Natalia Lafourcade comes back to life

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Natalia Lafourcade walks onstage within the setting Virginia solar, her black robe’s large skirt clutched in her hand. She’s a solemn, virtually funerary imaginative and prescient as she reaches middle stage, her eight-piece band trying on. The costume parachutes round her as if it has a lifetime of its personal. She sits, guitar in hand, and a hush falls over the Wolf Lure amphitheater. “A este mundo vine solita /Solita me voy a morir,” Lafourcade sings, her voice hovering up towards the picket rafters: “Into this world I got here alone /Alone I’m going to die.”

The track, “Vine Solita” (“I Got here Alone”), which she sings accompanied by solely a sparse piano melody and her personal guitar, is the primary observe from her newest album, “De Todas las Flores” (“Of All of the Flowers”). That is Lafourcade’s first tour in 5 years, and her first cease in america. Over the course of the two-hour-plus present, she is going to die and be reborn.

Very like the Mexican-born singer-songwriter’s profession — Lafourcade has constructed a neighborhood of followers all through Latin America and diasporic communities all over the world — the album and its 17-stop tour embody a brand new imaginative and prescient of borderless musical creation. All through the present, she takes her viewers on imaginative journeys: “Think about you’re a chook with large wings … we’re going to fly to Oaxaca … now we’re within the seaside in Veracruz.”

At 39, Lafourcade is among the many most profitable artists in Spanish-language music, identified for her measured, sincere songwriting and her covers of Latin American, particularly Mexican, folks songs. She holds the excellence of being the feminine artist with probably the most Latin Grammys — 14 — and has produced ten albums in slightly over twenty years, collaborating with Latin American pop and rock superstars similar to Julieta Venegas and Jorge Drexler, and with legendary Mexican guitar duo Los Macorinos.

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Throughout a Zoom interview in Spanish earlier this month, Lafourcade stated she had spent the day working and resting in Paris after kicking off the European leg of her tour with a efficiency on the oldest music corridor within the metropolis, the legendary L’Olympia. She was spending a few nights within the French capital, the identical metropolis the place she spent the start of 2022 mastering her newest album and the place, in a small bar, she first debuted “De Todas las Flores” to an unsuspecting viewers.

Her afternoon included a fast journey to the Fête des Tuileries, a seasonal truthful nestled within the coronary heart of Paris’s First Arrondissement. “I went to get on a journey that spun me throughout the sky,” she stated, referring to an enormous, over-160-foot journey that towers over the Jardin des Tuileries throughout summer time months.

Quickly, she would head to Spain for stints in Madrid and Barcelona earlier than ultimately making her Wolf Lure debut.

“It’s very thrilling. Individuals are receiving the music with a number of care, with a number of love,” Lafourcade stated of the tour. “It’s one thing that brings me pleasure as a result of I really feel this album will not be a simple album. ‘De Todas las Flores’ is music that grabs you, that lays naked your soul, that lays naked your coronary heart, as a result of it comes from a spot of openness, no?”

The album resists simple classification, spanning genres similar to Latin folks and jazz, son jarocho, bossa nova, cumbia and bolero. It additionally marks Lafourcade’s first assortment of unique music since 2015’s “Hasta la Raíz” (“To the Root”), an intimate, different folk-driven document which was licensed double platinum in Mexico. Within the seven years since, she launched 4 tribute albums to icons of Latin American music, bringing artists similar to Agustín Lara, Violeta Parra Sandoval and Álvaro Carrillo again into the mainstream.

“De Todas las Flores” has roots throughout — in Veracruz, in Paris and in Texas, the place it was recorded by Lafourcade and a workforce of worldwide musicians at Sonic Ranch — and positions itself on the coronary heart of a vibrant dialog between Lafourcade and bastions of Latin American folks music. She cites Simón Díaz, María Grever, Parra Sandoval and Lara amongst her inspirations for the album.

However Lafourcade stays an artist related to her personal experiences, to what she calls “the supply.” “I believe one of many main components on this album was instinct,” she says. The end result was a 12-song document that’s primarily involved with common, transcendent truths.

It asks listeners to straddle the boundaries between ache and pleasure, loss of life and life. In “Muerte” (“Demise”), for instance, Lafourcade’s voice soars over a jazz guitar as she recites, “I give due to loss of life /For educating me to reside … This warfare inside me dies /I’m reborn grateful” within the fashion of a spoken-word poem. On the similar time, “Mi Manera de Querer” (“My Manner of Loving”), an upbeat samba-jazz love track wherein Lafourcade celebrates love with out gender, finds her telling a lover that they’re made of sunshine “from head to toe.”

Onstage, each songs are a triumph: “Mi Manera de Querer” is a welcome interlude of effervescent pleasure, and “Muerte” a testomony to Lafourcade’s theatricality as she is seemingly possessed by the very loss of life she sings of, dancing and writhing on the ground together with the track’s swirling instrumentation.

“De Todas las Flores” invitations a unique type of intimacy than the exuberant “Hasta la Raíz” exactly as a result of it’s a product of its time. For Lafourcade, as for a lot of others, the previous few years had been advanced. They introduced with them the loss of life of family members and a heightened consciousness of loss of life’s inevitability. “I believe figuring out that’s good for you,” she says. “I do know that I’ll have occasions of life and occasions of darkness, and that I’m going to have occasions of life and occasions of loss of life till loss of life comes, however that’s apparently a kind of loss of life, no? In actuality, we’re one thing else, too.”

That consciousness meant that loss of life is extra current on “De Todas las Flores” than every other album Lafourcade has written. The deal with existential questions wasn’t intentional. To an extent, she stated, songs have the autonomy to look as an album is being written and say “Right here I’m.”

Writing the brand new album, Lafourcade says, “was like rediscovering areas of my inside backyard, of rediscovering rooms and houses in a spot that I hadn’t visited shortly, or that I visited for a second, after which I forgot existed.” When she began engaged on it in 2018, she revisited dozens of forgotten voice memos in her cellphone. The album, she stated, was cast partly by “visiting the previous, visiting these reminiscences, visiting these songs that already existed.”

The majority of this memorial train, the “return to the pages of a diary,” befell at Lafourcade’s household house in Veracruz, the place she sought refuge in the course of the pandemic and rejuvenation after years of relentless touring. The homecoming precipitated a return to herself and her interiority. Slowly, “De Todas las Flores” got here collectively.

By the point Lafourcade closes her Wolf Lure present with a jubilant array of hit songs — together with the diamond licensed cumbia “Nunca es Suficiente” (“It’s By no means Sufficient”) — she has taken her viewers by means of a transferring tour of each “De Todas las Flores” and a collection of Latin American folks requirements. Her highly effective rendition of the long-lasting Mexican regional ballad, “La Llorona” (“The Weeping Girl”), is nothing wanting spectacular, as her voice stretches to the purpose of near-straining, solely to elevate increased with every of the track’s heart-wrenching laments.

Since shedding her black robe in a fitful second of onstage catharsis, Lafourcade has emerged in a pale blue cotton caftan, reborn. “Thanks to everybody for coming,” she says in her closing speech, encouraging her viewers to follow “stunning love.”

“Lengthy reside love. Lengthy reside music. Lengthy reside this social gathering, it’s for all of you. Till subsequent time.”

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