Written by Travis Shosa
Alberto García Roca is an avant-pop wizard unbound by the limitations of mere terrestrials. Under the moniker of Alien Tango, the London-based Spanish multi-instrumentalist has been releasing absurdist singles and EPs since 2015’s Supernatural Mango. His 2017 single “Sexy Time” mashed Mick Jagger disco rock and operatic Queen harmonies with synth-pop and a rap break that quickly gives way to mumbles of forgotten lyrics: a chaotic, delightfully horny monstrosity. Garnering attention from The New York Times last year for his unpredictable and humor-filled SXSW set, García Roca is now putting the final touches on his long-overdue debut album.
The first single, “1000 Years,” may not be as novel as his homage to the author of the Sherlock Holmes series, “Arthur Conan Doyle.” But while it carries a more sincere message, it’s not without copious amounts of camp. Waves of washed-out synthesizers crash over a bouncy rhythm, their texture akin to something you’d hear on The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin. García Roca lists the things he’s going to do 1000 times over a lifetime of 1000 years as he travels urgently through swing tangents and Bowie-esque glam theatricality: “save 1000 whales,” “play 1000 video games,” “write 1000 e-mails,” etc. It eventually turns apocalyptic: a “mushroom cloud” cutting it all short. The track is slowed and pitched down: stretching a moment to emphasize its worth, begging for appreciation as experienced. Much like Kirin J Callinan’s (who co-directs and stars in the Spanish waterside music video) break-out hit “Big Enough,” it skirts the line between inspirational and utterly bonkers. But maybe inspirational music doesn’t need to take itself so seriously when the objective is to promote enjoying what time we have and living life to the fullest.
For more Alien Tango, you can watch the video for “workinonit”:
Travis Shosa is the founder and editor-in-chief of Stamens/Pistils/Parties. Formerly the runner of COUNTERZINE, he has bylines at Pitchfork, The Alternative, and Post-Trash among others.