Best Albums of 2015
selected by Marcelo Millavil M.

Paracaidistas <BR>“Paracaidistas” EP

“Paracaidistas” EP

One of the most recent bands to have emerged from the Chilean indie, the Santiago-based quintet Paracaidistas are extremely successful in ignoring whatever is currently trending in the local and global scene.

Without laptops or multi-layered vocals, and not too fussy about the quality of microphones they use, Paracaidistas rather concentrated on the flow of their debut EP and the hypnotizing atmosphere of a late-stage party. But hopefully it’s just the beginning.

♪♫ Listen: “Respeto Público” + album stream

Paracaidistas on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube.

Migrantes <BR>“Zona Muda” EP

“Zona Muda” EP

Migrantes is a new duo formed by Cristóbal Salom and Javier Lazo Santos, who released their debut EP last year. To an extent, this mini-album is aptly described by the title: “Zona Muda”, or “Quiet Zone”.

The duo seems to keep the sound/arrangements within certain limits even in the most direct of the six tracks they included on the record, like the extremely catchy “Círculos”. Thus, the songwriting itself is brought to the front, as are the slightly dimmed vocals. We won’t mind they remain in the quiet zone on further releases.

♪♫ Listen: “Sobra El Alma” + album stream

Migrantes on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube.

The Suicide Bitches <BR>“Semenation”

The Suicide Bitches

The second full-length album from The Suicide Bitches sees the band’s sound matured. They evolved from garage into a more stoner style, while still retainining the essence of the energy they’ve become famous for.

At the same time, “Semenation” is thoroughly professional, and it’s even managed to draw attention of media that had been avoiding Chilean garage rock. An album that, as they say, you may love like or you may hate. But that’s what brought this band their loyal audience.

♪♫ Listen: “Say My Name” + album stream

The Suicide Bitches on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Benji <BR>“Rayos Quebrados”

“Rayos Quebrados”

It’s been a few years since this trio started playing together, and they were already experienced musicians when they met. But Benji seem to still searching for their own sound.

Having listened to their new album, “Rayos Quebrados”, you might actually start hoping they’ll never find it, but rather keep going back and forth between dancefloor and garage. And most of all, that they’ll never lose their sunny attitude.

♪♫ Listen: “Rayos Quebrados” + album stream

Benji on Soundcloud, YouTube, www.

La Habitación del Pánico <BR>“Vol.1”

La Habitación del Pánico

Imagine that some of the best names in the Chilean hip-hop scene start working together on a collection of songs that would sum up the achievements of the local rap scene. And at the same time, it would show its possible future.

That’s exactly what Jonas Sanche, Hordatoj, Nacel and Dj Tee offered us with the first chapter of their impressive new project called La Habitación del Pánico. Polished over a few years, it’s rich, seamless, and – even if you can’t understand a word – overtly captivating.

♪♫ Listen: “Por Ley” + album stream

La Habitación del Pánico on Facebook, YouTube, www.

Diego Peralta <BR>“Nuevo Hogar”

Diego Peralta
“Nuevo Hogar”

Diego Peralta might look like an up-and-coming musician, but actually he has been writing music much longer than most of other artists included in this list. You’ll easily recognize Diego’s experience both in his natural, confident voice, and in his simple yet gripping songwriting.

Compared with his previous album, “Deliramos”, the new effort called “Nuevo Hogar” (“New Home”) brings a slight change in his band’s sound. And yes, you might feel he has matured as a composer and performer. But we are pretty sure his heart is and will remain as youthful as his look.

♪♫ Listen: “Nuevo Hogar” (feat. Prehistöricos) + album stream

Diego Peralta on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.

Yorka <BR>“Imperio”


Filled with double female vocals and glistening guitars, Santiago-based Yorka released one of the most positive and melodious records of the last year, possibly not only in the Chilean scene.

On “Imperio”, Yorka take us from “Africa” to “Saturno”, and from sweet-sounding indie-pop tunes to restrained acoustic performances. Consise and sincere, they seem to be imptatient to give us everything they’ve got to offer. What else can we do if not take, take, take.

♪♫ Listen: “Evidente” + album stream

Yorka on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube, www.

Tus Amigos Nuevos <BR>“Triunfo Moral”

Tus Amigos Nuevos
“Triunfo Moral”

Recycling motifs from old-school computer games, Tus Amigos Nuevos’ recent video for “Pateando Petróleo” demonstrates the band’s sense of humour. But it’s also an indication of where the roots of their music are. Namely, those good times when rock music was all fun, but required, well, certain skills and attitude.

And just like the best games, on “Triunfo Moral” Tus Amigos Nuevos (Your New Friends) won’t let you get a breath until the whole album is finished. And even if sucks all energy out of you, you’ll be craving to play again.

♪♫ Listen: “Pateando Petróleo” + album stream

Tus Amigos Nuevos on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.

Velódromo<BR>“Velódromo” EP

“Velódromo” EP

There are many reasons why this four-track album deserves a place on this list. Velódromo’s persuasive sound and energy are obviously what you’ll notice first. But as soon as you get through the guitar wall, you’ll appreciate how comfortably the singer Bárbara Pérez de Arce feels surrounded by the shoegaze magma.

Possibly one of the most fascinating young groups to enjoy live, Velódromo have managed to convey enough of their scene energy into the studio format to give them a hefty applause as soon as the record has stopped playing. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself shouting for an encore.

♪♫ Listen: “Gémini” + album stream

Velódromo on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube.

Colombina Parra <BR>“Otoño Negro”

Colombina Parra
“Otoño Negro”

Colombina Parra is a famed vocalist and songwriter, initially with the alternative rock group Los Ex, which was making waves in Latin America in the 1990s, and then as a successful solo artist. “Otoño negro” is her third album under her own name.

It largely maintains Parra’s approach to music based on deceptively simple songs for acoustic guitar and voice, with occasional percussion or harmonica. With less than half an hour it is, nevertheless, an authentic statement from a self-conscious artist who is not afraid to experiment with unorthodox chord progressions and exhibits pure, raw expression.

♪♫ Listen: “Edificios” + album stream

Colombina Parra on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Mantarraya <BR>“Frío” EP

“Frío” EP

Although it’s an acoustic EP with just four short songs, “Frío” (“Cool”) still managed to bring the Concepción-based quintet back into the front of Chilean alternative scene – after their acclaimed 2013 debut album, “Costa Esqueleto”.

Contrary to their expansive first effort, this time Mantarraya showcase their intimate side, as well as an fantastic songwriting talent. There’s an old saying that you recognize a good song when it’s performed just with voice and acoustic guitar. It never seemed more true.

♪♫ Listen: “La Divina Comedia” + album stream

Mantarraya on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.

Maifersoni <BR>“Maiferland”


Enrique Elgueta is the mastermind behind Maifersoni, a moniker he picked in a tribute to the plastic, brightly colored electronic devices for kids released by Sony corporation back in the 1980s. Fittingly, his music has a slightly nostalgic, chillwave-influenced sound.

“Maiferland (Acto de amor)” is Maifersoni’s sophomore album, released five years after the debut. It explores similar territories but demonstrates stronger songwriting, particularly in regard to pacing and arrangements. The music develops very organically, with dreamy melodies submerged in washy soundscapes, creating immersive atmosphere with enough carefully crafted details to deliver something new with repeated listens.

♪♫ Listen:”Andina” + album stream

Maifersoni on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Tortuganónima <BR>“Pársec” EP

“Pársec” EP

Two guitars, bass, and drums. With this basic rock setup the Santiago-based quartet Tortuganónima manage to sound as intricate and symphonic as the best math-rock/post-rock groups out there. But contrary to most of their kind, they never go the way you would expect them to.

They also don’t treat their music too seriously, which let’s them destroy their (often complex) structures in one second and immediately start something new. Lively and shimmering, their 6-track EP “Pársec” is certainly one of the most energetic and colourful album we heard last year.

♪♫ Listen: “Kokoschka” + album stream

Tortuganónima on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

(me llamo) Sebastián <BR> “La Belleza”

(me llamo) Sebastián
“La Belleza”

Sebastián Sotomayor’s fourth album, “La Belleza” is a pure pop delight. Each and every song is a musical gem, exhibiting infectious melodies wrapped up in intricate arrangements for what sounds like a small orchestra containing piano, strings, horns and Sebastián’s unique, near-operatic vocal delivery.

And with guest appearances from Gepe, Mon Laferte, Torreblanca with Alejandro y María Laura, and Nano Stern, “La Belleza” is a truly colorful and explicitly passionate album. Sometimes playful and celebratory, sometimes lyrical and dramatic, it deals with the realities of love in a society that discriminates between gender roles, denying their fluidity and permeability.

♪♫ Listen: ““<3” + album stream

(me llamo) Sebastián on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Patio Solar <BR>“Temporada”

Patio Solar

Sometimes the simplest truths can be most illuminating, just like the simplest songs will stick with you long after you forget elaborate masterpieces. Patio Solar’s combination of day-to-day observations with direct songwriting is something that shouldn’t be underestimated.

On “Temporada”, the La Florida-based quartet also reminds us of that very particular Chilean feeling that you won’t find anywhere else on our planet. But regardless of where and how you live, Patio Solar’s bright melodies and straighforward lyrics should fit in into your daily ups and downs. And bring some optimism where it’s needed.

♪♫ Listen: “Todo Trasciende aquí” + album stream

Patio Solar on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Vuelveteloca <BR>“Pantera”


Vuelveteloca have been mixing shoegaze sound with psychedelic atmosphere and powerful riffs for 10 years now, becoming better and better in combining their inspirations into what they (appropriately) believe has become their own style within the fuzzy rock spectrum.

On “Pantera”, the Santiago-quartet give us 9 new songs that will be a delight to their fans, as well as a great starting point for anyone who hasn’t heard them yet – but appreciates rock legends. And it doesn’t matter which decade you consider “the golden age” of this genre.

♪♫ Listen: “Shakers” + album stream

Vuelveteloca on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

Föllakzoid <BR>“III”


The third album from one of the most interesting bands in the Chilean underground scene with international following. Föllakzoid managed to garner critical acclaim in different parts of the world, with references in NME and Pitchfork, among others.

The band have been very consistent in their approach to music, releasing a new album every two years, and gradually developing their style which draws heavily on the classic krautrock sound. For “III” they even enlisted the help of a renowned electronic producer, Atom TM, who plays the Korg synthesizer, originally used by Kraftwerk on their tour in 1980s.

The resulting music, with its minimalistic passages and sustained propulsive groove, sounds like a never-ending ritual, hypnotic to the point of extending the sense of time. Tune in for a truly immersive sonic experience.

♪♫ Listen: “Electric” + album stream 

Föllakzoid on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, www.

Niño Cohete <BR>“La Era del Sur”

Niño Cohete
“La Era del Sur”

Based in the city of Concepción, the five-piece Niño Cohete offer indie-pop with the southern Chilean identity. On their second album, “La Era del Sur”, they mix childhood memories and emotional, romantic compositions with stories about nature.

The album has been divided into two parts, where the first one is named “heat”, and the second one “cold”. Less introspective than their debut record, “Aves de Chile”, Niño Cohete’s new work is more spirited and bustling. But still within their very own style, which they themselves call “Pop Silvestre”.

♪♫ Listen: “Pájaros Rojos” + album stream

Niño Cohete on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.

Jorge González <BR>“Trenes”

Jorge González

“Trenes” is the sixth solo album from Jorge González, the most important composer of the last decade, as well as the former leader of Los Prisioneros, a group from the 1980s who was among strongest voices contesting the state of the Chilean society and the dictatorship of Pinochet.

On this melancholic new album – a continuation of his 2013 effort called “Libro” – Jorge González tries to sum up his whole career, combining acoustic songs with electronic elements and intimate lyrics. The result is breathtaking.

♪♫ Listen: “Trenes” + album stream

Jorge González on Facebook, Instagram.

Planeta No <BR>“Odio”

Planeta No

The first full-length album of Planeta No, “Odio” is a continuation of their acclaimed 2014 EP “Matucana“, and it presents the Santiago-based group as one of the most promising young bands in the Chilean scene.

In the ten songs that mix guitar rock with synths, you can feel the urgency of teen pop, yet after a while you might find yourself surrounded by anger and frustration. The trio of Gonzalo García, Camilo Molina and Juan Pablo Garín carry on the best national traditions while giving a fresh take on the Chilean pop-rock sound.

♪♫ Listen: “Odio” + album stream

Planeta No on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, www.

Matorral <BR> “Gabriel”


Veterans on the Chilean music scene, Matorral have been around for over a decade. Led by the two core members – lead singer and guitarist, Felipe Cadenasso, and bass player and vocalist, Gonzalo Planet – the band have recently released their fifth album, “Gabriel.”

It finds Matorral at their creative best, experimenting with harmonic, rhythmic and melodic structures to bring their music to another level. Each song astounds with unorthodox arrangements and instrumentations, evincing the groups exceptional sonic imagination. However, it is the strangely wistful atmosphere of the music that makes for a really captivating experience.

♪♫ Listen: “Caen” + album stream

Matorral on Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, www.

Camila Moreno <BR>“Mala Madre”

Camila Moreno
“Mala Madre”

Camila Moreno’s new album, “Mala Madre,” comprises probably her most ambitious venture to date and proves her as one of the most distinctive voices on the Chilean music scene. The music is rooted in folky melodies and arrangements, yet branches in unexpected directions, encompassing noisy rock guitars and trip-hop rhythms to grow into a complex, genre-defying aural environment.

Moreno’s musical partnership with co-producer Tomás Preuss (of Prehistöricos fame) results in a rich, full-bodied sound, sometimes of almost cinematic grandeur. However, the lyrical theme of drowning in the water conveys a darker, unnerving mood that soaks through the music. Imbued with the sounds of nature and Moreno’s intense voice, “Mala Madre” pulsates with vibrant energy, exhibiting a powerful and unique ambience.

Ultimately, Moreno’s fourth full-length record reaffirms the Chilean singer-songwriter’s uncompromising spirit while demonstrating her continuous growth as an artist.

♪♫ Listen: “Tu Mamá Te Mató” + album stream

Camila Moreno on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.