I've been living in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago for pert near a year now. There are many things to love about it, including great people, this place and tamale and coconut water vendors on every corner to cure hangovers courtesy of this place. But the neighborhood is gentrifying, and they've been rehabbing the building next door since before I moved in, which is a noisy affair, particularly when trying to work from home. Basically, imagine being inundated with the sounds of welding, grinding, pounding, smashing, screaming and swearing for 8 hours every day.
Every fucking day.
Oh, and cumbia.
Now, don't get me wrong. Cumbia is great. Hand me a Modelo and a bowl of menudo at any quinceanera, and I'll happily shake and shimmy my moneymaker...for an hour or so.
Like so many other things in life, cumbia is about moderation.
Which is why I'm so happy about "Casiopeia," the new tune from Brazil's Bonifrate. Bonifrate is basically Pedro Franke, who has been kicking out the jams from Rio De Janeiro for nearly two decades as a member of Supercordas, Guaxe and now, as a solo artist.
Better still, this ditty checks many boxes, including:
It's a male artist (Yes, I'm aware that I've posted only female (or female-fronted) artists to this point, and I defend my choices with this)
It's a guitar-heavy sound one doesn't typically associate with Latinx artists (Don't misunderstand, this is not the second coming of the mighty Sepultura, or ever Soulfly or Puya, but it's got some red meat in its diet)
It will help your Spanish speaking skills (Remember how you said you were going to learn Spanish during the pandemic, then you made all that bread and watched Downton Abbey? No judgment, just sayin'.)
I'm willing to bet it's new to you
Pretty cool, right? Personally, I like the first single even better.
So there you have it. If yer onboard, Corisco drops June 10th on your favorite streaming platform.
Now if you excuse me, I need a couple tamales and a coconut water IV.