Song of the Day

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June 30, 2022

Caramelo Haze: “Something About Goodbye” (feat. Amalia Mondragón)

By: Jack Anderson

With the explosive success of Black Pumas, Grupo Fantasma producer Adrian Quesada has become a household name in the mainstream consciousness. But that doesn’t mean Adrian’s the only visionary coming out of Grupo. Far from it. We can’t overlook Grupo Fantasma co-founder and guitarist Beto Martínez, who’s also been the major driving force behind Austin Latin outfits Money Chicha and Brownout. During the first summer of the pandemic, Martínez hunkered down at Lechehouse Music, his personal recording studio out in Buda, Texas. However, he wasn’t about to embrace isolation all on his own. Instead he broke some branches off the extended Fantasma family tree: Fantasma/Brownout/Chicha drummer John Speice, Nemegata multi-instrumentalist Victor “El Guámbito” Cruz, and Dos Santos composer-producer Alex Chavez.

Although the four have crossed paths plenty of times before and collaborated on countless projects on different scales, their natural chemistry was uninhibited by any prior artistic direction or clearly defined roles, and the quartet emerged from Lechehouse as Caramelo Haze. True to their name, Caramelo Haze is a steamy neo-soul treat. They effortlessly stir in formulas from familiar styles like psych and cumbia but don’t shy away from low-end electronic synth work, something relatively unheard of til now in the Fantasma dynasty. Last Friday Caramelo Haze released their debut full-length NOESTASAQUÍ, ten tracks that capture the exciting spirit of a genre-less adventure. We highly recommend listening to NOESTASAQUÍ front to back, but as we wrap up Pride Month, we’ve gotta shout out Queer Latin Grammy nominee Amalia Mondragón, who lays down impassioned airy vocals on the album closer, “Something About Goodbye”.


Episodes

June 19, 2024

Daniel Fears: “Home” (Live from the Draylon Mason Music Studio)

Happy Juneteenth! While it’s now a national holiday, it’s always been a celebration here in Texas, where historically Black hubs like Houston were notified of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War’s end later than the rest of the states. And it’s Houston that gave us our July 2021 Artist of the Month Daniel Fears. […]

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June 18, 2024

Luke Smith: “Jimmy”

We’re right at Pride Month’s midpoint, so just as a refresher: no matter how you identify, be proud of yourself! At the same time, it’s worth acknowledging our place in a progressive city, a quarter century into the 21st, because not every Queer person’s been blessed with those privileges; more often than not, it’s a […]

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June 17, 2024

Alexi 8bit: “You Don’t Have to Be Alone Anymore”

In the world of singers, acting cutesy doesn’t necessarily negate sophistication. Like, we’ve seen a lot of success in going north of mere infantile novelty and co-opting that puppy love naivety in a way that’s accessible to all age groups. And while we can point to a major movement of such with jazz-pop hits from […]

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June 14, 2024

Molecular Steve: “Wolfman”

Depending on who you ask – a coworker, a friend, or a family member – they’ll all have slightly different takes on your “character” based on previous interactions and observations. But what about those parts of our identities that never reach the surface? Those personality traits that stay buried deep within us? Well, we won’t […]

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June 12, 2024

The Wild Kindness: “No One Belongs Here More Than You”

Random acts of kindness: we can’t recommend ’em enough. Because it’s those little gestures you catch in the wild that help us make new connections (no matter how brief or passing), break past malaise and monotony, and recognize the world as a more compassionate place. And new connections are also a key component to what […]

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June 11, 2024

Mark Hallman: “Bright Star”

When you’ve spent decades making great records for other people, you’ve got all the tools to do it on your own, right? Yeah, although producers often get relegated to a “man behind the curtain” position for other artists’ critical success, at the end of the day they’re some of the strongest shapers of sound. Take […]

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June 10, 2024

Holy Roller Baby: “Speaking In Tongues”

Since its advent at the turn of the millennium, the term “swag” has lent itself to plenty of manufactured personalities. We don’t hear “swag” much anymore, which is fine by us, since swagger ought to come naturally; it shouldn’t be too sophisticated. You take one look at multi-instrumentalist Jared Mullins, who (in the best way […]

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June 7, 2024

Daily Worker: “Street Cred”

Ah, Friday afternoon. A beautiful time to be a daily worker, at least in an era where weekends are the norm. And not just because of the standardized two days off. No, there’s also new music from Austin outfit Daily Worker. The trio typically conjures a non-centrist, counter-capitalist aesthetic, down to their choice of band […]

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