Located in quiet, cozy South Park, Whistlestop Bar on Fern St. is, according to my violin teacher, “the perfect neighborhood bar”. There’s a jukebox, cheap cocktails (my justification for drinking three tequila sunrises back to back) and, best of all, amazing live music. It was a cold, quiet mid-March night illuminated by the soft lights wrapped around the trees of South Park. Someone decided to be a masochist and queue up the entirety of OK Computer. There I am; pondering life, Let Down playing in the back, third tequila sunrise in hand, trying to shoo away the guy asking me about my tattoos and what I plan to do with my cognitive science degree.
The lights dim and two opening artists perform; the first was Beauty Queen, a solo bedroom pop project from Maui. When I asked her for three words to describe her music, she said chill, fun, and allowed me to find a third (“you can even put Satanic if you want”). The second artist was All Things Blue, a band from Los Angeles ranging from screaming vocals to dream pop.
The last band to go was Estereomance, a band from El Paso blending bossanova, dreampop and noir. During their performance the projector displayed clips of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as clips of dreamy flowers, rainbow silhouettes and psychedelic Holy Mountain-esque animations. The push and pull of passionate, slow noir and upbeat jazz-y Latin pop alongside psychedelic imagery created an experience that pulled everyone in. The two frontwomen, Paulina and Adria, implemented dance that flowed with every beat and guitar strum, thus creating their own little world that blossomed and intertwined with us all. After the show I caught up with the band and we talked about their history, inspirations and big-picture ideas that inspire them.
Although their band is from El Paso, the members have close ties with Juarez, Mexico with some members still living there today. Juarez and El Paso are less than 30 minutes away, thus creating two cities that blend culturally. Yet, Adria pointed out that the border, arbitrary in its nature, creates a large separation between the two. They have found peace in El Paso, yet Juarez is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Yet, despite the outward differences in both cities, there are inward qualities that connect the two. The art and artists of both cities are vibrant and share a passion for creating one-ness in their communities, which the band calls “transcendental love” and credits for inspiring their passion towards music.
Last year Estereomance released their most recent album “What Do You Want it to Be?” which captures the noir, mystery, and dreaminess felt in their performance. Be sure to check it out!