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Juan Wauters Makes Meaning Out Of Minutiae on 'Blues Chilango'

Latin American singer-songwriter Juan Wauters exists somewhere at the cross-section of debonair and everyman, a phenomenon likely explained by his teenage migration from Uruguay to Queens in the early 2000s. After signing to Captured Tracks, Wauters quickly became a fixture of New York's DIY circuit, providing lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk project The Beets and releasing several solo albums, including 2014's Who Me? and 2015's N.A.P.: North American Poetry.

"Blues Chilango," a new release from his forthcoming LP La Onda de Juan Pablo (The World of Juan Pablo), is a meandering, blissful folk tune that finds solace in the beauty of life's minutiae. In 2017, Wauters left New York and embarked on a voyage through Latin America, recording with local musicians from regions of Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico and more.

"('Blues Chilango') is the first song I wrote during the time I lived in Mexico," Wauters tells NPR via email. "There are two parts to it: one mentions snippets of my daily living in my neighborhood (Santa Maria la Ribera) and the other part is three observations on their subway system." The video for the track reads like a visual diary; a montage of clips filmed during throughout Mexico City — sunsets, birds, trees, a crowded city bus — that paint the world distinctly from Wauters' point of view.

La Onda de Juan Pablo is out Jan. 25 via Captured Tracks.

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