For the latest of our features on Colombian bands at Festival Estéreo Picnic 2022, we have Piel Camaleón, a bright and breezy indie jangle-pop outfit.
Piel Camaleón are getting ready for Festival Estéreo Picnic 2022 and after one late-night practice session we had the chance to talk. They’ve just released new single mestizo and hope to debut it live at the festival. It’s exactly the type of song that Estéreo Picnic will always swipe right on – slow rhythm, a marvellously full sound and heartfelt lyrics underpinned by breathy backing vocals. Jacob Moreno, bassist, says, “It’s a bit more rock, more guitar, more bass and drums.” His brother Daniel Moreno, the singer and lead guitarist follows up by saying, “It has this raw sound we like to make.”
“We’re thinking about playing it,” says backing singer Lucía Angée, “but our set is pretty long already, so we’ll see, I dunno. We’re lucky, we’re on the main stage and the time they gave us, an hour, that’s pretty big for us.” It’s an enthrallingly chaotic interview as the entire band chip in at points. Drummer Alejandro jumps in here to say, “It’s a pretty big responsibility, yeah.”
Friday is their debut show at the festival, alongside the likes of the Niños Telepáticos, and everyone’s excited, says Lucía. “A little thing I’ve noticed we’re doing, 15 minutes ago we were rehearsing the intro song and we started screaming, all of us, we felt we were on stage and it was pretty exciting.” Daniel agrees, “Since 2014 we’ve always been to the festival and thought someday we will be on that stage, and today’s the day, it’s so cool.”
They’d been booked to play in 2020, originally, so it’s been a long wait for Festival Estéreo Picnic 2022. Alejandro says “that was a surprise for us. We got told a week or two weeks before, that was really exciting but then Covid hit.” Daniel reflects today that it wasn’t so bad. “Now it’s better,” he says. “Because we only had two singles from our album PONG and now we’ve had more time to release the album and get more people as fans. Now it’s a great time to play.” Alejandro concurs, “There’s more hype, now it’s better.”
Piel Camaleón know how to switch things around
Piel Camaleón means chameleon skin, and that’s a perfect name for a band that switch styles and sounds with ease. They’re folk-pop one minute, classic indie jangle-pop the next and always whimsically deft. Daniel describes it as dance music. “The people that go to our music like to scream and dance,” he says. “It’s a pop party, if you want to enjoy Piel Camaleón live you have to know the songs.”
Lucía takes over to say, “If you know the songs or not, the vibe is something you hear in the air and you will start singing and dancing.” The whole band joins in to agree and nod. “The fans we have, the energy is so contagious that you’ll dance too, it’s a beautiful thing to have everyone dancing and singing together,” says Alejandro. I tell him he hasn’t seen dour old English hacks like me at a festival like Festival Estéreo Picnic 2022 and everyone laughs before Daniel says, “I’m sure you’ll dance a lot.” We’ll see.
More laughter too, when I ask why the chorus of Medusa is quite so sweary (watch the video for words we can’t print in a family website). “Alejandro recorded the vocals, why doesn’t he explain it,” says Jacobo, passing the buck over. Alejandro defends himself, “I just said what I was told to say. Daniel, he just shuffled some lyrics in English together to make a phrase that means nothing at all.” Daniel grins and says, “Random words that sound cool.”
They’ll be there to watch too, as Daniel says, “We’ve been there many years as spectators, we’ve so many good bands and we love it.” I ask who they’re most looking forward to on Friday and there’s some collective murmuring before Jacob says Foo Fighters and Lucía quickly adds, “The Libertines too.” Everyone agrees that they’re looking forward to all three days of Festival Estéreo Picnic 2022. “We’re really big fans of the festival,” says Lucía, “Whether we’re playing or not we always come to all three days, so it’s cool to be a part of it this year.”
You’ll find Piel Camaleón at Festival Estéreo Picnic 2022 at 4:45 on the Main Stage, and they know you’ll dance, scream and sing along. The show is recommended by Babelgam, with good reason. Alejandro promises “It’ll look beautiful. We’ve already kind of seen it in rehearsals and it’s fantastic. Even we’re surprised by how amazing it is.” Daniel is more modest, saying, “We have a big team working on it, we have cinematography, styling, choreography. It’s a show you can enjoy wherever you see it.” Lucía adds that there’ll be some surprises. “Our intro song is new, and it’s really beautiful, we all feel really connected to it. It’s pretty chill, so it’s a great start for a show that’s going to be crazy.” You heard the lady – don’t miss out!