Nuevo Culture

Divino Niño Rebel Against the Church on Sparkling Reggaeton-Fused Track ‘XO’

The Chicago-based band Divino Niño filled their 2019 breakthrough album, Foam, with lush, anti-gravity dream pop, so light it seemed able to drift listeners into a blissful new dimension. But on their upcoming album, Last Spa on Earth, the band is playing with bolder sounds — and their new single, “XO,” is just a hint of the surprises they’ve prepared.

The track is one of Divino Niño’s most upbeat without abandoning their skill for lithe, breezy production. “Over that summer [when we made the album], we fell back in love with J Dilla,” the band tells Nuevo Culture. “We were also really into this reggaeton track by L-Gante [that] he did with Bizarrap. In both instances, we got really into the idea of creating a beat that had swing and felt a bit drunk, so we definitely moved the drums samples a lot to create a less quantized vibe.”

The song slides between English and Spanish, something that’s reflective of the writing on Last Spa on Earth. While Foam was primarily in English, the band’s new project sees them singing in Spanish much more. “We use language to best communicate our thoughts and feelings to others, and at times you miss the mark. Trying to be understood can just lead to miscommunication and frustration. Once we started viewing words as an avenue through which to simply express ourselves, we’ve felt free to pursue our true vision. Listener be damned. Que se joda,” the band says.

A lot of the lyrics came together through a stream-of-consciousness approach around different themes: The idea that sparked “XO” had to do with band members Camilo Medina and Javier Forero growing up in “a cultish, megachurch,” the band explains. “We got so fixated on the visuals of pastors promising heaven and luxe living to people if they give their lives and income to the church.”

The video, premiering exclusively on Nuevo Culture, captures the playful irreverence Divino Niño were going after. Directed by Ambar Navarro, it shows the band members walking into a Catholic church, where a religious leader is hanging out with his adoring legion of followers. The band gets baptized in a gold-plated dish full of glitter and soon encourages everyone around them to give into temptation and go wild — visuals bound to rile up pearl-clutching religious fanatics.

The guys describe Foam as having been “a bit of a love letter to indie rock and the Chicago music scene at the time.” The new LP is a marked evolution that shows them finding a sharper style and pushing their production skills. They say that Forero, in particular, grew as a producer and helped them achieve the sound quality they’d been chasing for a while. They were also influenced by the slowdown that happened when Covid-19 hit; the pandemic meant they weren’t out drawing inspiration from the Chicago scene as much. “It forced us to go within a bit more and find a voice that existed outside of the live scene we were so involved with. Foam is a sweet and tender record, like the touch of soft skin. LSE still shows that, while also showing our sweat, scars, and gnarly tattoos.”

Last Spa on Earth is out on Sept. 23 via Winspear. Divino Niño is launching a tour that kicks off on Sept. 10 in San Francisco.

Divino Niño 2022 Tour Dates

Sept. 10 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Sept. 11 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s
Sept. 12– Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues Las Vegas
Sept. 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
Sept. 15 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues San Diego
Sept. 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Primavera Sound LA 2022
Sept. 17 – Yuma, AZ @ Red Moon Ale House
Sept. 18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Sept. 19 – Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress
Sept. 21 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
Sept. 23 – Austin, TX @ Parish
Sept. 24 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
Sept. 25 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Sept. 29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
Sept. 30 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
Oct. 1 – Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
Oct. 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore Philadelphia
Oct. 4 – Boston, MA @ Crystal Ballroom (Crystal Restaurant)
Oct. 5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
Oct. 7 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
Oct. 8 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
Oct. 9 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Oct. 11 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
Oct. 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Oct. 13 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder
Oct. 14 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Oct. 15 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project