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New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Latin World


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"Pistolera "El Desierto Y La Ciudad""

see link. Three and a half star review. - Rolling Stone Mexico

"Music That Redefines "Mexican-American""

Two other Mexican artists based in the U.S. have also been creating their own hybrids. New York-based Pistolera's latest album, El Desierto y La Ciudad, takes the group's sound in a new direction. Where they had been spunky rockers imbuing their music with Mexican rhythms and the folksy huffs of an accordion, El Desierto is more elegiac. In fact, frontwoman Sandra Lilia Velazquez's voice is, at times, reminiscent of David Hidalgo of Los Lobos at his most beseeching. - Huffington Post

"Pistolera: El Desierto y La Ciudad"

New York-based Pistolera writes great Mexamerican songs, and it has at least two other aces up its sleeve besides that: one, the accordion of Maria Elena, which is crisp as iced lettuce, and, two, the singing of Sandra Velasquez, who has a distinctive voice, not so much, “I am woman hear me roar,” as, “I am woman and I’m going to express myself with a lot of aural clarity.” This album is not quite like their last one, the excellent En Este Camino. It has been divided in half. Velasquez says she thinks of the two halves as an A side and a B side. “The A side places us in thoughtful solitude in a vast desert, where dreams are formed. The B side then transports us to the hustle and bustle of the New York city streetscape.” Last time I was in a vast desert I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake and got a cholla bobble jammed two inches in my leg, so this vision strikes me as a bit of a pastoral romance but hey ho. Essentially it means that the album is slow up to track six and then fast all the way to the end, as if the band has snapped out of a trance. Fast is their natural speed. The attitude in “Escucha” is worth more than dreams. - Pop Matters

"A City Story In Her Sights"

New York's Latin music scene has traditionally been dominated by the salsa of Puerto Rico and the meringue and bachata of the Dominican Republic, as well as fusions like Latin jazz, boogaloo and reggaeton. It's wildly varied but essentially a Caribbean-centric scene. Nonetheless, when Mexican-American musician Sandra Velasquez first visited New York from the West Coast in 1997, she felt that she fit right in. (more in article) - The Wall Street Journal

"NPR First Listen: Pistolera, 'El Desierto Y La Ciudad'"

I don't think I'd ever seen a band achieve such swift, dramatic growth in the direction of its music, while still maintaining all the elements that make it unique, until I heard El Desierto y la Ciudad (The Desert and the City) by Pistolera.

?On its first two albums, the Brooklyn band had a sound that was pure Mexican throwback. The group performed rancheras, polkas, cumbias and corridos in pretty much the same way I'd always heard them on the radio in my mom's kitchen. But on El Desierto y la Ciudad, out July 12, singer-songwriter Sandra Velasquez makes a big shift from that rustic flavor to a feel that's more modern and introspective.

?The accordion has always been a big part of the Pistolera sound. On this album, the instrument remains front and center, but it's used in unconventional and even daring ways. It's often employed the way a keyboard would be: laying fat, juicy chords within the mix of electric and acoustic guitars.

That inventive sense of arrangement, combined with great songwriting, elevates El Desierto y la Ciudad above and beyond its traditional source material. The result is a major step forward for a songwriter and a band that deserves wider recognition. With this album, Pistolera just might get it. - NPR

"The New Yorker Feature"

The local group Pistolera has a foot-stomping sound that's one part ranchera and one part indie-pop. - The New Yorker


Firing, folky latin pop, this electrifying New York quartet featres songs (en Espanol) from frontwoman Sandra Lilia Velasquez. Backed by driving accordion riffs of Maria Elena, and backbeat that belnds indie-pop with old-school Mexican rancheras, Velasquez is helping redefine the urban latino sound. - CMJ


"...when Sandra Lilia Velasquez stomps her boots to drummer Ani Cordero's rim shots on jumping songs from their debut album...by the time they finish "Tatuaje" your clothes will be soaked with sweat, the soles of your dancing shoes will be smoking, and you won't care whether they're from Brooklyn or Matamoros as long as they don't let the party end. This band makes a vigorous, moving fiesta wherever the bandstand may be.�- HOUSTON PRESS - Houston Press

"Billboard (album review)"

" The musicianship is superb here, and it's a pleasure to listen to a whole museum of brass, bongos, congas, caxixi, maracas and pandereta incorporated beautifully into a sound that doesn't fit neatly into any genre. If this is homework it gets an A.�
(review of "En Este Camino")
- Billboard Magazine

"Boston Globe"

Listening to Pistolera's self-released debut, "Siempre Hay Salida" ("There's Always a Way Out"), or watching lead singer and guitarist Sandra Lilia Velásquez stamp out a beat in her boots to bandmate Maria Elena's accordion melodies, you inevitably feel as though you've landed in the heart of Mexico.
The blend of soulful ranchera, peppy cumbia, and Spanish lyrics evokes a feeling that's distinctly south of the border, yet not too far south. - Boston GLobe

"Urban Latino"

In their debut album, Siempre Hay Salida, this stylish foursome deliver positive messages that make you want to think and dance. I predict that Mexican-American Vocalist & Guitarist Sandra Lilia Velasquez will be the Joan Jett/Lila Downs of web savvy Latino Gen Y'ers who can't get enough of artists who rock out with their accordions. - Urban Latino

"San Diego Union Tribune"

Pistolera es fuerte. Pistolera es peligrosa. Pistolera es roquerota y rancherota a la vez. El cuarteto neoyorquino...bien podría estar tocando toda la noche en una cantina de mala muerte o bien podría convertirse en la banda más popular del canal MTV. - San Diego Union Tribune ,ENLACE

"El Diario"

Pistolera revoluciona la escena indie de Nueva York. En menos de una año y medio este cuarteto ha transcendido las barreras del lenguaje con su musica. - El Diario La Prensa

"New York Post Feature"

Groove along with Pistolera, Sandra Lilia Velasquez's and Ani Cordero's funky band, which blends together ranchera, cumbia, banda and rock sounds. Velasquez's intoxicating voice and her passion while playing the electric guitar, matched with Cordero's driving drum style, make for quite a spectacular live performance. - New York Post

"ASCAP Latino review"

Pistolera se caracteriza por su pop latino que parte del folkor mexicano recreado en el rock. El estilo con que Maria Elena toca el acordeón, la dulzura de los coros de la baterista Ani Cordero, a la vez que no descuida la relación del ritmo con el bajo, ejecutado por Inca B. Satz, hacen junto a la majia progresiva de Sandra una Buena propuesta musical. (ASCAP Latino) - ASCAP Latino website


Siempre Hay Salida - November 7, 2006. (self release)
En Este Camino- August 6, 2008. (Luchadora/SonyRED)
El Desierto y La Ciudad - July 12, 2011 (Luchadora)



Led by Mexican-American songwriter Sandra Velasquez, Pistolera's first two albums, Siempre Hay Salida (2006), En Este Camino (2008), were a fine display of high energy accordion-driven dance songs infused with a strong dedication to lyrical storytelling.
Pistolera's third studio album, El Desierto y La Ciudad, (July 12, 2011) was a concept album with and "A" side and "B" side and a sonic departure for the band that earned them high praise from the press both here and abroad. Some of these include: a feature article in the Wall Street Journal, NPR’s First Listen, Rolling Stone Mexico, PopMatters, The Village Voice, National Geographic Music, and many more. Pistolera’s song, Nuevos Ojos, was recently featured on the hit AMC television series Breaking Bad.

The band has shared the stage with Los Lobos, Lila Downs, Ely Guerra, Vieux Farka Toure, has performed at Town Hall in New York City, Massey Hall in Canada, Teatro Circo in Portugal, and at high profiles festivals such as globalFEST (USA), The Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), Ollin Kan (Mexico), Central Park Summerstage (USA), and Zommer Van Antwerpen (Belgium).