In the mecca of all things merengue and bachata exists small but verdant ecosystem of native and foreign musical genres and subgenres that go beyond the national party music and its melancholic counterpart. Fertile dembow, hip-hop and rock worlds thrive in the small nation of 11 million, and a budding scene of alt music–that includes songwriters Alex Ferreira and Juango Davalos and a charming little orchid of folk-pop called Las Acevedo (“The Acevedos,” in Spanish)–grows.
The musical project of nineteen-year-old identical twins Anabel and Cristabel Acevedo emerged in early 2010 on the strength of the demo for song “Chaka Chaka.” They’ve since released a string of songs in Spanish and English like “El Reloj de Arena” and “The Weather Smells Like Oranges” and developed a following on and beyond Quisqueya, including in Spain and the States. Las Acevedo’s music pairs the sibs’ dulcet lilts with simple guitar and percussive instrumentation (bongos, tambourines, or gourds) to create delightful melodies.
From their fedoras right down to their Keds, Las Acevedo are sartorially in step with their indie/hipster counterparts all over the world. The group’s ‘indiemusic-making twin-ness’ has garnered them comparisons to Canadian rockers Tegan and Sara, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Save for the occasional edgy, undulating foray into post-punk, the sisters from Santiago trade in “picnic-pop” (“precious, pretty, sweet, delicious” music) that has more in common with lo-fi duo Jovenes Y Sexys and the early work of twee alt-pop chanteuse Natalia LaFourcade.
Yet, at the same time, their music possesses a distinctly Dominican easygoing warmth. Las Acevedos’ sweet compositions deliver the same feeling as that first glint of sun and gentle gust of island breeze that greet visitors at the SDQ parking lot and lets them know instantly, and ever so delicately, that they’ve arrived somewhere special.
Photo courtesy of Las Acevedo