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Arts in Review

Soundbite: Y La Bamba – “Mujeres” / “Paloma Negra”

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Portland’s Y La Bamba add to the city’s impeccable record of producing acts that marry influences seamlessly and without cynicism. “Paloma Negra” (“Black Dove”), is almost lo-fi in its blending of acoustic elements, which together create a soundscape that cradle bandleader Luz Elena Mendoza’s understated (but entrancing) delivery. Luz asserts “I will pass, you will pass from memory, with this figure I move on slowly, but surely.”

In direct contrast to the more subdued “Paloma Negra,” “Mujeres” (“Women”) wears its message on its sleeve: equating women to water. “Como las aguas bebemos mucho de ellas, se secan los labios nomás si no están junto a ellas” / (Like the rivers, we drink of women, lips chap in their absence.)

Despite their clear message being at the forefront in Spanish, the instrumental aspects of both tracks serve as an aperitif of sorts for Y La Bamba’s fifth LP, Mujeres, out February.

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