Occur Goes Global - The Music of El Salvador

A Central American country that’s no stranger to hostility and upheaval, El Salvador finds comfort in its small but multifaceted music scene. From swing to metal to emotive electronica, here are five bands to fill your hearts with liberty.


Safari Volvo

Do you miss bands like the Bravery and She Wants Revenge? The darkwave dance revival lives on through Safari Volvo. Synths and monotone, vampy vocals courtesy Gabriel and Rubrt lurk in the shadows on tracks such as “Katwalk” and “Lobos.” Get into the groove with these guys just in time for Halloween. Thanks to Mute for the rec!


Darlament Norvadian

This black metal band’s 2015 Days of Suicide EP will have you howling. Darlament Norvadian thrive on the old-school DIY spirit, selling cassettes alongside digital downloads in their store. And when you’ve got a guy dubbed Nocturnal on the mic, you know you’re in for some delectable darkness.



Mashing together organic Latin beats and guitar work with otherworldly flourishes, Harold Matthew carries on this former duo’s legacy. His creative partner, Josh Madrid, succumbed to cancer in 2015 but breathes on in MVVM’s joyful, moving brand of EDM. Recommended if you like Youngblood Hawke and Madeon.


Cartas a Felice

A throwback to nascent rock ‘n’ roll and dusty American country, Cartas a Felice deliver a twangy good time. Alejandra Paz and José González trade off crooning over tight rockabilly licks by guitarist Ricardo Clement, bassist Ricardo Santos and drummer David Franco. Imagine the Stray Cats if they sang en Español.


Don Bosco Youth Symphony Orchestra

We don’t cover classical music here often, but this orchestra is a special case. When living in the homicide capital of the world, a child hasn’t much of a choice in his survival. It’s do or die, kill or be killed. So the Don Bosco Youth Symphony Orchestra has offered an alternative to the violence in San Salvador. These gifted youngsters have delighted audiences worldwide, giving hope to a community in need. Thank you to Business Insider for the information.

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