Javiera Mena – Crown Jewel of Chile’s Electro-Pop Scene

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(KCRW Music Blog Contributor Jose Galvan previews a handful of bands performing at the 2012 Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City, hosted by KCRW DJ Raul Campos)

PedroPiedra, Dënver, and Astro, releasing breakthrough albums in 2009/10, the Indie music scene in Spanish declared Chile as the premier country producing experimental and electro-pop music.

It was due to all this new found attention on Chile’s music scene that I came across Javiera Mena’s sweet voice and one of my favorite albums to date.

Mena”, Javiera’s sophomore release is definitely an album geared for the dance floor.

Tremendously catchy, electro-pop anthems like “Hasta la Verdad” and “Sufrir” featuring Jens Lekman, dare you to sit still. You can’t!

Other tracks combine 80’s style Spanish Pop with orchestral synths that equally inspire, at the very least, an enthusiastic foot tap.

But by no means is the record monotone or straight ahead dance. There are also beautiful mid-tempo ballads like “No Te Cuesta Nada” and “Un Audífono Tú, Un Audífono Yo” which show her penchant for heartfelt, introspective lyrics.

All together it’s a sound that would fit in perfectly to a playlist with M83, Foster the People, and Lykke Li.

She recently came to the U.S. for the first time. Performing only at SXSW and Los Angeles to packed houses. She returns in July to New York for LAMC where I’m positive she has eager fans excited to see her perform and dance along to every song.

— Jose Galvan