Marineros, “Secretos”

Beverly Bryan

Marineros have only released a few singles so far, but the promised debut album from the Chilean duo is eagerly anticipated by fans of the sublime indie pop Santiago has been exporting for years. No release date has been announced, but two things that are known about their album is that it will be produced by Cristian Heyne who has worked with heroes of the scene like Gepe, Javiera Mena, and Dënver, and that it will be released on his label Unión del Sur.

With their minimal, post-punk bass lines and shoegaze-influenced guitars, the music of guitarist Soledad Puentes and vocalist Constanza Espina breaks the mold for this milieu. The main thing they share with the above mentioned artists is a breathtaking gift for delicate, wrenchingly haunting melodies.

The first three singles were comparatively poppy but the grinding guitars and power-ballad chorus on their latest single “Secretos,” is a gritty departure. The drums and bass sound covered in a thick layer of dust. Espina’s vocals are fragile and innocent, but unstudied, as she describes an encounter with a mysterious and magnetic lover. The track’s rawness is deceptive, diverting attention from the sophisticated and effective tunecraft. Adding an extra ache, Marineros tap into a vague ’90s rock nostalgia without ever quite tipping their hand to reveal any one particular influence, creating a teasing feeling of almost being about to remember something. It’s modern alternative pop dressed up in the indie of the recent past, and it’s ravishing.

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