Pan Caliente: Pedropiedra

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Pan Caliente blogheader_600x133_finalDespite having graced stages like Vive Latino (twice) and Lollapalooza (Chile), Pedropiedra is that rare breed of musician that would rather spend his entire time recording in the studio than on tour performing for people.

However, his passive approach to performing and lack of interest in putting on a great show seem to have the opposite effect on massive crowds that I’ve seen gather to watch him.

Pedropiedra’s music is top notch and anything but boring.

With three solid albums under his belt, Pedro, whose proper surname is Subercaseaux, has been one of the staples in Chile’s independent music scene since 2009, along with fellow cantautors (singer/songwriters) Fernando Milagros and Gepe.

In fact, this very trio will sometimes tour together and play in each other’s projects when there isn’t enough resources to take three separate bands on the road. And some of the recorded collaborations between all three of them are damn near masterpieces.

Pedropiedra’s sound is in between genres, there’s elements of romanticas sprinkled in amongst subtle electronic backbeats with vocal cadences that would align easily within hip-hop structures. His voice is tender and rough at the same time and employs that off key tonality that many indie bands perfect.

In all of his songs, melody reigns supreme and that is where the beauty and allure lie for me in Pedropiedra’s music.

His three albums are each great to listen to from front to back and the variations in style develop differently in each. The self-titled debut skews slightly towards more pop filled songs where as 2011’s “Vida y Cripta brings out a darker bluesy side.

On his latest release, “Emanuel” there is a bit more groove brought about by horns and woodwinds and there is an undertone of 80’s melancholia.

Standouts within his catalogue are the bossa funk inspired “Vacaciones en el Mas Alla”, the gloomy sounding ode “Lima”, and one of my all time favorite songs “Inteligencia Dormida” which talks about his life struggle with being underestimated.

— José Galvan