With his ability to mix and match electronic and indie rock music, Cuco is a thriving new artist that shows promise. Since his first single, “Lo Que Siento,” Cuco aka Omar Banos made a significant impact in the music scene as he morphs Chicano themes into indie electronic music. Recently, the “Chicano Heartthrob“is back with a new album entitled Para Mi. A record that is a whirlwind novella with a whimsical romance. Defining his version of vulnerability and self-possessed emotions, this record is an introspective insight on love.
From the beginning, Cuco introduces the album by paying homage to the popular Instagram page, Foo’s Gone Wild. The profile has become a quintessential stamp of Chicano culture in LA that depicts themes like gang culture, Latino slang, the Latin community, and more. With their signature vocal sample, “warning, another sight for the ‘saca la bolsito,’ the page pays tribute to Cuco’s new album as they reconstruct their sample to promote his album. The collaboration between artist and the Instagram page implies the impenetrable bond inside of the Chicano community. Merging the gap between one Latino community to another, a sense of resilience and unification is born from this cameo.
Transitioning into the second track, “Keeping Tabs,” the enchanting pop rhythm is a heart-melting song. With his memorable high-end synth introduction, the song settles into a “soft-conscious” smooth beat that sets the mood for his romantic tale. Furthermore, Cuco’s vocals have a delicacy that radiates pain. Although there’s no trace to his specific emotions, the foreign feeling is detected through intuition – the type that is visceral and undefining. Additionally, Suscato guests on the track and his majestic vocals cultivate a different atmosphere that brings the song into fruition. His ability to use space and effects allow the song to have an air like quality, which enhances the romance. The double-set of vocals represent a unity of love and support that illustrates the context of the song.
Cuco’s introspective writing style translates as a mysterious shyness. His slow-swaying melodies ride out the dynamic sections of the sophisticated rhythms that grab hold of your soul. As each track pulls you in, the album becomes an agglomeration on lovesickness. The song “Death Ego in Thailand” is an entrancing ballad that sucks you right into his personal experience. Denoting his experimentation with hallucinogenic, Cuco pushes his philosophical boundaries further into the abstract. In an article with Apple Music, he explains his self-induced drug trip as being a bad experience that led his personal love life down a perpetual deprecation. Using a 3/4-time signature to keep the tradition of ballads alive, the soft-sway generates the perfect sonic boundaries that coexist with his vulnerability. Accompanied by a high-end synth melody that reinforces the romantically somber mood, a hint of classic R&B is also translated. Tying in his emotions to his music, it is evident that his honesty cuts through the chords as he channels all the bullshit that you is hard to see.
As an artist, honest transparency is an ineffable quality. It takes courage to release a sincere album that does not rely on social fabrications. It is common amongst artists to mask who they really are within their work because it is safe. The Chicano heartthrob does not embody these characteristics, which inevitably make his music great. Para Mi is an album that feels like he took a real look at himself. Scrutinizing each part of his emotional state of mind, each song is a raw depiction of who he is. Inevitable, the creates an honest connection between artist and listener. Cuco is on the right path in cultivating his own sub-genre in the indie world as he makes his sound and feelings easier to digest. The world needs more musicians like him.