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05/01/2020
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REVIEW: CUÑAO – RAYUELA

Cuñao’s Latin-folk sound is as unique as they are, a band that came together for a birthday celebration in 2014 and have worked together ever since, despite their diverse musical backgrounds. Fast-forward six years and their sound remains dynamic, weaving together African rhythms, American rock influences and their own twist on Latin American styles.

Four years in the making, Rayuela (‘Hopscotch’ in English), is just that, taking the listener on a journey that transcends four musical interludes and a plethora of styles. Inspired by Argentine literary great Julio Cortazar’s novel, it’s totally on you to dip in and out of this musical project – or you could just listen to it in one sitting – the way you interact is up to you. Each of these 16 episodios belongs to a different feeling: agua, vida y muerte; cosas del corazón; qui?; en route. Love, loss and most of all life are captured in each of these songs, a snapshot into life.

“Each song on this concept album deals with a different topic but there is a universality to it,” says lead guitarist, vocalist and founder of the group, Julio Montero. “The stories are as diverse and multifaceted as the backgrounds and musical influences of the band itself, and the listener is free to hopscotch around and choose their own narrative. So there are different entities to this album that on the surface seemingly don’t fit together and yet here they are. I think this made for a really interesting collection.”

A mix of classical guitar, violin and voices make Rayuela feel full-bodied and full of light. A personal favourite, “Fortunato” explores the struggles facing an immigrant sending love to a family in a far-off homeland. Duet “El Compas” is super slick, with accordion, guitar and cajón all mixing together in a celebration of a more Arabic or Andalusian sound. Well worth a listen too is the beautiful “La Luna y la Ballena”, a gorgeous duet with an almost lullaby, dreamlike quality.

Catchy “Quita La Mano” is the first single released from this musical patchwork-quilt, and it doesn’t disappoint, a tale of adventure with a ranchera-type quality. Rayuela is as unique as Cuñao; a group of musicians that each have their own talent and style.

Rayuela is available now on Bandcamp and other platforms