March 9, 2017

TEST SPIN: Costera — Aliados

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This Test Spin can be read in Spanish here.

Mexican band Costera has just released their first album, Aliados, and it’s an ethereal journey from start to finish. Previously, the band had released two singles from the album, “Paseo Sideral” and “Altamar.” Both singles gave listeners a preview of the concept of the album: finding someone you trust completely and going on an unreal journey with them. The album may be about love, but not the tired, cliché kind where the singer can’t stop thinking about their muse. Aliados explores a much deeper concept of love and intimacy: one involving a true connection achieved when two people know each other inside and out, to the point of spiritual fusion.

The track that best represented the theme was “Paseo Sideral,” for which a music video was also released. “Paseo Sideral” featured León Larregui, a singer from the same record label as Costera, Discos Panoram. The duo complemented each other perfectly with their similar voices and musical styles. “Paseo Sideral” featured a laidback, spacey beat while the two singers’ voices made the listener feel as if they were floating listlessly through water. The lyrics were about the beautiful central theme, which gave the song more soul. Songwriter Mau Garcia truly wove a loving, reassuring promise with his lyrics “Seguiremos bien, prometo no quemarte el corazón/ Déjate caer, yo te levantare, todo esta bien,” which translates to “We’ll always be fine. I promise not to burn your heart/Let yourself fall and I’ll pick you up. Everything is okay.” While this rings familiar to the lyrics of artists like Ed Sheeran, the overused theme of love, the context is far different, which the music video establishes.

The music video for “Paseo Sideral,” directed by León Larregui, opens to Mau Garcia scribbling equations and numbers on a chalkboard before going to bed. Once he falls asleep, his being leaves his body and he begins to swim through a dark, ominous body of water. However, scenes of these events alternate with those of a woman in a white, flowing dress also swimming on what appears to be a different body of water, or possibly a parallel astral plane. Eventually, the two meet and kiss through the division of the planes they’re in. Garcia then wakes up to find that he is now holding a crystal, which tells him that he really did travel in his sleep. Throughout the video, the background appeared dark while Garcia and the woman seemed to glow, implying a strong connection between the two.

“Altamar,” the other track that unified the album’s central theme, did not have a music video. However, Costera still unified the theme with lyrics like “Abracemos el momento, somos diferentes,” translating to “let’s embrace the moment, we’re different.” While “Paseo Sideral” was about an ethereal experience with a loved one, “Altamar” was more about finding that person and the experience associated with it, such as embracing individuality. Like most of the album, “Altamar” featured a moderate, driving melody and Mau Garcia’s vocals gave it a surrealistic, abstract feeling that makes the mind wander and explore the parts of ourselves Garcia wants us to.

Aliados may be Costera’s first album, but the band is already seeing success as the album was number seven on the alternative rock category on iTunes. Costera had previously opened for Zoé, León Larregui and Reyno, all major Mexican artists under Discos Panoram. Now Costera is ascending into the spotlight and their future looks promising from all the positive feedback Aliados has received. Their success, along with that of their fellow new artist Salvador y el Unicornio, has reassured me that Discos Panoram still holds greatness and perhaps a new future for Mexican music, one that will explore fresh themes. Love is what most modern music is about, but it has become an increasingly shallow kind of love based on vanity, looks and superficial knowledge. Aliados, however, explores the most intimate type of love, which involves finding someone as unique as yourself and being able to trust them with your entire being, knowing their intentions are pure.

Viri Garcia is a freshman in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]