The New LoFi

Ten Years

Montevideo Mondays (I)

Here we come: in order to make a more consistent contribution to The New Lo Fi and to provide more and more music from this side of the world, I present to you the first of the Montevideo Monday’s: Music posts from this corner of the world. Although this post is about my hometown of Montevideo, Uruguay, I’ll be covering music from all over South America each week.

In this chapter, let me introduce to you the music of Carmen Sandiego. This band with its unique name is the most consistent young indie act in my city’s local scene, and is capable evolving its noisey and dissonant tween pop into something “less implosive, more explosive,” as composer Flavio Lira said recently in a interview for a newspaper.

Since their first record “Vida espiritual” (2006), Carmen Sandiego moved from a more uncomfortable output to songs more proper for the common places of the live stage. Which is great, given the response they’ve had recently. With the brand new “Ciudad dormitorio” (Bedroom city), the band seems ready to take the step from sort of duo band to a more classic rock formation and sound.

But this won’t mean anything if not for the great ability the band has to generate simple lyrics with a smart spark and the touch of sadness: “I would like to be an horoscope writer / to make you know things gonna be worse for you / and when you read your boyfriend´s horoscope / you would realize the mistake you’ve made,” Lira sings in “Ocupaciones y oficios” (Occupations and professions). The same feel with a more generational approach appears in “Generación 2002” (2002 class): they sing about people who become adults and can’t relate to their former college mates. “We’ve escaped the gym class together/ in birthday parties, we were the ones who never dance / I would like to know what happened with you after all these years / but it´s impossible, we´re not invited / to the class reunion.”

“Ciudad dormitorio” is available in Bandcamp, and it has the exciting sound of a band about to move forward to something bigger. It´s a nice feeling given their emotional, demanding and uneasy approach they´ve had in their previous efforts. In this case, bigger may be better. All that early work can be checked in the same bandcamp page.