Photo by Gabriel Duque.
Like many bands and musicians around the world, Las Nubes had to cancel their live shows and tour. But that’s not stopping them from putting out music or from reaching their fans.
“As a band, we had to cancel our split release show and the weekender tour we planned for it, so to make up for it we’re gonna do a live session on Friday, March 20 so people can tune in on Facebook and Instagram and buy the split,” says frontwoman Ale Campos. “It’s pretty devastating, but we’re going to make it work.”
Las Nubes recently combined forces with local Miami favorites and pals Palomino Blond for a split EP that came out March 13 on BUFU Records.
Originally a solo project of frontwoman Ale Campos, it transitioned to a three-piece with the addition of Nina Carolina on bass and backup vox and Emile Milgrim on drums. Las Nubes means “the clouds” in Spanish and the band lives up to that name with a spacy, but also beachy vibe with lyrics that switch between Spanish and in English.
Recently named “Best Band” by the Miami New Times, Las Nubes is the first ever all-female band to back up Iggy Pop. They played together at the GUCCI x Snapchat event for the debut of the short film Duck Duck by Harmony Korine in December 2019 during Art Basel. If that isn’t street cred, then I don’t know what is. They annihilated the stage with the king of punk himself introducing them to new fans and solidifying them as being a band to watch.
The split EP includes Las Nubes songs, “Demonize” and “Tararear.” “Tararear” means “to hum” in Spanish and was inspired by the emo band Hum. Palomino Blond has the punk angst and fast beats that helps balance the more space rock sound of Las Nubes. The female vocals from both bands truly marry well on this EP.
“Demonize” is a stand out on the EP. It woos you in with melancholy swagger and then rocks out with stoner riffs. The new video was recorded in Little Haiti in Miami. The indoor space is covered in shiny, blue and gold party curtains that gives it high school prom vibes. The space is intimate and the colors echo the band perfectly. The camera angles sway in rhythm with the song. Even the musicians are covered in psychedelic threads.
“We did it in our rehearsal room which is tiny so fitting seven people was definitely challenging but also hilarious,” Campos says. “Our approach was also very DIY so being able to hear ourselves was difficult, but nothing we’re not used to as far as live performances go. Honestly, monitors are a luxury and we had a lot of fun during the whole process. Our whole crew consisted of friends so it was a very lighthearted atmosphere.”
Drummer Emile Milgrim demonstrates a deft hand when it comes to dynamics.
“It usually takes me a really long time to come up with parts for a song since I try to avoid cliché beats and my own habitual inclinations as much as possible,” Milgrim says. “To do this I often write to a prominent guitar hook or vocal melody as a starting point and continue on building around that. With ‘Demonize’ there is a lot of constant motion from the other instruments, so I felt it would be useful to weave the drums in and around them while still keeping a pulse. Dynamics afford that without getting too noodly and overplaying to try and keep up with all the notes everyone else hitting.”
Milgrim shares that her favorite piece of gear is the Iron Cobra 600 kick pedal. She also swears by Cympad cymbal washers to get the right amount of choke on the crash cymbals.
When it comes to advice for fledgling drummers, she says to practice a lot.
“You really can learn to play anything with enough time and practice,” Milgrim says. “Find the methods that make practicing exciting and rewarding to you—playing should never be a boring chore. Play along to songs you know and love, even if you’re only able to play part of the beat to start.
“Explore more styles than those you know and love—there’s so much out there and you’d be surprised how the techniques of different styles can coalesce in your playing. Find a good teacher! Your playing can only become better if you’re using proper technique, which many people think they are, but they’re not. Remember that it’s not all about being the loudest, fastest, or showiest, which many people think is makes a good drummer. Things like listening and communicating well, keeping good time, understanding and utilizing dynamics, and patience go a long way.”
The special edition orange-colored vinyl is available on Bandcamp.
Reviewed by Carolina Enriquez Swan
When Carolina Enriquez Swan is not writing for Tom Tom Magazine, she is found working in the art auction house world of Phillips Auctioneers. She dabbles in art with kitschy, girly paintings and felt brooches. She spends her time at museums, movies, or punk and goth shows.