Music without Labels XXXVII. Mink de Ville, León Benavente, The Swagger | Revista independiente de música

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Music without Labels XXXVII. Mink de Ville, León Benavente, The Swagger

Music without Labels XXXVII

Urban rock by Mink de Ville

Realism by León Benavente

The Swagger´s modern rock.

Urban Rock I: Introduction

At the beginning of the seventies, the city of New York was the cradle of the so-called urban rock, a sour way of understanding the style that reflected, in a mythical or realistic key, the existence of the city’s inhabitants.

To a large extent, this movement was promoted by the band The Velvet Underground and by the artistic circle that surrounded it, among which there was Andy Warhol. Soon, prominent disciples would appear like Bruce Springsteen. 

Mink de Ville - Spanish Stroll (1977)

This is a track that was written by Willy de Ville and released on his album Cabretta. It is the best-known song of this melting pot of ghetto experiences expressed with violence in the malleable voice of Willy. 

After the breakup of The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed established himself as a fearless portraitist of a juvenile sector that loves danger and toyed with self-destruction. Subsequently, Bruce Springsteen added a romantic component to this vision (the figures of the solitary hero and the arrogant loser). Like Lou Reed, Springsteen created a school: his poetic universe and interpretative heat are present in the records of John Cougar, Bryan Adams, Meat Loaf, Mink de Ville and many other North American artists.

National: León Benavente

León Benavente is an indie pop band formed by experienced musicians from different parts of the Spanish geography. The band’s name comes from a section of road between León and Benavente, where the idea of its creation came up.

Their music, heir to post punk, electronic and singer-songwriters’ tradition, contains catchy melodies and certain dark touches. The lyrics are acidic and many of them reflect the harsh realities of Spain in recent times.

León Benavente – Ayer salí (2019)

This is a track that was written by Abraham Boba and released on their third album Vamos a volvernos locos. In it, they tell us about intimate and personal relationships to generate social and political awareness.

León Benavente was formed in 2012 by Abraham Boba (Vigo, voice and keys), Eduardo Baos (Zaragoza, bass and synthesisers), Luis Rodríguez (Oviedo, guitar) and César Verdú (Murcia, drums). They got to know each other when playing in the band of singer-songwriter Nacho Vegas.  Additionally, César had played in the band Schwarz, Eduardo in Tachenko and Abraham had released work as a soloist. With their new line-up, they published some EPs and three albums: León Benavente (2013), 2 (2016) and Vamos a volvernos locos (2019).  

International: The Swagger

The Swagger is a rock band from Hornsey, a district of north London. It was founded by the Stevens brothers Lee and Paul, who started as a duo in The Mad Hatters UK, playing in bars and small avenues in their city.  

The music of The Swagger is based on a modern rock with a catchy yet gritty aesthetic. It combines melodic harmonies of the sixties, British indie from the nineties and a casual punk attitude.

The Swagger - Chin up Boy (2019)

This is a track that was composed by Lee and Paul Stevens and was released as a single. Based on a personal experience, it contains a positive message to overcome life’s difficulties.

The Swaggers formed in 2011, when the Stevens brothers’ duo turned into a quartet. Their current line-up features Lee Stevens (main voice and rhythmic guitar), Paul Stevens (solo guitar and backing vocals), Kyle Lapsley (bass) and Rory Smith (drums and backing vocals). In 2016, they released The Swagger EP, recorded in the prestigious Konk Studios, owned by Ray Davies from the Kinks, where they shaped their sound. It was followed by the singles Heart ’n’ Soul (2018) and Chin up Boy, with which they collected good reviews from the specialized press.