There's a lot going on in the world right now (here in the US a recent wave of gun violence that erupted over a 13-hour period left the nation rattled and on edge), and there's a good chance that your newsfeed is clogged with stories filtering out from different parts of the country and all over the world casting further doubt on the state of humanity and our global existence as a whole. It's enough to leave even the most steady of people feeling a little overwhelmed or even downright depressed.

In times like these we find ourselves looking for the smallest of distractions as a means of temporary escape from our otherwise bleak reality, and music is often the first thing most of us turn to. Which makes the arrival of the newest album from QUITAPENAS much welcome. With a name that literally translates to "remove worries," their mix of Afro-Latin influences offers some much needed joy.

The San Bernardino, California natives have spent nearly a decade now making music that proudly reflects the cultural diversity of their city (I cut my teeth that same city's punk scene in the mid 90s and can attest to both its diversity and the unfortunate racism that often dogs multi-cultural communities), and their new album Tigrada continues that tradition.

Sung entirely in Spanish, but with the kind of enthusiasm and passion that easily melts away language barriers, the songs here touch on a variety of socio-political issues: on the Bomba influenced 'Tranquilidad' they deliver a blistering critique of humanity's continued abuse of our natural resources, the dizzying tropicalia of 'La Educación' was inspired by the 2006 Oaxacan teacher’s strike, and 'El Dino' recalls horrific 2015 attacks that took place in San Bernardino and left those of us familiar with the city particularly shook.

But the heady mix of keys, sax, percussion and occasionally frantic riffs not only gives the music same the kind urgency as the messages conveyed throughout the album as well as often creating near frenzied grooves that captures the spirit of the many cultures that continue to influence them, it's also bursting with the kind of unrelenting positivity that we could probably use more of lately.