Montevideo Mondays (VII)
We´re in Carnival holidays in Montevideo and I chose to get out of my city for the first time in this space. The getaway is tricky, because we´re moving to New York without abandoning Mvd. How? With the music of Juan Wauters.
A former leader of the indie Queens based band the Beets, Wauters is a uruguayan songwriter who started his musical career in NYC, mostly based in a noisey garage sound that granted them a name in the scene. I found the Beets in the most unexpected circumstances: having lost a flight, I finished in some friend´s house who used to play with them. As soon as we arrived in Bed-Stuy, we had to rush to the venue where the Beets played a very unconfortable, energetic and vibrant set in a place called Shea Stadium. I ended the night enjoying a great shot of musical energy and speaking with musicians of my country about the fate of my beloved Peñarol, my soccer team.
That burst of energy is not that strong in N.A.P. (North American Poetry), his first solo effort, but some of that freshness can be easily detected. Juan Wauters manages to add more depth to the simplicity of his previous sound, in a more established folk base.
Wauters, who arrived in 2002 to join his father in New York, seems to prefer a more introspective output in this one. Capable of channel the tenderness of Daniel Johnston and a style reminiscent of Caetano Veloso´s “Transa”, Wauters also sounds like a musical son of Eduardo Mateo, one of the most missed uruguayan songwriters. Wauters, as he say in this interview, is nothing else than a New Yorker: a person that was not born in that city but embraces it without losing his roots. Also Pitchfork described his sound as something with a hint of Syd Barrett, and it´s easy to agree with them.
In Uruguay, a country known for soccer players exportation, we use to sell prefabricated star players, maybe half baked. But in some cases, the players leave our fields being very young, unnoticed and undeveloped, to pop somewhere else much to our surprise. This may be the case with Wauters, who has N.A.P. since the beginning of the month released by Captured Tracks. His songs are very personal and strange artifacts that you should try, if you haven´t met them yet.