Vamos A La Playa!
Name: Francisco y Madero
Genre: Sample-based Pysch-Pop
When They Started: 2010
Most Similar: Chico Mann
Sounds Like: The lobby of a seedy Caribbean hotel in 1969, after one too many daiquiris
The band started with a Myspace message. No, this isn’t the plot of nostalgic movie about the early days of social networking, but the origin story of Francisco y Madero, a trans-border art-pop project composed of experimental Mexican musician Carlos Pesina and Jess Sylvester, a reformed California punk-rocker.
Impressed by his music, Jess reached out to Carlos on Myspace in 2010, and a friendship was born. Later, he visited Carlos in Guadalajara while on a study abroad trip to Mexico, and ended up participating in Carlos’ band Los Amparito, who make a kind of lo-fi electronic folk filled with sampled flourishes from traditional jarana guitars. (Highlight: Check out their beautiful collaboration with singer Carla Morrison).
Since then, the two have made long-distance music as Francisco y Madero, trading ideas and wav files back and forth on Dropbox. The sound has much of the spacey, psychadelic nostalgia of Los Amparito, but it’s injected a sort of tropical kitsch. Instead of sampling Mexican folk, they take from summery, pseudo-Latin jams of yesterday, filled with wavering surf guitars and cocktail lounge-worthy beats. The tuned are slathered with a sunscreen of washed-out vocals, and bear cheeky titles like “Mango Kush,” “Poolpartyndo,” and “Salchipulpos,” named after a Mexican snack of sliced up hotdogs mixed with French fries, ketchup, and mayo.
This week, Francisco y Madero have been playing a series of free, open-bar events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Austin presented by the National Museum of Mexican Art and Vice, who are billing the group as “like a Mexican version of Animal Collective.” Check out the track “Salchipulpos” below, and if you dig the wavy vibes, stop by the band’s Bandcamp page here.