Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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. This week, all Song of the Day podcast songs have been selected by DJ Chilly, host of El Sonido, bringing you fresh, contemporary flavors from the diverse Latin alternative scene. Today’s song is “Eso” by The Cumbieros from the 2014 self-released album Cumbiamericana.
Though based here in Seattle, The Cumbieros feature eleven talented musicians from all over the world, including Chile and Brazil. As you can gather from their band name, the band are influenced by the classic Latin American music style called “cumbia,” but The Cumbieros make it their own by infusing ska and modern rock, resulting in their unique brand of high-energy dance music.
The band acknowledge the fate that brought all eleven of them together for this music. Several of them had moved here to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where the seed was planted for The Cumbieros. Each member had their own musical interests (for example, bassist Rodrigo listened to mostly metal while living in Chile), but they all loved the positive energy of cumbia, and loved the idea of sharing their culture with Seattle. They started out covering classic cumbia songs from the ’60s, but as they found their footing, they began infusing their personal interests — from ska, reggae, and rock — into their original material, like this today’s Song of the Day, “Eso.” Vibrant horns lead this very traditional-sounding track, but as you listen closer you can hear other distinctive styles. You may not be able to understand what they’re saying, but by the end, you’ll be shouting out “Eso,” too!
Check out this live footage from last year’s Folklife Festival of The Cumbieros performing a classic cumbia song from Colombia, the birthplace of cumbia, followed by a new original cumbia written by Carlos and arranged by the band. You can follow the band on Facebook to find out about more upcoming shows.