London-based instrumental outfit Los Bichos — Australia-born, London-based Serra Petale (guitar); Uruguay-born, London-based Agustina Ruiz (keytar); Sweden-born, London-based Josefine Jonsson (bass) and London-born and-based Nic Crawshaw (drums) — features individual members with different upbringings, who have developed a unique, retro-futuristic sound that blends elements of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych and surf rock, as well the music each individual member grew up with: The Uruguayan-born Ruiz had a Latin-American music collection that the members of the band fell in love with. The Swedish-born Jonsson “brings a touch of out of control pop,” her bandmates often joke. Aussie-born Serra Petale is deeply inspired by her mother’s 70s Anatolian rock records. And the London-born Crawshaw played in a number of local punk bands before joining Los Bitchos. “Coming from all these different places,” Serra Petale says, “it means we’re not stuck in one genre and we can rip up the rulebook a bit when it comes to our influences.”
The band can trace its own origins through its members meeting at all-night house parties or through various friends. Los Bitchos’ highly anticipated Alex Kapranos-produced full-length debut, Let The Festivities Begin! is slated for a February 4, 2022 release through City Slang Records.
Recorded at Gallery Studios, Let The Festivities Begin! sees the London-based instrumental outfit further establishes their reputation for crafting maximalist and trippy, Technicolor, instrumental party starting jams — with a cinematic quality.
The album’s celebratory title is something you might say while toasting dear friends, families and even strangers at a gathering — and hopefully at the of this horrible period of despair and uncertainty, as a way to usher in a period of carefree debauchery. “It’s about being together and having a really good time,” Los Bitchos say in press notes.
In the lead-up to Let The Festivities Begin!‘s release next month, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s singles:
- “Las Panteras” a funky, mind-bending jam featuring shimmering synths bongos, cowbell, cabasa and wiry post punk meets Nile Rodgers and surf rock-like guitars and a sinuous bass line.
- “Good to Go,” another mind-bending, genre-blurring composition that begins with a decidedly Western intro with shimmering and reverb-drenched guitar twang before quickly morphing into a a trippy yet chilled out Latin funk meets Turkish psych affair with glistening synths, handclaps and a blazing guitar solo.
Let The Festivities Begin!‘s third and latest single “Pista (Fresh Start)” is a slick yet trippy synthesis of chicha, cumbia and psych rock centered around looping and glistening guitars, shuffling Latin rhythms meant to get even the party’s wallflowers moving and grooving. We are so excited to put out this track. Some people may recognise it and we hope you enjoy the sassy makeover we gave it for the album,” the members of Los Bitchos say in press notes.
Directed by frequent collaborator Tom Mitchell, the recently released video is the final installment of the story told in the videos for “Las Panteras” and “Good to Go.” The video begins with the ladies of Los Bitchos living in hiding in a witness protection program after being acquitted in the game show meets courtroom show from hell. The band seems to enjoy a quiet life in the country full of domestic errands, goofing off and jamming at a campfire. But it isn’t what may seem. Things are lurking in the shadows.
“The video transports you to our life in witness protection following our game show/courtroom victory – the good life and new beginnings. Things aren’t quite what they seem though… We had so much fun shooting this video and didn’t want to leave our cosy, wholesome nest! Thank you to Dario Argento and Are You Afraid of the Dark? for inspiring the final installment of this trilogy.”