Y La Bamba Lupon

Y La Bamba Lupon
Lupon is the second release from Portland, OR's Luz Elena Mendoza as Y La Bamba. It's her first in-studio project, and with the Decemberists' Chris Funk at the helm as producer, the record is brought to the height of its potential. Opener "Monster" begins with intriguing, droning fuzz that adds an ethereal, gritty edge. When she dolefully wails, "He's a monster; he came to kill us all," a gently strummed guitar and the sweet chiming of bells elicit a shiver-inducing, emotional tug-of-war between feeling alarmed and being lulled to slumber. The tempo picks up on the next track. Riding on the swaying rhythm of "November," verses skip along jauntily towards a catchy chorus; it's about as close to a pop hook as Y La Bamba dares to venture. When she sings, "I adore everything about her," it's hard not to let your thoughts drift to how much there is to adore about Luz Elena. Her rich, jazzy delivery on "Soy Capitan" recalls Adele, while a breezy accordion covers this third track, as well as others, in a Parisian glaze. The cello, trombone, viola, singing saw and some Spanish lyrics have also been packed into Lupon's 11 folk pop gems. (Tender Loving Empire)