Sons of the Summer: Tunacola´s Second Album Finds Magic in the Mundane

On an unseasonably hot Sunday afternoon in La Florida, roughly 20 people in bermudas, bikinis and floral prints lounge beneath a lone tree in an abandoned pit. Two production assistants move among broken glass and lengths of wire, setting up beach umbrellas, towels and beach paddles. Near a large inflatable shark, a series of Go-Pros have been rigged into a 360-degree camera.

Photo by Mallory Bracken
Photo by Mallory Bracken

After all of the shuffling and preparation, the filming of the music video begins for "Coco Maitai," the fourth single off Hip-Pop group Tunacola´s current album, Todos Los Veranos del Mundo (All of the Summers in the World). Ricardo Luna, lead singer and band creator, explained to Revolver that the idea behind the video lied in the recording of a 360-degree video via YouTube, where the viewer can navigate within the video to check out different scenes and angles. The video will contrast a series of vibrant scenes in the middle of a barren and abandoned lot.

The contrasting elements in the Coco Maitai video speak to the general theme of Summer in Tunacola´s second album, which blends hip-hop beats, tropical instruments and electronic accents, overlaying playful and upbeat lyrics. "The idea is that the summer isn't something you go look for at a beach. It´s a state of mind," Luna said. Songs like "Danky" and "Todos Los Veranos Del Mundo," play with this contrasting state of mind through tempo, while evoking alternately a frenetic Saturday Night and a lazy Sunday Morning brimming with nostalgia.

Photo by Mallory Bracken
Photo by Mallory Bracken

In contrast, the band's self-titled debut album brought an eclectic mixture of electro beats and video game sounds composed by Luna and bandmate DJ Caso, accompanied by stunning vocals from soloist Paz Court. Today the band consists of Luna on lead vocals, DJ Caso on vocals as well and turntable, Hans Korn on bass, Leo Fonk on drums, Papo Marchant on trombone and Andres Fournier on saxophone. Luna explained that while Tunacola was an assortment of songs that were grouped together in an album, he set out to write Todos Los Veranos del Mundo with a specific theme, adding new members and creating a richer sound. "The album is more ambitious in every sense. It has a less electronic format, a bigger band, as well as lyrics in Spanish. It all allows you to do a lot more."

Photo by Mallory Bracken
Photo by Mallory Bracken

The new album has opened several doors for Tunacola. Upon its release last December, "Danky" was named Indie Song of the Year by Mexico’s Chilango Magazine and they have appeared in several rankings in both Chile and Mexico. Earlier this year, they appeared in Austin, Texas’ South By Southwest Music Festival and later toured for several weeks in Mexico City. In May, the band presented an Orchestral Performance in the Teatro CocaCola City, where they were joined by a four-string ensemble for a milestone performance.

"It was one of the best shows we’ve ever had. It was very ambitious because we had to compose the music and had only 45 days to write, practice and set up the show. It was a very emotional show, and a bit more profound than others we have done.The reaction we had from the audience was quite intense."

The band will release "Coco Maitai" in October along with the 360-degree video via YouTube. As for how the video came out, Luna can’t provide any details. "I´ve imagined the result, but we never saw the cameras while we were shooting, so we don´t know what it´s going to be like. We’re riding the line between fear and fun."

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