In the space where the vibrant traditional sounds of the Andes Mountains meets with the folk-rock of the Canadian Prairies, Regina’s multi-instrumental group Andino Suns have been captivating audiences since 2009 with fiery instrumentation, inspirational live performances and a resounding message of freedom, hope and love.
Instinctively adventurous, musically inquisitive, Andino Suns began when Chilean-Canadians Andres and Pablo Davalos and Andres Palma started building a band based off of the traditional Latin music of their childhood. Along with Pablo’s son Antonio, as well as brothers Leif Mehlsen and Erik Mehlsen, the band released their debut self-titled album in 2013, and has since made appearances at high-profile festivals such as JUNOFest, Ness Creek Music Festival, Gateway Music Festival and the Cold Snap Music Festival. The band will also be taking the stage at 2014’s Regina Folk Festival and the Sasktel Jazz Festival in addition to venues throughout Western Canada.
Now, with the release of their sophomore full-length album It’s Time to Rise, Andino Suns have changed the fabric of their sound. While maintaining the upbeat Latin rhythms of their debut album, It’s Time to Rise is an exploration into new sounds. With the addition of drummer Brian Warren, the group began exploring additional genres, including rock, reggae and the sounds of Eastern Europe. Weaving together deep, melodic grooves, soaring vocals, impossibly catchy Latin-flavoured hooks and hypnotic rhythms, Andino Suns seamlessly melds together English and Spanish lyrics into anthems that translate into get-on-your-feet-and-party songs.
But while the music simmers with earthy tones and soulful melodies, there is a decidedly political tone amidst the instrumentation. The song “It’s Time to Rise” calls for solidarity with the marginalized and social justice movements in Latin America while “La Jaula” speaks to how treaties limited the freedoms of the First Nations of the plains.
With the band members being prairies-dwellers by heart, It’s Time to Rise is very much rooted in the music of Saskatchewan. The album ends with “Dreamin”, a hopeful, sweet song influenced by the band’s upbringing in the flat lands and the members’ roots in folk music.
Exuberant, rousing, political and spiritual, Andino Suns have forged a sound that is sure to ignite festival audiences and dance-floors alike.
Andrés Dávalos - Lead Vocals, Charango, Guitar, Quena, Zampoña, Harmonica
Pablo Dávalos - Bombo, Vocals, Guitar, Zampoña
Antonio Dávalos - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Andrés Palma - Guitar, Vocals
Erik Mehlsen - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Leif Mehlsen - Congas
Brian Warren - Drums and Guitar