This January 20th, the United States (and, honestly, the whole world) begins a new era. After four years of political chaos and spiritual turbulence, and having survived the first year of a global pandemic, what we really need is a clean slate.
Some prefer to change their routines, exercise more, or even change careers. For others, a new diet is the secret. But there’s no better way to start a new era than with new music.
These are the three Latinx indie songs for a fresh start.
Xenia Rubinos – Who Shot Ya?
Xenia is known for the incredible diversity of musical genres she plays and sings to and for reflecting her Latino descent on her music without falling into commonplaces; as she said to NPR in 2016, “You have to know where you come from to know where you’re going.” This awareness and connection to her Latino heritage fed the rage and pain expressed in the harsh lyrics and catchy percussion of “Who Shot Ya?”
“Rich boy, what you found!
You drawing lines all around
You are on stolen ground!
Remember you were sitting down
while we built this town!
Who shot the sheriff?
Babies locked in cages.”
As Rubinos said about the song: “How many more times am I going to hear another man in power talk about what is best for the people, only to turn around and put children in cages and murder innocent people in their sleep? […] The system is working as it was designed to, and I’m trying to amplify some of that in my work.”
Bituin – Profeta
Bituin is a jazz group from Bogotá, Colombia, formed by two twin siblings: Juanita and Valentina Áñez, and Santiago and Daniel de Mendoza. “Profeta” (Prophet) is the latest single in their coming EP Divina Cosecha, where they explore a way to express what has been sacred for the South American continent since ancient times. Juanita and Valentina’s voices are extraordinary and mesmerizing, making that the song as a whole transmits a feeling of being in front of a mystery. In “Profeta,” you hear glimpses of a message; sometimes you understand, sometimes it gets lost, as has been the case with all prophets from every tradition.
Xiuhtezcatl – Cielo
Xiuhtezcatl Martínez is an artist who manages to create surprising synergy between his music and his work as the Youth Director of Earth Guardians, an NGO that trains diverse youth to be influential leaders in the environment, climate, and social justice movements. Xiuhtezcatl stands out for his lyrics that go seamlessly from English to Spanish, from talking about the Western culture to his Native roots.
“Cielo” is a song with a stunningly beautiful video and powerful lyrics about the conflict of being divided by the border and covered by the same sky.
“Boy to a man
I’m the product of a border in the sand.
The trauma runs as deep as the love
The culture kept alive a secret from us.”