Deriving their name from the Spanish slang term for “to remove worries,” the Inland Empire, California-based tropical, Afro Latin sextet QUITAPENAS, which is comprised of Daniel Gomez (guitar, vocals), Mark Villela (guacharaca), Hector Chavez (bass, sax, vocals), David Quinetero (keys, bass), Ivan McCormick (drums), Eduardo Valencia (conga, drums) formed back in 2011. And since the band’s formation, they’ve developed a reputation for a sound that draws from the sounds of Angola, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and elsewhere during the 60s-80s, but with a subtly modern touch. But interestingly, the California-based act has a simple mission — to make you dance all night, and forget your worries.
QUITAPENAS latest album Tigrada is slated for release on Friday through Cosmica Records, and the soon-to-be released album reportedly finds the band speaking about the realities of the world they come from — and in a joyful and fiercely confrontational fashion. The album’s latest single “Tranquilidad” draws from the Funana music of Cabo Verde and Puerto Rican Bomba, and as a result the propulsive, dance floor friendly track possesses a breezily escapist air. But underneath that is a song that pays homage and respects to the environment.
Directed by @Bracero.LA, the recently released video for “Tranquilidad” follows an extraterrestrial, who crash lands on Earth — and fittingly in the band’s native Inland Empire. Although the brightly colored creature has traveled the known universe in peace, discovery and friendship, as soon as it leaves its damaged spaceship, the authorities — in this case, the dreaded la miagra — chase after it, with intentions to lock it up. The extraterrestrial, which is the anthropomorphic representation of tranquility manages to charm some local kids in the immigrant and migrant community of Inland Empire. And of course, it’s the local kids and a handful of other kind souls that protect the extraterrestrial traveler, helping it return to its spaceship to escape. Drawing from Star Wars, ET, The Goonies and Stranger Things, the video, which was shot in what director Andrew Vasquez puts it “the Tatooine of Riverside,” a “. . .reimagined world that Spielberg left behind.” While serving as a statement on the power and idealism of youth pushing humanity forward, it’s also an apt (and much-needed) statement on the humanity and decency of our country’s immigrant and migrant communities.