Ears Wide Open: The Tracks

The Tracks

Venancio Bermudez was lying on Soto Street bleeding, looking at the old trolley tracks that had flipped him off his bicycle, and it seemed to him that this scenario represented everything he knew about life in East L.A., how poor neighborhoods are left in disrepair, how he suffers for his art, his rough upbringing as the son of undocumented immigrants, and the constant fight to pick himself up off the ground, literally. That fateful moment on the street inspired the name for his band, The Tracks, which consists of Bermudez on guitar and vocals, drummer Jaime Conde, bassist Felipe Contreras and guitarist Jesiel Higuera. The band really became serious after Higuera spent nine months recovering from tuberculosis, which he contracted at the tortilla factory where he and Bermudez worked (read this L.A. Taco interview). Watching their friends and neighbors get their lives tangled in gangs and prison, these guys opted for something else, immersing themselves in music.

The Tracks recently had their first major show at the Regent, opening for Hinds and Thee Commons. They recorded their debut album, set for release in the spring, with producer Lewis Pesacov (whose credits include Best Coast, FIDLAR, Guards, Fool’s Gold, Valley Queen and Happy Hollows, among others) at United Recording, the Hollywood studio built by Frank Sinatra. First single “Go Out Tonight” is energetic and propulsive. Bermudez sings emphatically, pushing his voice as far as it can stretch. The video compiles footage from “The Exiles,” a 1961 film about Native Americans seeking the promise of opportunity in Los Angeles.

||| Watch: “Go Out Tonight”

||| Also: Stream the song here

||| Live: The Tracks perform Dec. 16 at the Echo, supporting Dios. Tickets.