Los Esplifs, the brainchild of Tucson’s younger music scene, is set to release Estraik Back, their first LP on April 20th, 2021. Los Esplifs has been a part of the latinx music scene since an early age. Bandleader Saul Millan has performed with musical acts The Mexican Institute of Sound, Calexico and Orkesta Mendoza since 2014 while co-creator Caleb Michel, has been a member of the prestigious Afro Cuban Allstars since the age of 19.
In late 2018, Michel and Millan joined forces and shared their unique view of living in America through the music that connects them. After much encouragement from their musical mentors and the Arizona music scene, they recorded their self-titled EP. The work was recorded in Tepoztlan, Mexico, by Marco Carrion and Santiago Mijares and was under the art direction of Maria Ramirez Echevarria. It features an Arizona allstar band made up of Chris Del Favero, Zach Parker, Casey Hadland, Alan Acosta and Gus Woodrow. In 2020, Los Èsplifs focused on studio work, recording on Neon Indian’s upcoming record and collaborating on the first Good Boy Inc. album. Both projects were under the direction of Mexican producer Enrique Tena (Osees). Influenced by Cumbia, Fania, Fashion and Psychedelia, Los Esplifs blend nostalgic rhythms with progressive youth culture.
Estraik Back embraces the “Tucson Sound” and creates a western-infused rhythm revival. The album as a whole is a musical stream of consciousness, working towards sonically recreating the mind of a Latinx individual living in the current world order. The lyrical content is intense and challenges the norms of traditional and current Latinx writing, while engaging in familiar groove and dance. The music soundtracks a night of psychedelia in your Tia’s backyard, where music becomes family and cumbia your heartbeat.
Los Esplifs is sharing the official video today for “Otro Pais” the second single off their upcoming LP Estraik Back, an 11-track LP out April 20th. The video showcases the band’s charming knack of combing angular and muscular hooks atop Latin beats. With shades of Chicano Batman, Khruangbin and Bad Bunny, Los Esplifs act as a southwest musical ringer.
“The song’s relationship to the video is very natural, like it just came on the radio thats playing in the other room. “Otro Pais” itself is pretty direct and rooted in reality, so we wanted to keep that same energy for the visuals. Something like- I work at this job, we listen to music to help the time pass, I dream about a different reality, life continues. Them working as movers added another layer. Helping others leave while you stay in one place… as well as, who’s house was this, why did they have to move, was it by choice, etc. The video carves out a space to sit and to be with all of this, and mostly, to be with the song itself,” says the video’s director Tasnim Boufelfel.
Photo by Will Kubley