Roughly a year ago, I stumbled upon the music of Lima’s Víctor Hugo perusing through the Fuego Amigo Discos catalogue, an Argentinean netlabel. There were only singles, but very promising ones that showed the versatility of Víctor Hugo’s talents and his relentless passion for poetically transcribing the life of the city. Now, the talented musician has released his first record, the literally titled El Primer Disco de Víctor Hugo: a collection of singles that might as well be a readymade score to contemporary life.

It would be hard to condense into a few words the depth of Víctor Hugo’s first record, a collection of rock songs that carries the sentimentality and nostalgia of a Morrissey track, mixed with Gustavo-Cerati-type nuggets of wisdom. Hugo excels as a lyricist. With lines like, “La gente amable se ve tan bien, pero por dentro no saben qué hacer” (from the track “La gente amable de cartón”), you can sense an almost anthropological desire to observe and understand people and their behavior.

Sometimes the tracks border on the dramatic, with cuts like “Así es como se arruina un verano,” sounding like something straight out of an Enio Morricone soundtrack. In terms of sound, the Western theme is masterfully present in bits and pieces throughout the record, giving it an urgency and dramatic energy meant to pull you into Hugo’s cinematic world.

Recorded and mixed by Tourista guitarist David Acuña, El Primer Disco de Víctor Hugo was a collaborative effort between Hugo, Acuña, and musicians Rodrigo Sarmiento, Rafo de la Cuba, Raúl Reyes, and Diego Bazán. You can download the record for free below.

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