Los Angeles based band, The Marías, have introduced a fresh take on groovy indie music in their 2017 release Superclean Vol. I. The debut record consists of six easy-to-vibe-to songs filled with soothing vocals, sharp percussion, and the occasional leading bass. There is never a point on this record where synchronization is a problem. On their own bandcamp page, they describe their sound as “hypnotic”, which holds true through the entire record.
In early 2018, The Marías toured with The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.. They are currently headlining their own tour with supporting acts such as Triathlon, Girl Ultra, and Café Tacvba (and more!). Their second EP Superclean Vol. II was released on Sept. 28 of this year.
Vol. I’s debut track “I Don’t Know You” is a sultry duet that paints a vivid image of a couple who are trying to figure out where they grew apart with lyrics like “There’s a weight in my bed, where you laid and you said ‘I don’t know you, I don’t know you.’” and “If we tried to retrace would it show on my face?” The lyrics are gut punching – as if they pulled the thoughts directly from the minds of broken-hearted listeners. This song seems to encapsulate that feeling of being too late to realize you’ve lost someone. While the lyrics are the main focus, the prominent bass line and simple guitar effectively mesh together to really set the mood.
“Basta Ya” and “Only In My Dreams” both have incredibly smart instrumentation. “Basta Ya” is the only song with a trumpet part, giving it a vintage feel beneath the modern guitar and keyboard. The contrast between María’s smooth vocals and the precise percussion allows for a very three dimensional tune. “Only In My Dreams” starts with what feels like a dream sequence, a vortex of sound and a single keyboard. María sings with a tired drawl, “Baby stay with me, I feel it happening, I guarantee, tonight I’ll sleep with demons in my hair, that talk to me, it’s only just a dream.” By using vocal effects and adding an underlying hum on the keyboard, “Only In My Dreams” is otherworldly.
What The Marías are doing right now sticks out amongst modern indie music because they’re not trying to fit into any type of trend. They have a sensual vibe that works for them and they utilize that through the whole album, adapting it to different moods and themes. One of the most important aspects of their music is María’s bilingualism, which allows her songwriting to break language barriers and appeal to multiple audiences. If this first EP has proven anything, it’s that the future of The Marías is promising.
Highlights: “Basta Ya”, “Only In My Dreams”, “Dèjate Llevar”
Album Review By: Danielle Ciampaglia