrumental rock quartet hailing from Región Metropolitana, Chile. The group’s influence is rooted in post-rock, progressive rock, ambient rock, noise rock, and math rock. 

The genre of math rock is known for its looped guitars and spasmodic drumming: two aspects utilized in tortuganónima’s music. Listeners should expect carefully calculated, and grand instrumental arrangements. 

Notable tracks include “Ukiyo” and “Aleph.”

Um Quarto (¼) are an emo and math rock trio originating from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Emo is a genre sometimes characterized as a blend of punk energy and direct, emotional lyrics. Meanwhile, math rock — a mainstay of DIY rock music — got its name for the genre’s frequent utilization of non-standard time signatures.

Um Quarto (¼) are a self-proclaimed “power trio,” take major inspiration from American Midwest emo, and proclaim their dedication to DIY ethics. In the end, the group showcases a guitar-driven, melodically performed project.

Notable tracks include “Azia” and “Idiot.”

Viva Belgrado are a post-rock and post-hardcore band from Córdoba, Spain. 

Post-rock and post-hardcore are two genres associated with underground music because of their homespun, sometimes rough recording styles. Despite the harsh connotations, Viva Belgrado performs often smooth, nearly timid-sounding rock songs.

Notable tracks include “Mâs Triste Que Shinji Ikari” and “Ikebukuro Sunshine.”

DEF are an alternative rock and indie band from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. 

The group sports a distinctive indie-pop bend, making for an easy and catchy listening experience. DEF’s vocals are inviting and dynamic, as are their rock and pop instrumentals.

Apart from their pop and rock influences, DEF lets listeners know on their Bandcamp page that they consider themselves “real emo.”

Notable tracks include: “A Cidade Onde Apenas Eu Náo Existo” and “Sobremesa.”

No Somos Marineros are an alternative/dreampop group from Mexico City, Mexico. 

Dreampop is music that has a preoccupation with the texture of sound. It often includes breathy vocals and guitar effects backed up by a heavy production.

No Somos Marineros is led by dreamy instrumentals and melodic vocals. Listeners can also expect smooth guitar riffs and euphonic tones. 

Notable tracks include “Los Bajos Fondos” and “Gemelos Cóctel.”

haikus are an emo and math rock band from Buenos Aires, Argentina, named after the well-known form of poetry originating from Japan.

The band stand out from others on this list — not just for calling their band something entirely outside the Spanish language — but also because of their potent arrangements of emo-infused math rock. 

The group also stays true to emo’s knack for stretched, expressive vocals.

Notable tracks include “san valentín” and “asahi pentax.”

Procrastinación 1 Yo 0  are a punk and emo band from Lima, Perú. 

This group brings a certain punk energy that sports enthusiastic vocals, and sometimes favors grit over melody. It usually puts on grungier performances compared to others.

Notable tracks include “Ósculos” and “Dos.”

archipiélagos are an emo, self-proclaimed math pop group from Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Mixing math rock with pop music, archipiélagos utilize softer instrumentals fused with an enthusiastic and shaky vocal performance. 

However, some of the group’s tracks, such as “bonsai,” are built on the strength of melodic instrumentals alone. Their online description reads “música para la flora y fauna” (music for plants and animals).

Notable tracks include “minet” and “bonsai.”

Camiches are a pop punk and emo outfit from Mexico City, Mexico. 

Listeners may expect a sound reminiscent of Western pop-punk, in both instrumentals and vocal style, thanks to the band’s genre-distinct approach to guitar and rhythm. 

Notable tracks include “Espero Nadie Ocupe Mi Lagar” and “Mi Mayor Mentira.”

Puerto Austral are an emo and math rock group from Bueno Aires, Argentina. 

Their music is laid out on a canvas of dreamy instrumentals via twinkling guitar riffs and a gentle rhythm. The group’s sound caters to the distinctions of math rock — laying out a whirling soundscape of sonic introspection and strong vocals with a healthy dose of angst.

Like many emo groups, Puerto Austral promotes unity; their online description reads: “La pasamos bien juntos.”

Notable tracks include “Bambú” and “Kóshkil.”

Keep in mind, this is only a list to get one started. There is a whole world out there of Latinx rock seen by few.

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