I was tempted to write this entire post in Spanish, but the red lines from my spell check were driving me crazy. This is the second single from Juan Wauter‘s new album, La Onda de Juan Pablo, with this song revolving around a stop in Mexico City. If you’ve spent any time in the city, or the country, you might recognize some of the signature sounds filtering through Wauter’s tune, like the stellar accordion; it also just feels like being in that city, lively and calm all at once. While the whole album is in Spanish, you’ve got to give to Juan for going out on a limb and tracing his Latin roots and spinning it into accessible tunes. The new album will drop at the end of January via Captured Tracks.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Juan Wauters; his last release was back in 2015 with Who Me. But, worry no more, as he’s finished up some traveling through Latin America and will return with La Onda de Juan Pablo. His travels began in Puerto Rico, where the following tune was begun; he was struck by a couple of characters playing boleros, thus crafting his own. It immediately has this almost traditional light-hearted vibe, particularly in the supporting vocals. You’ll also note that Wauters is singing entirely in Spanish, something that continues through the whole of the new album. I know I’m fond of the style, and if you find yourself in the same boat, look for the new album on January 25th via Captured Tracks.
I don’t know what it is about Juan Wauters that makes me come back time and time again. Sometimes there’s the musical movements within his tracks, but other times, like this latest single, it’s his poetry and vocal delivery. It’s quite distinct, and I don’t think there’s quite anyone making music precisely in his style, or with his approach. This track raises the hairs on my arms each time I press play, similar to what happened when I first heard (or still listen to) Majical Cloudz. I’m excited to hear his new LP, Who Me?, which comes out on May 12th via Captured Tracks.
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How many more times can I tell the world about Juan Wauters? He just announced a new album, including this great new single, which has already won me over. And, it doesn’t hurt that a few of the “press” folks have been given access to the same song in Spanish; it’s just as great. Based on this track, his poetic nuances continue, and I like the distinctive quality in his voice…there’s nothing that sounds quite like Juan. His new effort is titled Who Me and will be released by Captured Tracks on May 12th.
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Hey. You. Do you have 13 minutes? Want to listen to some of the better lyricists in the indie realm? Well, then it’s best if you spend some time with the new EP from Juan Wauters and Carmelle. Juan released an excellent album last year, but it seemed drastically overlooked, so I hope people start to take notice of his work. He’s working with his friend Carmelle for this great one track EP, with lyrical potency at the forefront. The music’s carefully done, but sitting in the background for the entirety. You can grab the Wearing Leather Wearing Fur EP from Captured Tracks, or stream its brilliance below.
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It’s clear that Mac Demarco has the world eating out of the palm of his hands. He’s received rave reviews from all over for his recent release, Salad Days, and he blew into Austin, selling out his show at the Mohawk weeks before the show even happened. Honestly, I didn’t even know he was that huge, but his show definitely proved he’s got what it takes to keep pushing forward.
You can read on for more thoughts about the show, and some photos from our friend Bryan P. at PPI.
Juan Wauters is probably best known for his work with the Beets, but with his release of North American Poetry on Captured Tracks coming this year, it establishes him as a man all his own. He took some time to answer a few of our questions before he starts his trek down to Austin. Check out what he had to say. Read more
Juan Wauters is best known for his work with the Beets, but he’s stepping out now to make a name for himself. His first full-length, North American Poetry, builds on his songwriting, but still bears the mark of his previous work. There’s some hits and some misses, but those hits are definitely worth your undivided attention.
If you’re just now encountering Juan Wauters, I’d advise you to skip “Let Me Hip You to Something.” It’s not a bad song by any means, but the vocal performance might not be the best introduction; you should come back to it later once you have a finer understanding of Wauters. The next two tracks, however, are must listen destinations. I love the chugging power of “Sanity or Not,” which might bear a resemblance to a lot of modern garage-pop tracks, though the guitar playing provides an emotion that evokes a sense of traveling. Then “Lost In Soup” offers a slower version of Juan’s goals, using interesting lyrics to keep things playful, while driving home a strong melody listeners will find endearing.
I think one of the great things about listening to North American Poetry is that the majority of the songs are fairly short, so you get a fresh spin with each song; it makes the songwriting last longer, as it can get stuck in one place, stylistically speaking. “Woke Up Feeling Like Something” again has that familiar Wauters’ guitar chug on the tune is familiar, presented in earlier tunes on the record, but the “oohs” and the careful way he delivers each note are just right for this number. Then there’s “All Tall Man Will Fall,” which feels more like a poetry experiment fitting with the album’s title. This is one of the distinctive touches of Juan’s music; he keeps things playful lyrically, using various syllabic inflections to impact the message.
The last few tracks do get the extra benefit of including the voice of Carmelle. Her performance on “Breathing” alone makes the song rise above some of the previous tracks; differentiation can always add so much to a record’s collective spirit. Similarly, “How Do They All Do” uses Carmelle, though there’s a slower pace to this number. Personally, I think the album would have been more successful as a whole if these two tracks were spaced out, rather than stuck right next to each other at the end. Her voice is vital, however, fitting in seamlessly with the songs Juan presented her.
In the end, I find that I enjoy most of the tracks on North American Poetry. I love the lyrical playfulness, as well as the heart of the songs themselves, but that being said, at times the album gets stuck in one place. Had the appearance of Carmelle been scattered, it might have added just the right touch to make Juan Wauters solo debut a great listen, rather than just a good listen.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/04-Escucho-Mucho.mp3]
If you know the homies at ATH personally, you likely know that we speak a little bit of the Spanish; one of us might even teach a little bit of the Spanish to kids. That being said, it makes it easy for us to understand the lyrics to the new single from Juan Wauters, who’s stepping away from the Beets for the release of North American Poetry. I won’t let you in on the lyrics, as that might take away the fun for you, but the title is translated to “I listen a lot.” The music is definitely relaxed guitar, with a focus on the recording of the actual strumming as it echoes in the mix. You’ll have a chance to get the album on February 4th from Captured Tracks.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/04-Escucho-Mucho.mp3]