Hunters of the Alps, the moniker of Miami based indie-alternative act Mario Giancarlo Garibaldi, has come into the new year with celebration via a delicate dream-synth, bossa nova inspired cover of legendary singer Juan Gabriel’s famed classic “Costumbres.” The song, which has long been covered by many greats from its popularization by Rocio Durcal to Tejana superstar Selena, is now getting a modern reinvention and fresh new soundscape in its tribute catalog with this latest take.
With a special release date that honors the iconic divos’ birthday, Hunters of the Alps devotes a more upbeat than usual rendition for the emotionally deep ballad. Finding inspiration in the song’s omnipresence throughout his life, parallel to that of many Latin families across the diaspora, Hunters of the Alps knew he was destined to one day bring his own rendition to the world.
The final configuration results in a melody wrapped in hearty guitar grooves, smooth bass lines, and a buoyant drum rhythm that kicks in the second half of the song to ramp up the song’s ending. Known for its heavy, emotive lyricism that circle the themes of longing and heartbreak, the more pop-leaning take deviates from its traditional ballad tones, it stays faithful in its homage to the songs emotional depth as Garibaldi’s voice lends itself vocally to carry a looming sense of heartbreak and languish. Detaching itself from the thematics of love alone, the single becomes transformative in expressing a multitude of longing sentiments with no specificity. Especially in a year riddled with a complex understanding of loss and coping mechanisms, the rendition allows its listeners to attach their own meanings of heartbreak and costumbres to the song.
As a veteran of the Miami indie-alternative scene with involvement in such bands as MODERNAGE, HUNTERS OF THE ALPS, and PRIVATE SCHOOL, the time has come to venture off and explore on his own.
The previous incarnation of HUNTERS OF THE ALPS, a musical collaboration project that kickstarted in 2012, created modest success over the years in both South and North America. The vehicle now stands as Mario’s solo project, one that allows him to revel in familiar territory while also letting him navigate and showcase sounds of his childhood, his native Peru, and obsessions gathered up during the last decade.
Having also experienced success as part of the post-punk 00s band MODERNAGE, Giancarlo is now content laying back and letting all those inspirations, childhood heroes, and niche deep dives take over the blend of music as HUNTERS OF THE ALPS. As the nephew of one of the most renowned Peruvian songwriters Jose Escajadillo, the proximity to emotion and deliverance, the continued drive to learn and absorb, make this rebirth of HUNTERS OF THE ALPS an exciting second act. Gone are the compromises, the self-doubt, the hesitations. Here we have a bilingual artist proud of his roots, proud of his trajectory, eager to explore and connect and let loose.
“Cul De Sac” is the first single of a series of songs to be released in 2020 by LA’s boutique powerhouse Cosmica Records. The song is a dreamy, fluid, laid back pop new wave with a clear message: “I want you to touch me while we are dancing.” It’s an ethereal yet bouncy first single that inveterately connects with the desire to be felt and to be appreciated.
Produced and arranged by Miami’s Firstworld, “Cul De Sac” is accompanied by a music video shot and directed by LA filmmaker Camila Saldarriaga during the early days of the 2020 pandemic. For the music promo video, the multi-talented actress Veronica Osorio portrays a confused muse. Art work was provided by Peruvian artist Yerko Zlatar who has been instrumental in illustrating design for legendary Peruvian label Infopesa.