After publishing their first three tracks online between December 2014 and February 2015 and a little bit over a year after posting the video of their Spanish cover of Portugal. The Man's “Purple Yellow Red and Blue”, The Chamanas finally released their first album Once Once on May 27th this year on the Los Angeles based record label Nacional Records.
The Chamanas are a five piece band based out of the border region of El Paso, Texas, USA and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The band formed in late 2014 around guitarist Manuel Calderón and bass player Hector Carreon. The band is fronted by the talented Amalia Mondragón and the line-up is currently completed by Alejandro Bustillos on drums and Fernando Fonseca on keyboards. The band calls itself a Fronterizo musical group (which can be translated from Spanish to 'on the border') and they claim to aspire to be a metaphorical bridge for the area they are coming from. This has to be understood considering that El Paso, which is regarded as one of the safest cities in the world, and Ciudad Juarez, which is regarded amongst the most dangerous cities in the world, are basically a border city split in two.
Once Once is a well-written 12 track album exclusively sung in Spanish and even though you might not understand the language, it will be worth your time. The Chamanas' music is inspired by traditional latin rhythms, 60s and 70s Mexican pop and modern indie music. For this release, the band incorporated many electronic elements throughout the various tracks without ever disconnecting from their Mexican folk roots. This combination gives them an original sound and makes the record a really interesting piece of music. The second music video for Once Once was posted on youtube early January for Dulce Mal and was directed by Paco Ibarra.
The Chamanas have been promoting Once Once through Mexico and the US earlier this year and have only a couple of dates left on their tour. Unfortunately, there is no information available as to any upcoming shows. Let's hope they will also make it to Europe sometime soon!
Visit their band camp page where you can listen to the whole album and purchase a digital copy. And make sure to follow them on Facebook for any updates. Plus they have been streaming some of their live performances as of late.