Chicano Batman's music is a lot of things: inventive, playful, and filled with an inherent positivity that's reflected in their grooves, lyrics, and their open-minded blending of genres. The world throws its challenges at you, they seem to be saying, but if you can take a Zen approach to it, we’ll all be better off.
Classic soul, Brazilian pop, and funk are the key ingredients of their tracks, but there are also flourishes of psychedelia and indie rock. We love their 2017 album Freedom is Free, which is like a lo-fi alt-symphony. We like to put it on repeat for a day at the beach, blast it at a backyard barbecue, or crank it after a tough day of work. The mellow-funky feel works particularly well when we want to de-stress, sustain a relaxing vibe, or dance the day away.
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On “Freedom is Free,” front man, keyboardist, guitarist, and chief songwriter Bardo Martinez sings about modern-day isolation as if he’s giving advice to a best friend. At times, the airy lightness of the arrangement and lyrics seem to stand in opposition to another, until it all comes together in the message leading up to the chorus: “You got your guns up on display/But you can't control how I feel, no way/Cause Freedom is free/Freedom is Free/And you can't take that away from nobody.” It’s a convincing reminder to be aware of modern-day struggles, but do your best to ride them like a wave.