Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Tio Sam” by Aurelio Martinez off of his new album Laru Beya, on the Sub Pop imprint Next Ambiance.
Aurelio Martinez has his roots buried deep in Garifuna traditions, which encompass the African and Caribbean Indian heritage of his ancestors, shipwrecked slaves deported from the island of St. Vincent to the Central American coast in the late eighteenth century. Despite the hardships, Garifuna tradition has endured, and Aurelio’s latest, Laru Beya, is a means of uplifting and expanding what it means to be a Garifuna artist. The result is a lush journey, with influences ranging from Afropop to Latin ensemble. This is best reflected on “Tio Sam,” an upbeat, grooving medley that transports the listener to a gorgeous Caribbean beach, complete with smooth sand and warm sunbeams. There’s absolutely no way to feel down if this song is playing in the background. Aurelio’s optimism and adoration for his culture is infectious, and before long, you’ll find yourself humming the melody as you walk down the street.
Currently, there are no scheduled shows for Aurelio and his band. Hopefully, he’ll be back to the U.S. soon. For now, check out this live video of “Tio Sam,” one of several videos from his stunning in-studio performance at KEXP: