Maria Usbeck’s 2016 solo debut, Amparo, may go down as one of the great sleeper records of the decade. And now, after a period of considerable quiet, the Brooklyn via Ecuador artist returns with her sophomore lp, Envejeciendo, due August via the Cascine label.
Sonically, it shares much of the seductive tropical intimacy that made Amparo such a beguiling listen. Envejeciendo’s first single, “Amor Anciano,” elegantly leans a little heavier into club-ready synth pop, something Usbeck had previously only hinted at. But with rippling water effects, atmospheric arpeggios, and a recording of her late grandmother musing on lost love, it’s clear that she is still creating in a space that is very much her own. Keep an ear out for this one… / c depasquale
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