The Chamanas Redefine El Paso/Juarez Indie Music Scene
by Carlos Fidel Espinoza
On May 29th the much anticipated local band The Chamanas headlined a benefit concert to support Golden Groove’s European tour. Front woman Amalia Modragon’s voice reverberated off El Paso’s downtown buildings just long enough to allow the listener to linger in her voice’s nuances and dynamics as she took charge of the synth rock in Español ensemble.
Unlike most independent original El Paso bands, which follow the formula of practice, gig, record, The Chamanas honed their music in a well-produced environment, then released music videos, followed by live shows.
The Chamanas take full advantage of the internet, reaching thousands of listeners without suffering shady promoters and bullshit bar managers that disappear before paying the band. Gone are the days in which you had to win over the bar crowd in hopes of gaining a few new fans. Now, with less effort than booking a show, bands can send their music across the globe where hundreds of niche listeners are willing to download and re-post the music.
The use of the internet gave The Chamanas the necessary time to develop their music, while allowing them to explore their visual presentation. Check out their video “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” a cover song originally written by Portugal, The Man.
As far the music goes, The Chamanas are a fresia-hipster combination of sequenced drum beats, synths, melodic guitars set to delay, thumping bass grooves and miel sweet pop-vocals sung mostly in Spanish. Live, the band plays sharp and in control of their sound.
If you dig bands like Hello SeaHorse!, Enjambre and Zoé do yourself a favor and listen to The Chamanas.
The Chido One
Carlos Fidel Espinoza