The local boys of Social Klash make sweet electro- and Britpop-inspired melodies, effortlessly swapping English and Spanish lyrics as well as crafting a cool, unique sound the band members describe as electro en español. Their confessed passion for '80s bands like the Cure and Depeche Mode is instantly palpable, yet this South American-born trio didn't have straightforward access to their icons while growing up.
"Back then, the radio stations didn't play European music, so we had to find out about our favorite bands through underground clubs and word of mouth," says the 29-year-old singer, Venezuelan-born Mars Polem. "Nowadays, things have changed, and groups like Ladytron and Placebo tour [Latin American] cities like Bogotá... Thanks to the internet, there's now a global audience for our kind of music."
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Formed in 2003, Social Klash is made up of Polem; his 25-year-old brother, percussionist Abraham Saras; and 28-year-old Colombian-born keyboardist Andres Mara. Last year, the band released its debut, Plastic Love, an independently produced record containing 11 tracks. This summer, the trio is set to tour Colombia and Venezuela in support of its first single, "Come." After that, the three plan to perform special showcases in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta before returning home.
"We moved to Miami to specifically launch our music career," Mara says. "The city is the perfect base for us; even the blend of different languages influences our music... But we don't make typical Latin music. Our sound belongs to the city's underground scene." A listen to Social Klash's repertoire quickly reveals a style far removed from other contemporary Latin acts. Songs like the surreal "Super Niño" use fast, simmering synthesizers along with dreamlike lyrics to create an immediately danceable, electronic-backed ditty. And just like their British musical ancestors, Social Klash employs obscure themes.
"We don't aim to have a definitive message," Polem says. "Our sound is purposely ambiguous... We use metaphors and leave it up to the listeners to decipher their own meaning." As for their prospective audience, the Latin trio aims to capture the archetypal indie-music fan. "We know that the people who like Ladytron and Goldfrapp will dig what we do. We consider those acts our contemporaries. The only difference is that we use our language and that we are based here in Miami."