The story behind Buscabulla’s forthcoming album Regresa – not to mention the story of the band in its totality – is a stirring one. Raquel and Luis Alfredo first met in Brooklyn some years ago, having both moved to the Big Apple from their native Puerto Rico.
After realising a shared interest in music, they began jamming. Taking for themselves a name meaning ‘troublemaker,’ Buscabulla would experiment with Puerto Rican styles in a modern content, melding the swing, rhythm, and melodies of bomba or reggaeton with indie, pop, and dance sensibilities. From the get-go, their output was hailed around the world for its inventiveness and positive energy.
Regresa is the album that charts Buscabulla’s return to Puerto Rico, encompassing at once the life, death, happiness, and resolve they found there.
But after witnessing the devastation of Hurricane María – Puerto Rico’s worst natural disaster ever recorded – in 2017, Raquel and Louis (now sharing a daughter) began to feel a pull back home. In the wake of the chaos, many of the country’s inhabitants fled for safer harbours. Instead, Buscabulla set a course for the eye of the storm.
Their upcoming debut album Regresa (translating to ‘return’ or ‘come back’) tells that story; their reacquaintance with a home in turmoil. Amongst city-wide power outages, water shortages, and a number of societal issues including rich investors and religious fanaticism, they found hope and resolve – led in no small part to the music community they were now a part of.
Today Buscabulla released a trailer for Regresa, a synonymous mini-documentary that expands on the narrative of their upcoming LP. Directed by Chris Gregory-Rivera and Michael Kirby Smith, it will become available everywhere on May 8 – alongside the album itself.
“The album reflects the joys of being back but it’s also melancholic,” Raquel says. “You can feel like a stranger in your own home because the island is going through very hard, weird times. Most people our age have fled. We have also changed after being away for so long.”
Two singles have so far been released from the album; the slick, funky, and summery NTE plus the bright, celebratory Vámono. Despite the subject matter, it seems Buscabulla will continue to make music that sends feet stomping and hands flying into the air. It’s hardly a requirement, but those that speak Spanish will only extract more meaning from these deeply beautiful songs.
Vámono came alongside a gorgeous film clip, directed by Claudia Calderón Pacheco and inspired by the Festival de Máscaras de Hatillo. The song is a call of solidarity for everyone forced out of their habitats by María; both refugees who fled a torn apart Puerto Rico and those who returned home to help rebuild it.
Check out the tracklist for Regresa below, and pre-order your copy here.
02. La Fiebre
03. El Aprieto
04. Club Tú y Yo
07. Manda Fuego
08. No Sabemos
11. Ta Que Tiembla
Regresa is out May 8 via Domino/Ribbon Music. Grab your copy here.