Luzelena Mendoza’s songs draw from her strict Catholic upbringing as an only daughter of a Mexican immigrant and the vocal harmonies of the Latin music she grew up around. Extremely sick after returning from a spiritual quest in India, Luzelena took in a white six-toed cat to keep her company as she fought to regain her physical, emotional and spiritual health. She christened her new feline companion Bamba, a name that she incorporated into a moniker she used for a batch of lo-fi home recordings and performances at open mic nights.
Mendoza quickly captivated the attention of a group of musicians, including current Y La Bamba members Michael Kitson (percussion), Eric Schrepel (accordion), and Ben Meyercord (bass). Impressed by Y La Bamba, Chris Funk of The Decemberists offered his production skills pro bono for the band’s proper debut album, Lupon. Percussionist Scott Magee and guitarist Paul Cameron would later join soon after the recording of Lupon. Much of the eclectic new Court the Storm was written during a winter-born collaborative process between Luzelena and Paul, whose guitar playing and vocal melody style helped the band build on the ideas first established on Lupon.
The 2010 release of their debut on Tender Loving Empire saw critical praise from NPR, Bust, Filter, and The Fader, among others, and had Y La Bamba touring with bands like Horse Feathers, Typhoon, and Neko Case (who asked the band to open for her on east and west coast tour dates, and leant her vocals to the title track of Court The Storm after joining the ranks of listeners charmed by the band when she heard their album playing at their label’s store/headquarters in downtown Portland).
Y La Bamba also caught the ear of Grammy award-winning producer and Los Lobos member, Steve Berlin, who offered to produce the band’s follow- up. Berlin’s production style completed the band’s vision of mariachi-inspired indie folk. With four of the eleven songs in Spanish, Luz embraced her heritage and personal experiences during the writing of the album. The outcome, Court the Storm, is rich with lush vocal harmonies and compelling musical arrangements, where Mendoza’s voice floats over brilliant chamber pop.
“[Luz Elena’s Mendoza]’s voice is pre-legendary” - Jasmine Gars
“It figures that matter-of-fact polyglots like Y La Bamba would vibe with producer Steve Berlin of matter-of-fact polyglots Los Lobos, who warms up Bamba’s folk-rocking second record. Frontwoman Luz Elena Mendoza can warble tremulously like a Latina Joanna Newsom, then let rip a robust alt-country holler not unlike that of Neko Case, who joins the band on the title track.”
– Rolling Stone
“The music Luz Elena Mendoza makes with her bandmates in the Portland, Ore., group Y La Bamba is a perfect example of how to embrace tradition while still creating something new, exciting and thought-provoking…While its music may not sound exactly like the Mexican music of Mendoza’s youth, Y La Bamba creates songs that stop me in my tracks with their breathtaking range.”
„Mendoza’s voice seemed otherworldly…It is light and ethereal yet seemingly tortured — she sings with deep emotion, if not pain.“
„This gives me goosebumps, it’s so beautiful.“
- Jasmine Gars, NPR
“…bouncing, ass-shakin’, toe-tappin’, arm-swayin’ rhythms.”
“Delightfully tweaked Mexifolk brings Luz Elena Mendoza ever closer to being crowned the Latin-rock Feist.”
“The song swirls and dips for more than five minutes, and when it ends, you’re left a bit breathless and lonely; romance and its tribulations made perfectly clear.”
– MTV Hive
„If you pine for the day when Astrud Gilberto records some lounge inspired mexican folk music with Devandra Banhart then Y La Bamba is totally your jam“
„There are elements of conjunto and bandoneon instrumentation and folkloric orchestration, but the underpinnings of the record are almost American Gothic in their ethereal melodies and late night road-trip aesthetic…In total, the songs on Lupon are a synthesis of Mexican influence and American execution.“
“Taking cues from the Mexican heritage of vocalist Luz Elena Mendoza, Portland, OR’s Y La Bamba has made a mariachiinspired art folk album….Lyrics about make thing most out of life, escaping souls and Guadalajara bars are at the heart of Court The Storm, and Mendoza shares them passionately, never losing the role of storyteller as the songs waltz along.”
Booking: Daniel Titcomb - The Silk Agency
Press: Chris Hnat - 230Publicity
Bearbeitet von CargadosCarajos am 20. Aug. 2013, 20:10
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