TENTS delivers a dose of comfort and soul searching indie rock with Deer Keeps Pace. Constructed of 11 songs, the quartet constructs a body of work that falls inline with that springtime feeling. Look to "Danger" for a message of encouragement — there's pulsing synth and guiding drums that prompt the listener to feel free to "move on."
Listeners should also check out "Light Light Weight" for punchy rhythmic waves. The echoing synthesizer and guitar plucking makes for the perfect song when riding in the car with windows down.
Listen to or download the album below:
It sounds like pop, but it's not. With resounding anthems with pop familiar vibes and tone, this mixtape will keep you on your toes. While each song weaves in and out of what's expected, anti-pop is all about challenging formulas and composition.
Put on your "War Paint" (Frankie Simone) and dance while you rebel with "Boom!" (MUNNYCAT) and "New York, What's Happenin" (Black Caviar).
It may be hard to believe, but we're now fully into the swing of spring! As April passes by in the blink of an eye (did it really even happen?) and we start to look ahead towards May, one thing is for certain: there's a lot of good music on the horizon.
The month of April saw the addition of music like Russ Liquid's electro-funk beats and Aerial Dusk's moody, orchestral instrumentals. We're also paying tribute to music styles from past decades with NumbTongue's '90s alt-pop/rock and brother duo Tangie Town's groovy '70s vibes. For genre-defying soundscapes, on the other hand, look no further than the talented multi-instrumentalist Dos Floris. Or how about some vintage soul courtesy of The Mar-V-lus Five? Whichever genre your musical taste bends towards, it's clear that April was a month of heavy-hitters for us.
Listen to a sampling of songs from artists we added to the roster in April.
While Cinco de Mayo isn't traditionally a "big deal" among Mexican families, it's somehow largely leaked into Western culture, being adopted as somewhat of a "party day." It's a slippery slope, often sliding into territory that often perpetuates harmful stereotypes — we're going to say it — in a way that just needs to stop.
We get it, there are plenty of highlights that stand out within this vibrant culture: mariachi bands are magical, tamales and tacos are addicting, sombreros look "fun." But a friendly reminder these aren't props (don't even think about wearing that fake mustache).
So even if not of Mexican heritage, one can still join in the celebration in a number of ways, responsibly, and intelligently.
On our end, we're taking the day to honor the Mexican-American artists who create and construct compelling music while offering a wide variation of genres. Check out our Cinco de Mayo Tribute mixtape below:
QUITAPENAS makes music that’s impossible not to get up and dance to. The band consists of six band members: Daniel Gomez (guitar and vocals), Hector toto Chavez (bass, sax, and vocals), Mark Villela (maraca y guacharaca), Ivan McCormick (percussion and keys), David Quintero (cowbell, keys, and bass), and Eduardo Valencia (bougarabou, percussion). Together, the group produces work that digs deep into and even beyond traditional Cumbia rhythms.
The name for the band came about when the members were drinking tequila together one night, the name “Quita Penas” etched across the very tequila bottle they were enjoying. There wasn’t even a question of how the name perfectly encapsulated their music, resonating to the core of who the band was and their tribute to history and heritage. Quita meaning to ‘remove’ and penas signifying ‘worries,’ the band set out to create rhythms that would encourage listeners to get up, move, and forget about life's hardships — even if for a brief moment.
Listeners will find QUITAPENAS’ instrumental composition complex while familiar, borrowing and paying tribute to all kinds of music stemming from various continents and regions throughout past decades.
“I grew up listening to The Doors, families playing bongos, our families playing mariachi and different types of regional Mexican music,” says Eduardo Valencia, the band’s perussiantist and founding member. “QUITAPENAS started first as an interest for Latin music that sounded familiar but was also unfamiliar. A lot of the stuff we were used to listening to from Mexico were cumbias, mariachi, and mariachi with acoustic guitar.”
With Valencia being the international music director at a Californian Riverside radio station, he began garnering inspiration from such influences that would eventually help QUITAPENAS identify their musical style and presence.
“I was listening to a lot of interesting African music and Latin American music that was from the '60s, '70s, and '80s — very raw. And I shared some of that with the crew and just because of the accessibility to it, we were able to dig in. So we all started to dig into this kind of revolutionary, political, funky dance music of the radical '60s, '70s, '80s in South America, Columbia, West Africa, Angola, and the Caribbean.”
The band’s intentionality to create music that sounded current whilst borrowing from traditional influences led them on a journey to be mindful of historical context. The group wasn’t interested in stopping the creative process at simply being inspired by their favorite music, but instead set out to explore the origins and rich context of a song’s political climate.
This mindful method of tribute means finding ways to honor a genre of music without stripping away its original purpose or the cause it served at one point; it’s something we see a lot of in today’s world, a propagation or disregard for another group of people’s work. It’s something that QUITAPENAS is helping to change.
When asked about what genre their music closely resembles, Valencia gives a thoughtful reply — this isn't a new revelation or concept for him or QUITAPENAS. “I like to say Afro Latin inspired combo. We use it as an umbrella term because we understand that this music has a really rough history: how we came here, the history of what is 'the people of America', how that past is violent and propagated and nuanced and how there was beautiful music birthed out of that mix."
While Valencia's roots being from Mexico, each of the six band member's background varies, each artist offering something wonderfully unique to the collaboration process. Yet one major characteristic that sets QUITAPENAS apart is their standard for artistic integrity — something that often goes amiss in media. In studying music with such relentless pursuit, head on, there's an element of respect that's applied and upheld within their art.
"We understand the complexity [of Afro-Latin genre]. I want to own that by saying we’re inspired by Afro-Latin music, we take the rhythms very seriously," says Valencia. "In how we do the music, we want to make sure we understand what we’re referencing, how those rhythms feel — this involves actual studying, investing a lot of time, and money into digging deeper than just the Cumbia rhythm, where it actually came from."