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Chicano Batman: Five Tropical Inspirations

Listening to Chicano Batman is an unmistakable experience. Soulful and organ-heavy, the group plays like they’re covering a set of top-10 pop hits you’ve never heard. To better explain how the band developed their sound, we got Carlos Arévalo, the group’s guitarist, to share five of his favorite tropical, psych-rock and roots tunes with us, spanning from the 1960s to the ’90s and from Brazil to Mexico. Listening to these tracks sheds fascinating light on the influences that inspire Chicano Batman’s music. Comments in quotation marks are from Carlos.

1) “Grilos”- Erasmo Carlos. “Unique slide guitar and beautiful melodies make this song unforgettable from the Brazilian singer songwriter Erasmo Carlos.”

2) “No Dia em Que eu Vai -Me Embora” – Caetano Veloso. A deep cut from Caetano, one of the pillars of Brazil’s tropicalia movement, this is a “brilliantly written soulful pop song with amazing changes.”

3) “La Pluma” – Peregoyo y su Combo Vacana. “Really great wind section licks and tropical rhythms” on this bomba-style salsa tune from an excellent old-school Colombian cumbia/salsa band. Their album Tropicalisimo was reissued by World Circuit in the ’90s.

4) “Indita Mia” – Los Muecas. “Great Mexican soul roots music that makes the blood pump.” Seriously. That drummer’s swing is untouchable!

5) “Jure Amarte Siempre”- Los Pasteles Verdes. “Catchy guitar melodies over fat bass and drums make this a must from the early ’70s Peruvian soul group.”

If you enjoyed that, click here to listen to the songs in a YouTube playlist.

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