Madrid has given the world varied musicians although the layman could be forgiven for not being able to name any of them beyond any member of the Iglesias musical dynasty. As might be expected of a vibrant latin capital, there are many thriving countercultures, not least its garage scene, that has given rise to bands such as Hinds, and perhaps more surprisingly a strong British influenced jazz scene that would delight many a modernist. Here are ten bands and artists from Madrid you need to hear now.
Shirley Davis & The Silverbacks
Born in London to Jamaican parents before living in Australia and settling in Spain, Shirley Davis follows in the footsteps of soul greats such as her friend and mentor Sharon Jones, who Shirley sang with by chance leading to her being tracked down by specialist Spanish label Tucxone. Paired with The Silverbacks the rapport was instant leading to soulful songs with a sharp injection of contemporary Afrobeat, jazz and funk.
Wild Honey is Guillermo Faffé, a multi-instrumentalist who channels the sunshine of the Spanish capital to sound like '60s West Coast America. For fans of The Beach Boys, Stereolab and Belle and Sebastian. Check out 'Acantilado' below with its chilled interpretation of a skateboarding video.
One of the prominent bands on the garage scene, The Parrots scored a record deal with the UK's fave home of independent musical expression Heavenly Recordings. Like Hinds, The Parrots' Spanish quality suits the relaxed manner of their brand of slightly unhinged pop perfectly resulting in songs that work just as well in the UK as in their native Spain.
A six-piece outfit comprising various players from Madrid's Jazz, Afrobeat and funk scenes. The name 'Forastero' translates as 'stranger' or 'outsider' reflecting the unconventional nature of the band's output, including a sexually explicit knitting video to accompany their recent track 'Frenesi'. The band's skill and musicality ensure that the songs are wonderfully and instantly accessible, with dense beats that would suit lounges and chilled dancefloors.
Another band making the most of Madrid's garage renaissance, Los Nastys recently shared a split single with Hinds, both bands covering each other's songs. Check out their song, 'Bla Bla Bla' for an instantly likeable and catchy piece of rock 'n' roll that will have you tapping your toes or jumping about whether you speak Spanish or not.
With songs and dense synth soundscapes that would fit straight into some remixed episode of Stranger Things, Fuckaine follow loosely about the footsteps of Madrid electro bands such as Fangoria but bring the whole package up to date with a deft mix of other elements from indie, industrial, funk. Fuckaine make it sound as though Klaxons have time travelled back to their own heyday to produce an alternative sophomore album. Watch their video for 'Whitepool' below.
Like Shirley Davis, jazz flautist/saxophonist Chip Wickham is another British musical expatriate who has found success in Madrid. Signed to the eclectic Madrid label, Lovemonk, Chip began his Jazz career in Manchester but fitted right into a self-made niche in Madrid's Jazz scene. Fans of Chip include Eddie Piller, Gilles Peterson and Craig Charles.
With a more psyched out surf sound than some of the other Madrid garage bands, Los Wallas hail from the Malasaña neighbourhood. The band was initially founded by brothers Juan Wallas and Carlos Wallas who cemented their psych credentials by performing with the late Sky Saxon, lead singer of the influential 1960s band The Seeds.
An up to date Spanish interpretation of British Oi! punk, Rude Pride are a fiercely anti-fascist, anti-racist band that wear their 2-Tone checkerboard on their sleeves. With plenty of third wave ska and hardcore influences in the mix, Rude Pride are a must for those searching out something a bit different along the 2-Tone and punk branches of the countercultural tree of life.
With a healthy dose of riot grrrl attitude and more of that signature Madrid garage, Las Odio are a lively four-piece who make the most of the attention created by their music to spread their considered feminist manifesto.