Ojos Del Sol
Listen to the song "Ostrich"Y La Bamba's fourth offering is a sweeping, playful and vulnerable collection that’s ripe with both musical and personal discovery. From the intimate, contemplative verses of the Spanish-language title track to the revelations delivered over the loping beats of “Ostrich,” this is an album that’s painstakingly produced while remaining emotionally raw.
- 1. Ojos Del Sol
2. Say Sun
6. Cara Cara
8. Nos Veremos
- Y La Bamba Formed in 2008, Y La Bamba is the project of songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza. Upon listening to Mendoza’s music it’s clear that she draws from a myriad of influences--from Mexican 30’s tunes to Devendra Banhart. Mendoza’s distinctive voice, poetic and honest lyrics, and melding of disparate genres has earned the project fans across the country and has perked the ears of journalists at the likes of NPR, Vice, and Rolling Stone. Always open to exploration and hungry for further musical development, Y La Bamba is an exciting band to watch grow and consistently keeps fans wondering and anxious to see what they will put out next.
Listen to the song "Cuatro Crazy"
Y La Bamba has been many things, but at the heart of it is singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza’s inquisitive sense of self. Their fifth record, Mujeres, carries on the Portland-based band’s affinity for spiritual contemplation, but goes a step further in telling a story with a full emotional spectrum. Coming off Ojos Del Sol, one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2016, Mujeres exhibits the scope of Mendoza’s artistic voice like never before. “Soy como soy,” Mendoza says, and that declaration is the bold— even political— statement that positions Mujeres to be Y La Bamba’s most unbridled offering yet.
The record exists in the post-2016 landscape of a national identity crisis, and Mendoza explores what it means to be a Mexican American woman by leading us through places we are afraid to go. Mujeres ventures in to the discomfort of the stories we tell ourselves. Those of our past, our futures. We all have these stories somewhere inside of us, but with Y La Bamba, Mendoza forges new narratives from old stories of heritage and family, tracing history while forging modern chicana feminism.
“Music is an extension of everything I have inside. It’s how I emote,” Mendoza says. The raw honesty of Mujeres is in fact the raw honesty of Mendoza. Armed with the emotionality of traditional música mexicana and the storytelling of American folk, Y La Bamba’s artistry is not just their musical ability but Mendoza’s search for unadulterated truth. It is in an ancestral, spiritual journey in which Mendoza comes to terms with the influence and limitations of her upbringing. Mendoza’s experience of childhood summers in the San Joaquin Valley listening to mariachi, of being raised strict Catholic by immigrant parents, of being a woman having to prove herself to the boys, paints strokes of both melancholy and healing on the tracks. “From the way that my family struggles, to the way they shoot the shit… it’s so different from whiteness,” Mendoza says. “It’s a different dimension.”
Y La Bamba exists in the dimension of the Mexican American imagination: somewhere cynical and optimistic at the same time. While there is a celebration of the Mexican creativity that has informed Mendoza’s life, there is a darker side to reconcile with. Where do mujeres fit in to the American story? What are the sins for which we are all guilty? How do different generations interact with the world? How can a culture become visible without tokenization? It is no surprise that in Mujeres, Y La Bamba’s first record with Mendoza at the helm of production, Mendoza contemplates these questions to tell her story. But it is not just Mendoza’s story. Challenging a narrative and dealing with the emotionality of that effort— that is everyone’s story.
Mujeres was recorded by Luz Elena Mendoza and Ryan Oxford at Color Therapy Studios and Besitos Fritos Studios in Portland, Oregon. Mixed by Jeff Bond, with Grace Bugbee on bass, John Niekrasz on drums, Margaret Wher Gibson on keys, and Ed Rodriguez and Ryan Oxford on electric guitar.
Bio written by Eliza Cossio
- 1. My Death
2. Real Talk
3. Cuatro Crazy
5. Lightning Storms
7. Boca Llena
10. Una Letra
11. Santa Sal
12. Bruja de Brujas
13. Follow Your Feet
14. De Lejos (Digital only bonus track)
- Formed in 2008, Y La Bamba is the project of songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza. Upon listening to Mendoza’s music it’s clear that she draws from a myriad of influences--from Mexican 30’s tunes to Devendra Banhart. Mendoza’s distinctive voice, poetic and honest lyrics, and melding of disparate genres has earned the project fans across the country and has perked the ears of journalists at the likes of NPR, Vice, and Rolling Stone. Always open to exploration and hungry for further musical development, Y La Bamba is an exciting band to watch grow and consistently keeps fans wondering and anxious to see what they will put out next.
Forest Park Print
- Portland's Forest Park is truly magical, and this 8"x10" print does it justice. At over eight miles long and 5,157 acres, it's one of the largest urban forests in the United States. It's also filled with mystical energy, which this print so clearly illustrates.
- Tender Loving Empire is a hybrid handmade marketplace and record label based in beautiful (and sometimes rainy) Portland, Oregon. We have years of experience designing and creating high-quality handmade items, including cards, prints, t-shirts, and more.
Emotional Freedom Technique
Listen to the song "Do You Want Love?"Straddling the line between pop and despair, Emotional Freedom Technique is a letter to the broken heart that won’t mend but still beats. It is a portrait of what happens when someone is flung across the world on tour—grateful to be there, grateful for the success and the adventures, but ultimately lonely.
TLE-067 (2017 )
- 1. Do You Want Love?
3. Lonely With You
4. Your Voice on the Radio
5. Never Worked So Hard
6. Anytime, Anywhere
8. Summer Days
9. Hindsight/Emotional Freedom Technique
- Dave Depper has been the connection point between a staggering number of Northwest bands, playing with Menomena, Fruit Bats, Mirah, Corin Tucker, and Laura Gibson. Tapped to join Ray LaMontagne’s touring band in 2014 and then snatched up to become a full-time member of Death Cab for Cutie, Depper solidified his role as the go-to guy, the man next to everyone on late night.
Listen to the song "Blooming"On Fables, the forthcoming release from Ashland, Oregon favorites Slow Corpse, languid soul and gauzy dream rock float effortlessly over a bed of nuanced post-rock melodic complexity. Taut, arrestingly propulsive R&B-tinged melodic hooks ebb and flow against an ever-present undercurrent of woozy psychedelica. Born out of the creative union of artists from very different musical ecosystems, Fables manages to blend seemingly disparate elements together in a record that is both intellectually compelling, absolutely of-the-moment, and just plain catchy as hell.
- 1. Run It
5. 7:25 AM
7. Hold You
- The brainchild of an EDM producer and a blues guitarist, Slow Corpse was born out of the misty forests and craggy mountains of Oregon in the fall of 2015. Singer/producer Mitchell Winters first rose to prominence as the golden boy of Soundcloud, where he releases electronic music as PALMCO. Guitarist Brenton Clarke cut his teeth as a hard blues and shoegaze informed, one-man-musical-tour-de-force. Winters and Clarke had known each other tangentially in high school and college, and eventually they got together for a casual jam session. “Brenton showed me a riff, I sang a little melody over it,” Winters tell us. “Then we stared into each other’s eyes and simultaneously said ‘let’s make song babies’. It’s been going ever since.” Following the release of their first two EP’s, Hound and Moons, Slow Corpse added multi-instrumentalist Cole Zollinger (Bass), hip-hop producer Dash Curtis (Keys), and Kelvin Underwood (drums) to their roster, creating a live band that has mesmerized crowds and seen the band opening for the likes of The Decemberists, Fitz & the Tantrums, Paul Wall, and more. In the fall of 2017 they signed to Portland, OR indie stalwart Tender Loving Empire, where they join the ranks of indie darlings Andy Shauf, Y La Bamba, and Typhoon. Fables is the result of a multi-year migration through the Pacific Northwest, written and recorded in whatever space the duo found themselves residing at a given moment. “Always small spaces, bathrooms, sometimes closets… but I always name my wifi Palmco Studios” says Winters. Produced and mixed by the band, it was mastered by Adam Gonsalves (Radiation City, Burials). Lyrically, the record runs the emotional gamut and is a broad-stroke snapshot of the reality of a post-millennial twenty-something. “People don’t need a message from the record” says Winter. “I just want people to come to our shows and dance with me.” Crack the cover on Fables, lose yourself in the spellbinding melodic narratives, and you’ll find that’s a near certainty.