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NEW MUSIC VIDEO: A Shot In The Dark by Dos Santos

Today, Dos Santos, the Chicago-based alt-Latinx band known for their progressive compositional layering of Latin/American music, releases their new single/video, “A Shot in the Dark,” on International Anthem. Its gorgeous stop-motion animated video was made by Miguel Jara of the Mexico City-based Estudio Pneuma in collaboration with Pilsen, Chicago-based mixed-media artist Amara Rebel Betty Martín. “A Shot in the Dark” is sung distinctively in the Huapango huasteco style, and Dos Santos’ folkloric cantation contrasts the track’s futuristic sonic landscape.Dos Santos’ core band consists of drummer Daniel Villarreal, percussionist Peter “Maestro” Vale, bassist Jaime Garza, guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist Nathan Karagianis, as well as multi-instrumentalist/singer/lyricist Alex Chavez. “A Shot in the Dark,” co-written by Chavez and Karagianis with production by Elliot Bergman (Wild Belle, Nomo), builds upon traditional music from Central Mexico. “My go-to when I’m trying to imagine melodies is Huapango music,” explains Chavez, “It’s part of how I grew up, it’s music that’s important to me.”

“A Shot in the Dark” was a happy accident. “Nathan and I were actually working on another song, trying to find a sound on an electric keyboard to use, and we stumbled on the beginning vocal sample. Elliott pushed us in that direction,” Chavez says. Bergman then assembled a beat and cut the sample into a loop, with Chavez offering the track’s central falsetto, noting, “I’ve never sang that way in Dos Santos, but—in the spirit of experimenting—we just went there and it fit perfectly.” The final product is a trance-inducing exploration of hopeful desire, adorned with lilies and starry nights.

Following the lyrical imagery of “A Shot in the Dark” and their shared love of the technicolor Latino-Futurist aesthetics of Gabriel García Márquez’s 1967 novel 100 Years of Solitude, Dos Santos worked with Martín and Jara to create a vibrant animated video for the track

For Chavez, a scholar who has produced albums for Smithsonian Folkways and conducted extensive ethnographic work on the music of the Texan U.S./Mexican borderlands (where he is from), the synthesis of culture and musical experimentation is a natural progression. “A Shot in the Dark” is Dos Santos at their finest: using their strengths to launch an eager expansion into what is yet to come.

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