Share “Angel Child” Session
New album Freedom is Free due 3rd March on ATO Records
Feature on The Guardian’s interactive “The Sound of L.A.” Guide
“Chicano Batman have gone full Gil Scott-Heron on new album” – Noisey
“It’s a preview of groovy things to come… join the party and see what we’ve been raving about” – NPR Music
“Funk soul brothers put a fresh twist on vintage ingredients… sounds like relics of a lost jam session between Curtis Mayfield and Carlos Santana.” – Uncut
Ahead of the release of Freedom Is Free, L.A.’s Chicano Batman have unveiled “Angel Child“, which Clash describes as “a blistering workout, laden with innovation.”
Singer Bardo Martinez says of the song, “It started off with one chord that sounded like David Axelrod’s “The Edge” or “The Shadow Knows”and I thought to myself: this sound is grand enough to represent my daughter Yemayá, this song is for her. The rhythm had to be as deep as her ancestry all the way to Africa and to the Caribbean where her grandmother’s from, with changes and movements as complex as the forces that brought her into being. The deepest and most heartfelt joy I’ve ever experienced is seeing my baby’s eyes open for the first time. This song is a celebration of my baby’s existence. It is a feeling that all parents feel. It is a feeling that we can all embrace because we are all part of this cycle of life and love.”
The session was filmed in the studio where the band recorded the album – Diamond Mine Recording studio in Long Island City, NY. Their producer Leon Michels plays on keys in the video, and is a veteran in the New York soul revival scene, having performed in Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Black Keys and The Menahan Street Band. In addition to tracking the album to analog tape, Michels contributed keyboards and his trademark horn arrangements (he’s been sampled by Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah).
The band’s recent single, “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” has also been getting regular spins on BBC6Music, with Lauren Laverne calling it a “beautiful song”.
Chicano Batman came out of L.A., four young men in vintage formalwear, playing songs that blended Brazilian Tropicalía with early ’70s psychedelic soul and the romantic pop of bands like Los Ángeles Negros. It was an immediately addictive sonic brew, and their reputation grew fast. Now, they’re making their boldest statement yet with Freedom Is Free, their third album and ATO Records debut, out March 3, 2017.
Chicano Batman’s look has done as much to set them apart as their sound or their name. Since the beginning, they’ve performed in matching suits and ruffled shirts; Bardo explains, “We’re making a particular reference that some people understand—Los Ángeles Negros, Los Pasteles Verdes. In the ’70s, it was a big thing where all these cats were playing romantic ballads, but they were funky as hell.”
Freedom Is Free reflects Chicano Batman’s decision to foreground the soul and R&B elements of their sound. To achieve their ambitious sonic goals, the quartet worked with producer Leon Michels (El Michels Affair, The Arcs) in his Diamond Mine Recording studio in Long Island City, NY. The partnership between Michels and Chicano Batman truly captures the band’s live energy and brings their aesthetic goals to life.
Outside the studio, Chicano Batman have built a stellar reputation through heavy touring across the country. They’ve played major festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo. Opening for Jack White, Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delirium and Gogol Bordello on recent tours has given them the chance to win over thousands of rock fans, night after night.
Freedom is Free Track Listing:
1 – Passed You By
2 – Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)
3 – Angel Child
4 – Freedom is Free
5 – La Jura (Prelude)
6 – Le Jura
7 – Flecha Al Sol
8 – Jealousy
9 – Right Off The Back
10 – Run
11 – The Taker Story
12 – Area C