Mexico City-based indie-rock band Rey Pila’s sophomore album, The Future Sugar, is electric with a kind of urbanity to it, as if it would be perfect to listen to on the subway at night, heading home from a long day at work, needing just that little bit of a pick me up. The album features a strong influence of ’80s-era synths, but paired with strong, distinct guitar licks. It’s The Strokes meets The Killers meets Depeche Mode meets early-80s David Bowie, so, really, it makes sense that Rey Pila is the support act for Brandon Flowers on his tour.

Though Rey Pila’s debut featured songs in English and Spanish, this album is all in English, clearly a move towards garnering a larger audience. The album’s energy is what gets you straight away. “Fire Away,” the first track on the LP, draws you in with speed and crooning vocals laid on top of synths and lyrics like “Nine hundred thousand miles an away / we’re talking about love.”


An ebb and flow drives the album from start to finish; it builds before dropping and changing with a constant tick. I found myself enamored with the vibes of the whole thing. The rough combination of guitars and synths is a bit reminiscent of ’80s Bowie, and this is really apparent on the track “False Self System.” The song is the perfect melding of synth and guitar work, pushing forward with deep, seductive, and yet slightly raw vocals intertwining.

“White Night” is fluid and a perfect example of what Rey Pila does so well on this album. The song twists and turns like a river with a steady beat supporting the entire track. It can almost be mistaken for a standard synth-rock track, but then it changes. Playing off a theme, it twists into a minor guitar/synth solo before ending with a pedal play. Then there’s “Surveillance Camera,” which is a bit like early Strokes — clean guitar play, catchy, and fun, but with a cool synth echo edge. Its sonic aesthetic is something multileveled.

So many influences come together on The Future Sugar to make it what it is, but that being said, the album is not derivative. It’s fully immersed in its own point of view, taking what has been done in the past and presenting it through the scope of contemporary indie rock. There are many great synth bands out there right now and many great rock bands as well, but this album perfectly combines all the trends without seeming vacant and never really stops moving. It’s not a rehashing — it’s a fully realized reflection of the Rey Pila sound.

Rey Pila’s The Future Sugar is out tomorrow, September 25th, and you can catch them at The Wiltern with Brandon Flowers the following night.

Find out more about Rey Pila.