Song of the Day

Nuclear Valdez, “Summer,” from I Am I (Epic Records, 1989)

Formed in Miami in 1985, Nuclear Valdez was originally comprised of four Hispanic musicians that married jangly guitars with politically-charged lyrics bringing to mind bands like Midnight Oil and The Alarm.

Nuclear Valdez's video for "Summer," the opening cut on I Am I, their 1989 debut album, got quite a bit of airplay on MTV around its release. That's how I first became acquainted with the group and their sound.

Featuring shimmering guitar work from Jorge Barcala and Froilan Sossa, "Summer" is a jangle-pop piece of heaven that has both, strangely, a melancholic and euphoric feel to it. The song's lyrics deal with the Cuban revolution of 1959, a topic the members of Nuclear Valdez were all too familiar with being the children of Cuban refugees.

Nuclear Valdez went on to release one more album for Epic (1991's Dream Another Dream) before taking a break and eventually coming back with an album called In a Minute All Could Change in 2002. I'm not sure if the band is still together or not, but I still play I Am I from time to time.