In the heart of Costa Rica’s vibrant DIY scene, a new wave of emotional hardcore and screamo has emerged, showcasing a diverse range of sounds and influences. This compilation, curated by the independent label Furia, shines a spotlight on 17 artists who are pushing the boundaries of the genre.
From chaotic screamo to post-rock-infused instrumental emo, and even more experimental and noisy approaches, this compilation paints a vivid blend of the Costa Rican scene.
Furia, founded in 2022 by Emanuel Mora (Adiós Cometa), has quickly become a driving force behind this movement. Originally conceived as a way to release Cabeza de Agua’s debut EP, Furia has evolved into a platform for helping friends and emerging bands release their music. Emanuel Mora’s background in journalism and his passion for music management and promotion have fueled Furia’s mission to support Costa Rican artists.
One of Furia’s key initiatives is to promote physical media culture in a country where it has traditionally been hindered by high production costs and logistics. With a focus on 7″ records and cassettes, Furia has released several records, including the recent compilation “En un abrir y cerrar de ojos: Una compilación de emo costarricense,” which highlights the burgeoning emo and screamo scene that has emerged in Costa Rica.
This movement gained further momentum with the “En Un Abrir y Cerrar de Ojos Emo Fest” held in September 2023 at the intimate venue El Sotano in San José Downtown. Featuring seven bands, two of which played their first-ever show, the festival became a pivotal moment, igniting a sense of community and sparking the beginning of a new movement.
We had the opportunity to interview eight of the seventeen artists featured in the compilation, each with their unique backgrounds and influences. From Cabeza de Agua’s blend of screamo and post-hardcore to Ventajas de No Ser’s one-man screamo project, the artists share their journey into emo, the diverse influences shaping their music, and their experiences in the thriving Costa Rican music scene.
We had the privilege of interviewing a diverse group of musicians, including Mauricio Alvarado of Cabeza de Agua, Arío Rojas from Ventajas de No Ser, Gabriel Montero of Marea Tranquila, Guayo from Nuncamuere, Emanuel Mora of Adiós Cometa, Jimena Torres representing Nossara, Fuan from Ceniza, and Gabriel Piedra of Todas Las Cosas.
Each artist has a unique story to tell, and their music reflects the rich blend of influences that have shaped the Costa Rican emo scene. From the heartfelt melodies of Marea Tranquila to the introspective shoegaze-infused sound of Adiós Cometa, this compilation offers a glimpse into the diverse and dynamic world of Costa Rican emo.
Our today’s guests are:
Cabeza de Agua:
4-piece screamo/post–hardcore band formed in 2021 by members of varied-range-sounding Costa Rican bands like Adiós Cometa, Lentamente, Decora and Contraflores. They released a self-titled 7” in 2022 via Steadfast Records (USA). IDIOTEQ-featured.
Ventajas de No Ser:
One-man screamo project formed by Arío Rojas, more known by his post-punk band Lentamente. He released 3 tracks during 2020 that Furia re-released as an EP in 2022.
Originally known by the name Departments, re-formed as Marea Tranquila in 2022 and changed their sound to a reverb-drenched, heartfelt music in the vein of bands like Turnover. Have released a couple of singles via Furia.
Screamo project formed by Guayo, a Nicaraguan musician based in Costa Rica. Have released a couple of singles and have participated in compilations like ‘Algunas Ideas Pueden Ser Peligrosas Vol III’ by Movimiento Circular de los Árboles (Peru). Their live set includes guest musicians like Gabriel Piedra from Todas Las Cosas, etc; Jimena Torres from Nossara, and Diego Cubillo from Cabeza de Agua, etc.
4-piece band formed in 2019, with the aim of creating, through ‘mucho reverb, chorus y delay’, an equally melodious, introspective and melancholic sound, that joins the dots between shoegaze, dream pop and post-punk. Have released an EP, ‘La Isla Que Somos’, via Velvet Blue Music (2021, USA), an Split with Isla Invisible (NYC) (2022) and some singles self-released by their label Furia.
Nossara is a post-hardcore band formed in 2017. They have self-released 3 EPs: Pacífico (2017), Sobre la Brevedad de la Vida (2019) and Hay Tantas Cosas Buenas Que No Van A Regresar (2023).
Todas Las Cosas:
One-man project formed by Gabriel Piedra (Marea Tranquila, Nuncamuere, Adiós Cometa). He makes instrumental post-rock/emo influenced by artists like American Football, Yuragi and Toe. Released an EP, ‘Demo 01’, in 2023 via Furia.
San José, Costa Rica based Ceniza deliver a crusty blend of emotive post hardcore and raw noise rock. They released two singles last year. Their debut singles and demos were out in 2016 and 2017.
Can you give us a quick background story about your band and introduce yourselves to our readers?
Cabeza de Agua: Cabeza de Agua was born out of our friendship and desire to make some og-influenced screamo as a fun project besides our other bands.
Ventajas de No Ser: Ventajas De No Ser is a small and virtually unknown side music project of mine. I decided to record the EP during angry and hopeless moments during the pandemic in 2020.
Marea Tranquila: The band came together in the middle of 2019. Initially, it started as an excuse to hang out and listen to music but eventually it evolved to create music together.
Nuncamuere: In essence, Nuncamuere is a solo project I started out of demos from 2021. It’s sort of a challenge I proposed myself since I’ve never really composed, recorded or produced a whole song in its entirety before. I used to just noodle riffs without getting somewhere really.
Adiós Cometa: We started making music together in 2019 and released an EP right during the worst part of covid. Played our first official show until 2021 and the experience of it definitely changed our sound and gave us new directions to explore. One of those directions was incorporating more of the emo influences we all shared. A couple of split Eps and a lot of shows later, we’re about to release our first LP and are very proud of what we have achieved so far.
Nossara: Nossara was born in 2017 by a group of friends that had another band before and split up in 2014. After the death of a friend in common we reunited and decided to keep doing what we love together. Before covid, we recorded two EPs and performed outside Costa Rica twice but due the pandemic the band was inactive for 3 years. In 2023 we welcomed Jimena as our new guitarist and with this, the band was back in action recording a new EP and playing in several shows.
Ceniza: All of us came from bands that ceased to exist, and we decided to come together to make songs.
Todas Las Cosas: Todas las cosas started in 2019 as an emotional dumpster for me. It was just a personal way for me to vent emotions and to deal with them. I wasn’t planning on releasing the recordings I was doing, but I started sharing all these little songs with my closest friends and then one day they convinced me to make Todas las Cosas a “real thing”, so in November 2023 Todas Las Cosas was made public with the first batch of four demos in Bandcamp.
What artists and movements influence your music? How would you describe your sound?
Cabeza de Agua: A fun mix of cardboard and screen printed album cover bands, Late 90s-early 00s california and european softie emo and lo-fi screamo, as The Pine, You and I, Funeral Diner, Suis La Lune, Raein.
Ventajas de No Ser: I don’t listen to much screamo but my main influences for this project are Foxtails, Birds in Row, Portrayal of Guilt, Thou, Deafheaven and Costa Rican band Rabia.
Marea Tranquila: Our music is all about guitars drenched in reverb, powerful drums, solid bass lines, and lyrics filled with a sense of anguish. Someone once called it ‘Sad Pop’ and while we’re still getting used to that label, it doesn’t sound too bad! Some bands that have had a big impact on us are Beach Fossils, Bestia Bebé, El Mató a un Policía Motorizado, Title Fight, Niños del Cerro, Turnover, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. We’re particularly drawn to the Latin American music scene.
Nuncamuere: I’ve usually liked all emo’s genre spectrum, but I tend to like mostly melancholic sounds and existential lyricism such as Saetia, Suis La Lune and Daido Loori.
Adiós Cometa: The 4 of us have pretty varied influences, and Adiós Cometa is where some of them overlap. There are a lot of elements from shoegaze, dream-pop and post-punk and some emo influences in songs like Gravedad, Diente de León and some of the newer tracks. It’s not a coincidence that those are all songs written by me, haha. For those songs particularly, I was probably just trying to do my own version of Sore Eyelids (Sweden), one of my favorite bands ever and what I think is the perfect combination of emo and shoegaze.
Nossara: Post-hardcore, screamo and emo are our main influences but we like to experiment with other sounds and genres like shoegaze and math rock. Nossara sounds like the combination of everything each member of the band likes.
Ceniza: There is a lot of variety of artists that influence us. Every time we try a new song, we attempt to include sounds or melodies that arise from other genres. In some cases, it resembles those sounds, while in others what results differs from the original root. However, if we like it, it stays. It could be said that our sound is somewhat visceral, born very spontaneously.
Todas Las Cosas: The bands that have had a special impact in how I make music are the ones that have made a significant presence in my life, like Las Mañanas and Fin del Mundo from Argentina or toe from Japan. It’s also impossible not to mention bands like American Football or This Will Destroy You, that bring emotional and heavy elements to the mix.
How was your first approach to emo and related styles? What attracted you to the genre? Which artists have influenced you?
Cabeza de Agua: I’ve been into hardcore since 2010, on the search for new bands and being a music nerd I came across the point where heavy and fast music meets rare riffs and emotional themes. Bands such as Embrace, Lungfish, Orchid, Pg99, Glassjaw, Title Fight were game changers in that discovery.
Ventajas de No Ser: It was around 2017 when I discovered Foxtails’s album ‘III’. Later in 2020 I revised the genre through Portrayal of Guilt and Birds in Row.
Marea Tranquila: Personally, my first dive into emo was thanks to My Chemical Romance. A friend handed me a CD with ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ and he wrote “Metal songs” on it, haha. As the years went by, my Spotify was filled with Title Fight, American Football, Movements, and Basement. What truly captivated me was the raw authenticity of the lyrics and how much they resonated in my mind. And, of course, the distorted and melancholic tones of the guitars added to the whole experience.
Nuncamuere: I discovered “real” emo in a time of my life in which I was listening to South American Indie bands. I stumbled once into a band on YouTube “El Cómodo Silencio de Los Que Hablan Poco” and their “Run Run” album, which was really interesting to me because of its emo-ey riffs and musical language. Later on I discovered American Football and immediately fell in love with it. The Saddest Landscape and Saetia were the first Screamo bands I ever heard.
Adiós Cometa: Our teenage years coincided with all the “emo” boom of the 2000’s, so it was a huge thing for us. At least in my case, that eventually led me to discover all the history of the genre and I started learning about bands like Mineral and The Pine, which I love. Then the emo revival came and I was instantly hooked. Regarding screamo, I remember listening to the first Suis La Lune album and thinking “oh God, this was made for me”.
Nossara: Growing up in the 90s really pushed us to experiment with the emo movement and to get involved in the hardcore and punk scenes, eventually we wanted to get back to our roots in the emo movement.
Ceniza: Emo, at least for me, has been a conscious evolution from punk since high school, watching the 120 Minutes segment on MTV. What really attracts me are the melodies that evoke a certain nostalgia, even if they are new.
Todas Las Cosas: I discovered emo when I got my first family computer and internet. I remember spending hours and hours listening to music on YouTube and Limewire and one day I stumbled with “Animals” by This Town Need Guns, and that’s how I discovered math rock and it blew my mind completely. As I was getting more and more into math rock, I discovered bands like Don Caballero, American Football, Piglet, etc, and that opened a whole new world to me. As I discovered more emo bands, I started getting into ambient and heavier stuff at the time, so naturally, when I discovered the heavier side of emo, I fell in love with it, with bands like I Hate Sex, Suis La Lune, Pianos Become the Teeth and stuff like that.
Can you share a bit about your local music scene?
Cabeza de Agua: I can say we are in a really good place right now. Covid stopped things for a while but there’s this new wave of emo and hardcore bands rising up and I’m really excited to see how that is gonna look in the upcoming years.
Ventajas de No Ser: Costa Rica has a long and thriving punk scene, which leads the path for its plethora of sub genres to influence local bands. I admire its resilience.
Marea Tranquila: Our most significant entry into the Emo scene was through the Sello Furia’s fest called ‘En un abrir y cerrar de ojos’. Being more of a ‘Dreampop’ or ‘Shoegaze’ band, we felt a bit nervous initially. However, in the end, we realized that we were warmly welcomed and people genuinely enjoyed our project. This experience highlighted how close-knit the scene is – it may be small, but it’s steadily growing every day!
Nuncamuere: I am very grateful because the Costa Rican Emo scene has taken me with open arms even though I’m new to it. It’s really a dream to make music at the same time many other new emo bands are emerging. I love the fact that emo bands in Costa Rica are really passionate about the genre and genuinely support each other.
Adiós Cometa: For a small country, Costa Rica has a very vibrant and active music scene. Every week you can find a diverse selection of shows and stuff happening. There are really good artists of almost every genre and also a lot of bigger but also smaller international artists stop here for their tours, which is great. Talking specifically about emo, it has grown a lot since covid and it seems like a lot of young people have felt drawn to it, so it’s very cool to see new bands getting started and new faces in every show. We started Furia as a way to highlight some of our favorite projects.
Nossara: The hardcore and punk scenes were very strong in Costa Rica in the early 2000s but started losing ground as people got tired of the drama that constantly surrounded those scenes. When Nossara started there were just a few emo/screamo bands in CR but after covid the emo movement has started to grow with new bands and followers, which is amazing. Sello Furia is without a doubt an important part of this revival.
Ceniza: It’s really exploded in recent years, with many new bands emerging. Variety is always healthy, and each one has something different to offer.
Todas Las Cosas: It’s crazy how the local scene is growing. There’s a new wave of bands that were born during and post-quarantine that are coming strong and I believe that are redefining what we now as “Costa Rican music”. I think that now there’s this element of support and friendship between the bands that are creating an opportunity to mix different genres and spaces in one and creating a big mass of sounds as a whole.
Tell us about your involvement in this Furia project. What can you tell us about the song you contributed?
Cabeza de Agua: This is my favorite song on the ep, and the most challenging. Doing vocals and blast beats was a crazy milestone for this song.
Ventajas de No Ser: Furia is a close friend’s label and I really admire his capabilities to conduct music initiatives so well. Our opening track “La Neblina” is his favorite tune. I like the punk and fast-paced second part of the song.
Marea Tranquila: ‘Aeroplanos’ is packed with emotions as it marks our first piece after a couple of years of hard work. It’s also the starting point for the direction we want to take with the band and lays the groundwork for the album we’re currently finishing up recording.
Nuncamuere: ‘Bird Bones’ is probably the first song that I don’t write for myself, in the sense that I sought to separate myself from it and write the lyrics thinking in someone else, offering comfort and trying to acknowledging the sadness and helplessness, but ending with a hopeful cry, a desire for eternal life.
Adiós Cometa: ‘Diente de León’ is probably our most emo–influenced song and that’s why it is in this compilation. It also features some guest vocals from Carlos González from Mexican band No Somos Marineros, which is a band that has influenced us.
Nossara: Furia has had amazing initiatives in the past couple of years and when they invited us to be a part of this project it was really exciting. “Entropia” is the song that we chose to be part of the project and it was the first song that we composed together after the 3 year break. It incorporates all the new ideas and sounds that we wanted for this new era of the band.
Ceniza: ‘Verónica’ is the song we composed right after recording our first album. It starts off very calm and culminates a bit chaotic. If you played the videogame Code: Veronica, you’ll understand the mood.
Todas Las Cosas: ‘Segundas oportunidades fallidas’ is one of the firsts songs that I created with Todas Las Cosas. It is funny because with this song specifically I realized that this was that path that I want to be taking the project in a more melodic, emotional and mellow direction. For me it was a surprise that Furia wanted me to be in this compilation since I wasn’t going to release the song in the first place, but I’m so glad I did and that I got included in this amazing project.
Do you have any local artists that you’d like to recommend to our readers?
Cabeza de Agua: Shout out to Adios Cometa, Sideways, Plagas, Lentamente, Inersia, Dumah, and I’m really looking forward to this upcoming band Wise Up. I’ve heard really cool things about them.
Ventajas de No Ser: I love Cabeza de Agua. I currently play bass for them. Nossara and Sin Caer are pop-punk/emo/melodic efforts I enjoy and Ceniza has been a band I’ve had on the lookout for years.
Marea Tranquila: Currently the local bands that really excites us are Adiós Cometa, Dylan Thomas, Lentamente, Tomer, Nunca Muere, Adulthood, Todas Las Cosas, A Su Ladera, Roca Bruja y Todo Lo Que Hicimos.
Nuncamuere: I would love to record an EP and release it in a physical format. Would love to release some splits and a 7” some time. Of course, I will continue to play live.
Adiós Cometa: Besides all the artists in this compilation, we absolutely recommend listening to Lentamente (post-punk), Dylan Thomas (shoegaze), A Su Ladera (dream-pop), Alexander Hippert (no idea), Tomer (jangle–pop) and EUS (ambient).
Nossara: All of the bands that are part of this project are amazing and they really are a reflection of the quality of bands and musicians in Costa Rica.
Ceniza: The Tower, Nightmare, Bufonic, Detectives Salvajes, Rabia, Caídas Libres and Desorden Siniestro.
Todas Las Cosas: Personally, my favorite protects at the moment are Nuncamuere and Ovsicori. Nuncamuere bringing Skramz to the nacional scene and Ovsicori with one of the best heavy ambient sounds I’ve heard ever. I really love these projects.
As for emo/screamo, what other Latin American artists would you recommend?
Cabeza de Agua: No Somos Marineros, Luz No Estrella, Fiesta Bizarra, Cometa A La Deriva, Emya, Saton.
Ventajas de No Ser: I’ve been getting into the Peruvian emo scene. I’d like to give a shout out to our friends Fiesta Bizarra with whom we played a gig with in a festival in San José with my main music project Lentamente.
Marea Tranquila: In the emo/screamo side, we’ve been listening a lot to Sureste (Mexico), Subir en Busca del Aire (Argentina), Cienfuegos (Chile), 3 segundos antes da queda (Brasil), Sol (Costa Rica), and Siempre Llueve Al Atardecer (Chile).
Nuncamuere: Since I’m very new to the Costa Rican music scene I have not yet been able to listen to much, but as of now my favorite bands are: Cabeza de Agua, Decora, Todas Las Cosas, Lentamente, Sucumbir, Nossara, Ceniza, Adiós Cometa, Triddi and Síndrome de Estocolmo.
Adiós Cometa: I second what someone said about the Peruvian emo/screamo scene. There are a lot of great bands like Gabriela Jung, 16 Bits and Procrastinacion 1 Yo 0. Argentina also has a lot of great bands like Fin Del Mundo, Archipiélagos and Osito del Amor. I also love Arrecifes (Chile), Uklao (Venezuela), Jardín Animal (Nicaragua) and Corriendo (Colombia).
Nossara: Some of our favorite bands are Tornado (Mexico), Pequeña Ciudad (Mexico), VILE (Panama), Jardin animal (Nicaragua) and Realidades (Guatemala).
Ceniza: Revolte, Arde Hollywood, Vientre, Nvblado, Árboles En Llamas and Zeta.
Todas Las Cosas: There are so many I could mention at the moment since there’s this big new wave of bands coming out. Right now I could shout out Mis Sueños Son de Tu Adiós (Argentina), Fiesta Bizarra (Peru), Basuraastillada (Colombia) and Necesito el Valor Tanto como Necesito el Miedo (Chile), which are the bands that I’m currently obsessed with right now.
What future plans do you have as a band?
Cabeza de Agua: Record more stuff, play more shows, keep doing cool shit until our adult lives hit us again.
Ventajas de No Ser: I would love to put together a new EP and make our live debut. I got kind of a live band lined up but we are yet due to rehearse and stuff.
Marea Tranquila: Right now our main focus is on creating more music, playing more shows, and releasing new merch. We’re almost ready to drop a new single, and while I can’t share all the details yet, I can tell you it’s one of our favorite songs we’ve worked on. Look out for it sometime in February!
Nuncamuere: Additionally to fore mentioned bands I would like to include: Mis sueños son de tu adiós, Retratos de Heroína, Niño Symbol Ohhh!, Jardín Animal, 5 cm por segundo, Fiesta Bizarra, Basuraastillada and baudelaire. Also some non active bands like Aspasia, Corea, Subir en busca del aire, Dasiden, Revolte.
Adiós Cometa: We’re about to release a bunch of singles and our first full-length record in May/June. We also have plans on having a couple of shows outside Costa Rica and definitely keep recording.
Nossara: We are planning to record new music this year and also start to tour abroad again.
Ceniza: We’re about to release a split with our friends from Mal Visto, featuring 4 new songs that we composed last year.
Todas Las Cosas: There are no specific plans for Todas Las Cosas. At the moment I’m in the studio recording the final version of the demo songs and maybe will throw a few gigs here and there, but nothing too fancy.
More about Furia label:
Furia is an independent label formed in 2022 by Emanuel Mora (Adiós Cometa) and based in San José, Costa Rica. Originally created with the sole intention of releasing the debut EP of his newest project, Cabeza de Agua (which, by the way, ended up being released instead by Ohio based label Steadfast Records), it evolved as a way of helping friends, and eventually, new bands that needed help releasing their music.
“I’m a journalist and I really enjoy the management and promotion part of music. I started learning by myself for my own band, Adiós Cometa, and started thinking, “why don’t I start applying all of this with other artists?” so I started helping some friends. It eventually led to the idea of starting a label, and as a joke we released a 7” Split EP between Adiós Cometa and another Costa Rican band by the name Dylan Thomas, under the fake label `Pollolandia Records’ (Pollolandia is a very popular chicken restaurant chain in Costa Rica). Then, with the intention of doing something more serious, I started Furia as a proper label, with the goal of releasing and promoting music by this new generation of Costa Rican bands”, says Emanuel.
One of the main focuses of Furia is creating a culture of physical media, offering the artists the chance to produce 7” records and cassettes of their music in a country where that has been traditionally prohibitive by the high cost of production and logistics.
With this goal, between 2023 and 2024, Furia has released seven 7” records by Costa Rican artists, mostly within the Shoegaze, Dream-Pop, Post-Punk and Emo universe, and 3 cassettes, the most recent, ‘En un abrir y cerrar de ojos: Una compilación de emo costarricense’, a compilation highlighting most of the new bands influenced by emo and screamo that have sprung up recently in Costa Rica.
“In September 2023 we did a little fest focused on all this new generation of emo and screamo influenced bands that were born during or after covid in a super small basement venue called El Sotano (translated as… The Basement) in San José Downtown. The festival went by the name of ‘En un abrir y cerrar de ojos’ (In the blink of an eye). The venue had a capacity of 50 persons and we ended up having like 100, haha. 7 bands played. It was the first show by 2 of them. Everyone had a great experience and we all ended up feeling like it was the start of a new movement. We ended up doing this cassette compilation with the money that we gained with the tickets sold”, says Emanuel.
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