Best Albums of 2018
selected by Alejandro Fernándes

Sisah <BR> “UNO”


Sisah, an electronic collective which is formed by many criollo producers living in different parts of the world thanks to the Venezuelan diaspora, released a 10-track album entitled “UNO” in May last year.

It is a fantastic collection of catchy and very good tunes that sieve the sound of Venezuela and the Caribbean through a filter of top notch electronic music, bringing a great variety of sounds.

♪♫ Listen: “Gerla” + album stream

Sisah on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Nombres Ocultos <BR> “7 Canciones En Mí”

Nombres Ocultos
“7 Canciones En Mí”

Citing Gustavo Cerati, Sufjan and the Beach Boys as their main influences, Nombres Ocultos played the card of letting their music talk for themselves as they decided to promote this album as an anonymous band through a very well designed social media campaign in which a “fan” found their music by luck and decided to create a social media profile for the band to share their message with the world.

As for their music, Nombres Ocultos serves honor to their musical identity by playing an indie rock that includes elements of folk, ethereal sounds and a dark-ish wave in some of the songs. A really fun album.

♪♫ Listen: “Cien Años Sin Voz” + album stream

Nombres Ocultos on Bandcamp, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

Boston Rex <BR> “El Baúl de los Sentimientos Enteipados” EP

Boston Rex
“El Baúl de los Sentimientos Enteipados” EP

The sophomore EP of Boston Rex (leader of traditional rock band Tomates Fritos) proves that when it comes to talk about sadness and broken hearts, there’s no one more precise and honest than him.

Only 7 songs long, “El Baúl de los Sentimientos Enteipados” is a melancholic journey guided through the chords of Rex’s acoustic guitar and evocative voice that serves as the perfect album for listening when you get dumped.

♪♫ Listen: “Me Cago En Todos” + album stream

Boston Rex on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Zeta <BR> “Magia Infinita”

“Magia Infinita”

Zeta, one of Venezuela’s most extreme and experimental bands, showcase their versatility and passion in Magia Infinita, a short and chaotic album that, once again, talks about human psyche and everything that affects of as a race, focusing particularly in our deepest fears and anxieties.

Hardcore, Post Rock, Punk, Metal and many other genres are smartly blended in this deeply conceptual record.

♪♫ Listen: “Perder” + album stream

Zeta on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Akapellah <BR> “Como Nunca”

“Como Nunca”

While jumping from rap to trap in every single, Akapellah, one of Venezuela’s finest hip hop artists, found the time in his tight schedule to release an album that puts to show his never-ending charisma and his talent for making great and inventful rhymes while talking about some realities of the Venezuelan people.

“Como Nunca”, his third album, is only 8 songs long, making it a short but really really fun ride.

♪♫ Listen: “Gordo Funky” + album stream

Akapellah on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Bacalao Men <BR> “Sangre”

Bacalao Men

What if legendary Salsa musician Rubén Blades had a Rock band? Bacalao Men is the answer to that question. Now from Miami, Florida, Pablo Estacio, this band’s heart and soul, ensembled a great crew of musicians that helped shaping this really fun album that still sounds like walking in Caracas many years ago.

Their fourth album “Sangre” screams loud: We play Latin Rock, we do it really great and it’s not a cliché.

♪♫ Listen: “Alumbra” + album stream

Bacalao Men on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Cheo y Ulises <BR> ¿Dónde?

Cheo y Ulises

José Luis “Cheo” Pardo (ex-guitarist of one of Venezuela’s most influential bands, Los Amigos Invisibles, and member of other great groups such as Los Crema Paraíso or Orquesta Discothéque) joins forces with Ulises Hadjis (a multiple Latin Grammy nominee singer with three great solo albums) in a subtle and delicate album in which they play an acoustic pop with beautiful and poetic lyrics.

The way they harmonize their voices and how they make you feel every word of this album is proof they’re outstanding musicians that leave their musical differences aside to create something and the sacrifices they made really paid off.

♪♫ Listen: “De No Haberte Conocido” + album stream

Ulises on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Augusto Bracho <BR> “Mercado de los Corotos”

Augusto Bracho
“Mercado de los Corotos”

In “Mercado de los Corotos”, the first solo LP of Augusto Bracho, the alter ego of Gustavo Guerrero (frequent collaborator of Natalia Lafourcade and former member of venezuelan cult bands like Cunaguaro Soul), we listen to the joyful sounds of Latin American folklore and the humorous idiosyncrasy of our people.

“Mercado de los Corotos” is an album that digs deep in the identity of Latin America and finds how to make it even more fun and beautiful through music.

♪♫ Listen: “Coplas Oaxaqueñas” + album stream

Augusto Bracho on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Simón Grossmann <BR> “Mujer Eléctrica”

Simón Grossmann
“Mujer Eléctrica”

Only a year after his debut album, “Ciclo”, Simón Grossmann, a Venezuelan living in Miami, Florida, decided to release a sophomore album that encompasses an assorting of new sounds that he carefully adds to his music, heavily inspired by musicians like Jack Johnson and John Mayer.

In “Mujer Eléctrica”, Grossmann expresses the joy of love he’s living at the moment, while he rediscovers himself as a latino and as a guitarist. The result is a collection of 10 great songs that sounds like having the greatest beach date ever with the love of your life.

♪♫ Listen: “Semilla” + album stream

Simón Grossmann on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Gran Radio Riviera <BR> “Tanto”

Gran Radio Riviera

“Tanto”, Gran Radio Riviera’s debut album, is a testament of Caracas middle-high class youth and all that affects their daily lives. Taking the witness of other ilustrious Venezuelan bands such as Americania or Los Mesoneros, they do a terrific work focused on harmonies and many bursts of dance moments in their blend of indie rock caraqueño, disco, funk and a lot of pop.

In their lyrics, they talk about the reality of their generation: migration, group of friends separated because of the crisis, lost love, and even searching for reasons to be happy in a country that fell apart many years ago, while allowing themselves to be optimistic towards the future with a firm statement in one of their songs: “No me voy, yo no me voy. No está en discusión” (I’m not leaving, I’m not leaving. It is not in discussion).

A superb and well produced debut.

♪♫ Listen: “Impaciente” + album stream

Gran Radio Riviera on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.