East Los Angeles' Quetzal released their sixth studio album, Quetzanimales, on July 29. One of Quetzanimales' singles, "Hollenbeck Ganso," is this week's iTunes Latin Single of the Week.
Quetzal is a Chicano rock band that has been a force in the L.A. music scene for 20 years. They won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Latin Alternative, Urban or Rock Album for their album Imaginaries. They are also featured in Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones series, which serves as an archive of historic and influential albums and bands in Latino music.
Quetzanimales is the band's first concept album, honors the animals of the urban landscape. The album is comprised of "funky afro-Latin beats, bluesy melodies, and country inflected soulful ballads." They also contain elements of son jarocho, boleros and cumbia. The songs, like "Rooster," "Tecolote" ("Owl"), and "Coyote Hustle," are odes to various animals and are metaphors for the struggle of life and the interconnectivity of all living beings. The idea to write the concept album came with the idea to assign each band member to write about urban animals and turn it into an acoustic song. Queztal Flores, the founder of the band, explained the reasoning for the album's focus in a press release, saying: "The traditional music we're influenced by often focuses on animals."
The band is very active in their local community and regularly participates in protesting and fundraising that they feel affects the community. "Music is a place for Quetzal to express these issues," said Queztal in a past interview with L.A. Weekly. This activism through music played a large part in the making of Queztal's new release, giving these often-overlooked animals a place in a social outlet.
"Hollenbeck Ganso" is currently available for free download on iTunes. Download it and give us your reviews in the comments section.