December 3, 2010

Y La Bamba - Lupon (2010)

Y La Bamba are quietly creating some serious local buzz. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they became Portland's next big band. Their music is pretty and ethereal, and makes for good nesting music as Portland settles into the colder, grayer months. Like Beirut, the band builds upon folk music from around the world. Lead singer, Luzelena Mendozarom, has a distinctive old-timey warble that took me a little while to truly appreciate. "Juniper" stands out as the obvious single, in that it exemplifies all of the best elements of the band. Mendozarom's voice ranges from smoky to soaring, and is backed by great male harmonies and really powerful, simple percussion. "November" (mp3) is a great rock song that actually feels like November, with mournful strings contrasting against an upbeat summer tempo. The musicianship on the album is fantastic, alternating between ornate and quietly sparse when it fits the song.

They are opening for fellow QuickCrit favorites, Horse Feathers, at the Doug Fir on tonight and Saturday.


awmercy said...

Thank to Tex, who wrote the bulk of this review.