Zurich-based duo Hermanos Gutiérrez, comprised of brothers Estevan and Alejandro Gutiérrez, today release new single “Los Chicos Tristes”.
The new song follows acclaimed songs “Tres Hermanos,” a track they recorded with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, and “El Bueno Y El Malo,” the title track from their forthcoming album, which is set for release on October 28 via Auerbach’s label Easy Eye Sound.
About the song Hermanos Gutiérrez said, “‘Los Chicos Tristes’ is a reflection of us as musicians and trying to answer where our music comes from. Hearing the song now really made us acknowledge the sad part of ourselves, which we both share as brothers. Our grandfather always used to tell us that being sad doesn’t mean something negative. He saw it as a powerful and inspiring emotion. And instead of turning down that side from our personalities we see now that this part has been so essential in our songwriting moments in the last few years. We wouldn’t be able to create our music without it.”
A video for “Los Chicos Tristes” has also been unveiled today, which you can see below. Opening with a Spanish proverb “sin la tristeza, la Felicidad perdería todo su significado,” meaning “without sadness, happiness would lose all meaning,” the video details the mundane everyday life of a street vendor concluding with the vendor’s simple but content dinner with his family.
The music of Hermanos Gutierréz evokes expansive plains and rough wildernesses, saguaros and surfs, spaghetti westerns and Ennio Morricone soundtracks, Lynch and Jarmusch. With their guitars they travel through landscapes haunted by vaqueros, cancioneros, wanderers, fugitives, lovers, family—and whatever ghosts their listeners bring to the music.
El Bueno Y El Malo is their most epic journey yet: working with Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville, they’ve crafted ten vivid compositions that highlight their intimate guitar playing, where one brother’s rhythms and the other brother’s melodies twine around each other so that they become inextricable. Together, they generate what Estevan calls a “deeper, darker energy” defined by complex arrangements, sophisticated playing, and most of all their very close relationship.
Started a few years earlier, Hermanos Gutiérrez began releasing music on their own, all of which gained traction in 2020. “My brother and I,” says Estevan, “we did everything by ourselves— all the music, even the artwork. But during Covid, our music was streamed all over the world,” especially their 2020 album, Hijos del Sol.
Perhaps because people were looking for an escape from their worries or were traveling to new landscapes without leaving their homes, the music of Hermanos Gutiérrez spread by word of mouth, eventually finding its way to Auerbach. After a twenty-minute conversation, they signed with Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound record label and started writing songs for their forthcoming album.
Setting up shop a few months later at Easy Eye Sound studio, El Bueno Y El Malo was recorded quickly and organically, despite it being the first time they’d ever met Auerbach in-person. They worked on the fly, hewing closely to the songs they had brought over from Switzerland while remaining open to any and all new ideas. El Bueno Y El Malo gently expands their sound, retaining the foundation while adding drums, castanets, strings, and congas.
The title of the album is, of course, a reference to Sergio Leone’s legendary 1966 spaghetti western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and especially its score by Ennio Morricone. But the phrase has a deeper meaning: “We think that everybody has a good side and a bad side,” says Estevan. “It’s every person, every moment and every situation. Everybody has these two faces.” It’s not a cynical idea, but one that celebrates the depths and dualities of humanity, and music—even music that does not include vocals or lyrics—is the perfect vehicle to explore such big ideas.