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Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet: Latin Alt Divas

by Rachel Devitt

Cheat Sheet: Latin Alt Divas


Latin alternative music, like anything lurking under that ambiguous "alt" umbrella, is a hodgepodge hive of sounds, ranging from gritty rock to twee pop, from experimental electronic music to quirky hip-hop. But one aspect of the sound is easy to pin down: initially a kind of boys' club (or at least a club in which admittedly very talented boys got most of the attention), the world of Latin alt has recently been invaded by captivating, critically acclaimed, incredibly talented female artists. In fact, there are so many fresh new female faces in this world that we're focusing here primarily on women working in the cantautor (aka singer-songwriter) tradition, and saving the hard-rocking outfits, punk bands and emcees for another time. But even within that concentration, a wealth of sonic diversity exists, from Juana Molina's ambient electro-pop to Rita Indiana's techno-merengue, from Pistolera's folklorico rock to indie-pop darling Ximena Sariñana, whose masterful self-titled sophomore album dropped this week.