This started off as a reprimanding post to Israeli Indie artists saying – why can’t you be less Nineties and more original? Why can’t you sound more like Pumcayó? But then I realised my words would take the focus off my recommendation and would turn into a Mediterranean style bloody fist fight. So, why am I picking on Israeli indie artists all of a sudden? And why in English?
A couple of days ago I got a mail from Pumcayó asking me if I would kindly listen to their music and should I like it maybe even write something about it. Five songs, rough demos, are all I’ve heard from them. I was instantly hooked. It’s fresh, original, unpretentious and completely impossible to label (its also very raw, they’ll be the first to admit, but in the hands of a good producer this will be gold). The first time I listened to their music I was filled with the same floaty emotions that I got when I first listened to Yeasayer debut album. But their influences don’t stop there. It goes through the beautiful harmonies of Local Natives, the prog rock of Focus and even a touch of Joy Division. One seriously impossible name dropping, I know.
I was intrigued to know more about them and here is what Federico sent over:
"Pumcayó" is Spanish for "thump! (it/he/she) fell".We’re 5, like the vowels, and we're all native of Guadalajara, Mexico -the pearl of the west, yeehaw!We formed October 2009 and our repertoire, which currently consists of a (constantly expanding) handful of songs, borrows compulsively from a wide spectrum of bands and genres. Like with many other bands though, very little of this is intentional; it has more to do with the fact that we all just listen to different things. it's still a bit difficult for us to land on sound descriptions (we don't think we're radical, or complex, or new even, we're just a young band i.e. it's not an identity crisis, it's an identity quest) but inspite of the messy heterogeneity, we think we're simply an endemic take on the folk-rockish sound.we like messing around with voices and we try to alternate on instruments often, no one in the band is a properly-trained singer or multi-instrumentalist, but we try to pick stuff up as we go; we see the gear as toys lying around in a room waiting to be beat, banged, plucked, struck... we love texture, layers, we're big into musical honesty, and we say "organic" a lot.
Don’t know about you, but I’m kind of falling in love here. And to think they’re only together for 6 months. They were also kind enough to send me all of their demos. I don’t know a single thing about the music scene in Guadalajara but if Pumcayó represents the kind of surprises that will await me in music bars, I should seriously consider leaving London (Federico, can I crash on your sofa, hermano?).
So before all of you guys take out your knives and start butchering Pumcayó and myself only because I’ve just said they’re far more remarkable than most of what I’ve recently heard coming from Israel, I just want to be very clear here - I’m not suggesting that all Israeli Indie bands should now sounds like Pumcayó, but merely pray for some of them be able to reach a deeper inner voice that will bring out their originality.
In fact, let’s not turn this into a discussion about the Israeli music scene (too late now, is it?). Fuck it, just listen to those guys. You’ll live longer.