The 2017 Latin Grammy category for Best Rock Song finds South American rockers holding strong in a musical field they have traditionally dominated. Nominees include Uruguay’s No Te Va Gustar, Eruca Sativa from Cordoba, Argentina; Argentine rock stalwart Andres Calamaro and Colombian newcomers Rafa Bonilla y Los Que Sobran. Colombian Latin Grammy veterans Diamante Eléctrico and Café Tacvba (the Mexican indie rock icons being the only nominees from outside South America), also take their place among this year’s nominees for Best Rock Song.
“Armas Gemelas,” Eruca Sativa
The fact that two of Eruca Sativa’s three core members are women makes the decade-old power trio from Cordoba stand out on the Argentine rock scene – and among the male-nominated nominees for Best Rock Song. On the group’s nominated “Armas Gemelas,” singer and guitarist Lula Bertoldi flexes her powerful muscle as a classic rock frontwoman. The song is included on the group’s album Barro y Fauna, which won two Gardel Awards (Argentina’s Grammy-like annual honors.)
“Para Cuando Me Muera,” No Te Va Gustar
Uruguayan rock heroes No Te Va Gustar are known for music that’s meant to move you in various ways. Dance-floor – or at least head-nodding – ready tunes accented with horns are paired with lyrics that explore inner turmoil or the tumult of the world around us. “Para Cuando Me Muera” (“For When I Die”), accompanied by an anguishing “falling man” video, is one of the group’s best.
“Que No” — Café Tacvba
Latin rock icons and Latin Grammy veterans Café Tacvba’s “Que no” is a ’70s rock-inspired ballad from the group’s Jei Beibi, which is nominated in the Best Alternative Music Album category. Bassist Enrique “Quique” Rangel, who wrote the track, has described it as “a song about love and heartbreak.”
“Días Contados” — Rafa Bonilla y Los Que Sobran
Rafa Bonilla, a Colombian musician who has been a working guitarist and guitar tech for 25 years, and his band Los Que Sobran have scored their first Latin Grammy nomination with their debut, self-named EPl.
“Déjala Rodar” — Diamante Eléctrico
Diamante Eléctrico’s “Déjala Rodar” nods to rock’s roots in the blues and to original rockabilly strutters and rivivalists. The five-year-old Colombian band, one of the most magnetic on the current international rock en español scene, have also nabbed a nomination for Best Tock Album, for La Gran Oscilación.
“La Noche” — Andrés Calamaro
Argentine Andrés Calamaro bares his invincible tango spirit in “La Noche,” which he has described as a “bright song” that evokes a night lit with artificial light and the nocturnal imagination.