Maria Usbeck Shares Latest Track
Ecuador-born, NYC-based Maria Usbeck will release her stunning, bilingual sophomore album Envejeciendo on August 16th via Cascine, the follow-up to her 2016 debut record Amparo which was co-produced by Chairlift's Caroline Polachek. Following the release of "Amor Anciano" and "Nostalgia," the record's third single "ObscuroObituario" is available now. "I've always wondered if the fear of death increases as you get older and as you start discovering illnesses," she explains of the track. "'Obscuro' touches upon this fear and the idea of someone watching over you from the afterlife." Listen to the song below and via Highsnobiety.
Check it out here:
Envejeciendo (Spanish for "aging") is a concept album exploring the universal obsession with youth and our preoccupation with growing older. Told with humor and tenderness, the album is an eccentric collection of dreamlike pop songs, sung in a mix of English and Spanish. Pre-order the album here: https://ffm.to/envejeciendo.
The tracks on Envejeciendo are anchored in the Usbeck's personal experiences with adulthood. After recently forcing herself out of a depressive, aging-induced slump, Usbeck was determined to have fun with the subject matter. The album is peppered with personal anecdotes and nods to her firsthand fieldwork into the aging process. Particularly moving are the samples of a recorded interview with Usbeck's late Ecuadorian grandmother, who speaks animatedly about her girlhood suitors and imagines what her life could have been had she married someone else. It's this tone of nostalgic joy, coexisting with curiosity for futures both impossible and unrealized, that runs throughout Envejeciendo.
For Usbeck, even cloudier subject matter like elderliness and death is rife with humor and optimism, evidenced in her buoyant brand of sunshine-dappled pop music. Flanked by drum machines and mirror-polished production, Usbeck imagines a futuristic version of retirement homes that are more like "really fun hotels," robot caretakers, and Brave New World-esque rejuvenation drugs. Sonically, there are still ties to the Latin American textures of her childhood - the ones that informed her last album, the tropical bricolageAmparo - but here, those textures are filtered through the 80's synth pop and early 90's tech-house fixations of Usbeck's teenage years.
Born in Quito, Ecuador, she moved to the states at 17 to attend art school, and found herself fronting the new wave band Selebrities. But, after five years of singing in English, the polyglot decided to let her mother tongue speak. Amparo, Usbeck's 2016 Caroline Polacheck co-produced solo debut, was a return to her Latin American roots, sung almost entirely in Spanish, written and recorded across Ecuador, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Barcelona, Lisbon, Easter Island, Costa Rica, Florida, L.A. and her home in Brooklyn.