Seville vibrates. On the one hand, tonight hosts the Latin GRAMMYs gala for the first time. On the other hand, a new edition of Alhambra Monkey Week is approaching. The festival returns on November 23, 24 and 25 and does so with a lineup that is worth discovering both for its most recognizable names at first glance, and for its hidden gems. In this article we review 10 of the essential names on the Monkey Week lineup.
The Planets… in special concert
The authors of historic albums such as ‘A Week in the Engine of a Bus’ or ‘Displacement Unit’ are preparing a “special concert” at Monkey Week in which “they will lighten the sound, but not its power,” and in which “ “They will reduce the volume, but not the intensity.” Only David Montañés’ piano will accompany Los Planetas in this new event.
ZA! & TRANSMEGACOBLA
Za!, one of the most amazing bands on the Catalan music scene, has joined forces with TRANSMEGACOBLA, the group formed by the wind quartet MegaCobla and the experimental folk duo Tarta Relena. Together they recover the format of the cobla, the musical group that traditionally plays sardana music, and form a “mutant orchestra” that, fusing traditional and contemporary Mediterranean culture, builds a total party.
Since she became known back in 2021 with her hit ‘Cafeliko’ or with gems like ‘When you no longer want me’ or ‘Jugando a los sims’, Jimena Amarillo has become a benchmark. Aitana is among his followers. ‘La pena no es comfortable’, Jimena Amarillo’s latest album, has continued to strengthen his promise, including incontestable gems like ‘Porque tú lo sabers’.
Active for more than a decade, Crudo Pimento is a cult group admired beyond our borders. Known for singing in an invented language and for making their own instruments, the duo of Raúl Frutos and Inma Gómez will present their new album at Monkey Week, ‘El Carmen 13: 7’, in which the mix of cultures – there is a Jamaican sound, metal, kraut and references to Holy Week – is served again.
The Last Neighbor
One of the key names in synth-pop of the last decade in Spain is El Último Vecino. Since 2013, Gerard Alegre Dòria’s musical project has generated a cult around his proposal that transcends our borders. Hymns like ‘Your new house’ and jewels like ‘La Selva’ are part of a repertoire of great songs tinged with melancholy that have impacted an entire generation. His recent single, ‘Demasiado’, more guitar-driven than ever, previews his next work.
Because not all young Spaniards listen to reggaeton, Adiós Amores is making a name for itself in our country, remembering the times of Jeanette, Los Brincos, Las Grecas and Los Chichos. ‘Doce navajas’ and ‘Noche illuminated’ are among the classics that the Andalusian duo formed by Iman Amar and Ana Valladares have been able to deliver before even publishing their official debut. ‘El Camino’ has consolidated its promise thanks to huge songs like ‘Canción de Farewell’.
VVV (Trippin’ You)
After three albums released, VVV Trippin You has taken a big step forward in his career with his fourth album, ‘Turboviolencia’, which he has presented at all kinds of festivals, surprising the audience with his overwhelming and searing live performance. The trio from Madrid, as dedicated to post-punk existentialism as to the electronic rhythms of what they call “neo-bakala”, is preparing a new album, ‘Vaciador’, which will go on sale in 2024. ‘Zugzwang’, The first preview is now available. ‘Angel of History’, the second, comes out this Friday.
Between indie and neo-flamenco, Vera Fauna have triumphed both with ‘Los Naranjos’ and with their collaboration with Kiko Veneno, ‘Martes’. They have the same influence as the Clash in a mix that is defined as a “dance between contemporary and classic.” This year they released an album called ‘The Best Years’ through Ernie Records, of which they recently shared a dub remix for the single ‘Tres Primaveras’. We leave you with the contagious ‘Al Dolor’.
Among the bands that have become the “voice of a generation” is La Paloma, which with its album ‘Still No’ has managed to cross the underground and land on the official album chart in Spain. The audience at La Paloma is getting bigger and their shows are sold out. And, after delivering an anthem of the caliber of ‘Bravo Murillo’, the group has come up with another one, ‘The Age I Have’, equally unmissable.
One of those groups that live up to their name, Sistema de Entretenimiento is a hit factory. The group from Mollet del Vallès, Barcelona, formed by Víctor Fernández Echeverri aka Skiper, Anna Bananna and Guixu, looks in the mirror of the first new wave and, mixing punk and electronica, has released several singles that total half a million listens or that directly exceed that figure. Their new EP has been available since August.