The International Song Explainer: #2 — “Bastante Normal”

Evan Fleischer

Though some Polish tumblr users have pointed me to bands like Dżem Myslovitz and the existence of Polish Reggae, Catalunya-based pa8tomaquet sold me on Bongo Botrako (a band led by Oriol Giné, who initially formed to play in Placa del Sedassos in Tarragona). This song, “Bastante Normal,” is off of Todos Los Dias Sale El Sol, or “Every Day The Sun Rises.”

Though it’s a little in line with “De Bar En Bar,” i.e., someone sells the singer “una hierba” and is then told “es inmoral,” it includes this, too: 

Okupamos una casa que está medio muerta
y dicen que eso es illegal

i.e.,

Okupa occupies a house that’s half dead
and they’re told it’s illegal.

The New Inquiry does a good job explaining the basics of Okupa, but (essentially) its a newly revived movement in Spain that originated after Franco’s fall that occupies unused houses to protest evictions. The song is about an upside down world that’s become “bastante, bastante normal,” that is—pretty, pretty normal.

Vino, compay, Xavi—all normal. Nothing to see here. Move along.